Looking for a different boating/camping experience? A beautiful spot can be found only about 25 minutes from the London Bridge in Lake Havasu.
Cattail Cove State Park has not only a four-lane boat and watercraft launch, but also RV and tent camping spots and two white sand beaches, one just for pets. Pets have their own swim area. There are picnic areas with ramadas, and an amphitheater for evening programs.
This park is reminiscent of a private cove, with restrooms and showers and trees at almost every campsite.
For nature lovers, there is a bird watching site where one might see loons, ducks, Gambel’s quail, hummingbirds and vultures. Wildlife in the area includes pelicans, ducks, roadrunners, warblers, shrike, rabbits, coyotes, bighorn sheep, raccoons, bobcats, and snakes.
Fishermen can catch the limit for bass, catfish and crappie. The park has a fish-cleaning station. A valid Arizona fishing license is required for anglers 10 years and older.
And for those hooked on the relatively new sport of geocaching, there are several geocaches in the area.
Cattail Cove is an Arizona State Park, and reservations can be made at https://azstateparks.itinio.com/cattailcove/ or by calling 520-586-2283 seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MST. There is a $5 non-refundable reservation fee per site. Each of the 32-primitive boat-in camping sites has a picnic table and access to pit toilets. Propane stoves are acceptable. All boat-in camping sites are first come, first served. No saving sites.
Vehicles and boat trailers can be parked in the paid parking lot. Find an unoccupied boat-in camping site and pay for camping at the site using the “Iron Ranger”. Maximum length of stay is 15 days.
Additionally, there are 61 camping and RV sites. Maximum stay is two weeks, and eight people are allowed per campsite. Unreserved sites are sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. Saving sites is not allowed. Potable water is located in the campground. Fires are allowed in the fire rings at each site from October to April. Maximum RV length at this park is 40 feet. Fifty-seven sites offer 30-amp service, and four sites offer 50-amp service.
The park is part of a pilot program called Long-Term Camping. Guests who wish to take advantage of long-term camping (longer than two weeks) must pay in full for the first two weeks of their stay, along with the $5 reservation fee.
The minimum length of stay for a long-term site will be 28 nights (4 weeks). Maximum length of stay will be 84 nights (12 weeks).
For those who enjoy hiking, there are several trails of varying difficulty.
Whytes Retreat Trail is a 1½ mile hiking trail with an easy rating. Trail begins at park and follows the Lake Havasu shoreline, providing an excellent view of the lower portion of the Colorado River, the Whitsett Pumping Station and Parker Dam. The shoreline portion of the trail ends at Whytes Retreat, one of the boat-in campsites provided by the Bureau of Land Management. The McKinney Loop portion of the trail returns to Cattail Cove through low desert hills and a shallow gorge with bluffs on both sides. To reach the trail, follow the entrance road to the boat launch ramp where the trail begins on the south side.
Ted’s Trail is a half-mile moderate difficulty hiking trail.
Wayne’s Way Trail has two loop trails, either .2 or .9 miles, moderate to difficult.
The Cattail Cove Ranger Station is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes a small gift shop. The gift shop has books on hiking, birds, plants, trees, and other interesting subjects, as well as shirts and caps.
Cattail Cove is off State Route 95 about 17.4 miles from the London Bridge. Turn right on Lake Shore Boulevard at the Cattail Cove sign.