Cattail Cove State Park: A Havasu Gem

That time of year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can often be stressful. We try to keep things low-key and ride out the holidays by avoiding crowds and the flu. But that doesn’t mean we wanted to be cooped up inside all winter like desert tortoises in brumation, although sometimes the idea sounded appealing.

Just 19 miles south of Lake Havasu City and 8 miles from Parker on Arizona State Route 95, lies a gem we had the pleasure of experiencing recently.  We found Cattail Cove State Park a wonderful way to ease out of the remaining year and prepare ourselves in anticipation of the new one.

Friendly camp hosts greeted us at the entrance. The beach, boat ramp, and 61 campsites at Cattail Cove State Park offer a broad spectrum of activities for all to enjoy. There are also 32 boat-in campsites along the lake shoreline within the park.

Whether you’re interested in swimming during warmer weather, fishing or just lounging and relaxing, Cattail Cove State Park offers you and your family a chance to get away and enjoy tranquility along Lake Havasu. The 2,000-acre park has been operated by the Arizona State Parks Board since 1970.

Lake Havasu was formed when the Colorado River was dammed near Parker. The 45-mile long lake creates a haven for all kinds of water sports. Fish for largemouth and striped bass, channel and flathead catfish, bluegill and crappie. Boat on the blue waters, sail into quiet coves, or water ski or jet ski out on the open lake.

Meet resident Great Blue Heron, Pedro.  A camp host said self-appointed mascot Pedro has been frequenting the park for at least twelve years.

It’s all about that bass. And look at the size of this one!

Pedro follows his newest fishing buddy back to a campsite for some fresh sushi.  Hold the rice.

Dogs are welcome at Cattail Cove.  You will find many amenities made with them in mind, including handy leash holding areas near the restrooms, pooper scooper bags, doggy bag receptacles and even a dog beach dedicated to letting your pooch get his or her paws wet.

A white sandy beach with covered tables is available for picnickers, campers and boaters alike. It’s Pedro-approved!

We loved it so much here we ended up staying an extra night.  In fact, we didn’t want to leave!  We drove our Jeep to Parker to buy fishing tackle and an Arizona Fishing License from Walmart.  $55 buys an annual license, which expires a year from when you buy it, unlike California’s fishing licenses which expires at the end of the year, no matter what month you purchase it.

Enjoying a cat nap after a hike, a romp on the beach or fishing  is one of a camper’s favorite indulgences.

  The park offers campers clean showers, flush toilets, a lending library for books and DVD’s, fish cleaning stations, and a dump station on site. Most campsites have electricity and city water but none have sewer hook-ups.

Campsites offer a picnic table and a fire pit with grill at each site. Haul in your own wood or buy a bundle at the registration office. Don’t forget the s’mores!

Everyone needs a traveling companion. We’re doubly blessed with two furry desert rescues, a Chi-Apso and a Morkie. OK, we admit it. We bought the RV for them.

We met snowbirds Allan and Ingrid Hornsby from British Columbia, and Jerry and Bev Schultz from Washington state.  When not camping, the Schultz’s sail their 47′ trawler from Washington to Alaska every year! Friendly neighbors are great way to gather camping tips and travel resources.

Well-maintained scenic trails and beaches offer beauty and serenity for hikers, birdwatchers and campers.

Although many states in the U.S.A. are frigid in December, Arizona is not usually one of them.  Light jackets kept us plenty warm during the day, although we did run our electric heater in our Thor ACE 27.2 during the night.

That Pedro sure gets around. He even obeys signs.

John enjoyed practicing his casting skills.  That means we had chili for dinner.

Relaxing with a good book by a cozy fire is just one of the pleasures many campers look forward to. John pores through the latest edition of True West.

This state beach launch ramp is easy to access for launching your boat. Rangers have a shuttle for parking and all runs smoothly.

 We know you will enjoy Cattail State Park as much as we did!

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