may be inspected from the California side via a narrow, 15 mile road starting at Parker, or more easily from the west by a short road forking off AZ 95. The concrete arch dam is 320 feet high, though most is underwater, and indeed extends some distance below the river bed owing to the need to anchor the foundations to solid bedrock, which at this point is covered by a thick layer of sediment. North of the dam and the nearby Havasu Springs
resort, highway 95 runs right along the lakeshore for several miles, winding around the big inlet formed by Bill Williams River
, and passing several overlooks that allow good, elevated views of the blue waters, framed by steep red-brown cliffs. After crossing the river, which at the confluence flows through a wide expanse of tall, grassy marshland, the road moves away from the lake and remains largely out of sight for 17 miles, until reaching Lake Havasu City. In this stretch there is only one main shoreline access point, at Cattail Cove State Park
, whose facilities comprise a beach, 61 site campground, boat ramp, cafe and a short trail along the coast. North of here, most of the shore and several miles of the hills bordering the lake are within the south section of Lake Havasu State Park
, though access is limited to a few rough tracks. In contrast, the next 6 miles of the shoreline, around the city, are fully developed, with beaches, marinas, footpaths, piers, etc, but then the northernmost section (nearly as far as the I-40 crossing at Topock) are even more inaccessible, since highway 95 bends away eastwards. On the California side, only two places are reachable by a paved road - the small communities of Havasu Lake
(16 miles east of US 95) and Black Meadow Landing
(25 miles north of Parker).
Lake Havasu City
The city of Lake Havasu covers a large area of the gently sloping land on the east side of the lake, crossed by a network of curving residential streets.
Most facilities in town are found along the main road (AZ 95), from a newly constructed mall near the north edge to the English Village
shopping center on the south side, next to London Bridge
. This famous stone structure, originally built in 1831 and imported from England in 1968, spans an artificial channel separating the mainland from a peninsula now known as Havasu Island
, site of one of the city's four golf courses, and an air strip. The main Lake Havasu airport is several miles north, beyond the city limits. There are plenty of lakeside access points in the city, both paid (Lake Havasu State Park) and free, and no shortage of clean, sand or pebble beaches. This part of the lake is wide and the surrounding hills are fairly low so the land is not quite as scenic as the more mountainous terrain further south, but it is still pretty (see 360 degree panorama
). The hills have a mixture of muted colors - black, grey, brown and red - but all are equally rugged and barren, and generally different to the larger scale but more uniform mountains in the desert further south in Arizona and California.