Laughlin is located below Davis Dam
along the Colorado River. The river in this area is used mostly as a
personal watercraft, speed and pleasure boat recreation area. As the
river flows by the Laughlin casinos, the traffic can get pretty
crowded. Going down river, past Harrah's Del Rio Resort, the water
of the Colorado smoothes out and traffic becomes much lighter. If
you want to do some cutting up, this is where to go.
The farther south one heads, the more
peacefully and relaxing the Colorado becomes. That is where my
favorite areas exist. 10 miles south you'll run into Avi Hotel and
Casino Marina. This is a good place for last minute supplies,
including gas. 16 miles further down river, from the Avi, the river
flows through Topock,AZ. This is where the "Gorge" begins. This is a
must see place for boaters and jet skiers. Gas is also available in
Topock. To get there, go left (north) at the pipeline/bridge to the
marina. After you enter the Gorge, about 2 miles down river from
Topock, please remember to respect the no wake and no personal
watercraft areas. Remember you can always swim or tube into these
great marshes. This is a good fishing area also. Please... take your
Boat launching can be found at:
Davis Dam Campground on the
Arizona side. ($10.00 per day)
Riverside Resort, on the strip in
Laughlin. Riverside's ramp is the
only free, no cost, ramp. (very crowded)
Bayshore Inn, 5 miles south on
Casino Drive. Small vessels.
Big Bend State Park has a nice
ramp, never crowded, except
for holidays. Cost is $8.00 car and boat. It's on the Needles
2 miles south of the Township of Laughlin.
I'd tell you my secret spot, but
it wouldn't be a secret any more.
Local River Tours
Leaves from the Flamingo Hilton dock
The Del Rio
Leaves from Harrah's Laughlin dock
Tickets $12.95 adults, $7.95 children (3-12)
The Edgewater Belle
Leaves from the Edgewater dock
|The USS Riverside
Leaves from the Riverside dock
London Jet Boat Tours
Leaves from Pioneer
Tickets: various prices $49 adult rd trip to Lake Havasu and
All major casinos
Tickets: $2 one way, $3 rd trip
More about the entire River:
The Colorado River and its tributaries flow
through the Great Basin, the Sonoran Desert and the Mojave Desert,
providing water and power to the arid Southwestern U.S...
These rivers are also responsible for carving some
of the most spectacular natural wonders on Earth! Today the Colorado
Basin offers awesome outdoor adventure and recreation opportunities
in the U.S.
The Colorado River is born about 10,000 feet in
the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and flows southwest for 1,470 miles
to the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) in Mexico. It is the
international boundary for 17 miles between Arizona and Mexico.
Before the construction of a number of dams along its route, it
flowed 80 miles through Mexico to the Gulf of California.
The 1,360 miles of its route in the United States
makes it the nation's fifth longest river. It drains a large portion
of the North American continent covering 242,000 square miles in the
United States and 3,000 square miles in Mexico. The Colorado and its
tributaries drain southwestern Wyoming and western Colorado, parts
of Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and California, and almost all of
Arizona. Three fourths of the basin is federal land devoted to
national forests and parks and Indian reservations.
For more than 1,000 miles, the upper and middle
portions of the Colorado River and its tributaries -- the Virgin,
Kanab, Paria, Escalante, Dirty Devil and Green rivers from the west;
the Little Colorado, San Juan, Dolores and Gunnison from the east --
cut a spectacular labyrinth of deep gorges. The longest and most
spectacular of these canyons is the magnificent Grand Canyon,
extending from the mouth of the Paria to Grand Wash Stream.
Canyonlands National Park encompasses another of these regions at
the juncture of the Green and Colorado rivers in southeastern Utah.
The lower Colorado River separates two great
deserts, the Mojave on the western side and the Sonoran on the
eastern side. The Gila River drains the Sonoran. South of the Mojave
Desert lies the Salton Basin, a large depression 230 feet below sea
level, extending 150 miles northwest from the head of the Gulf of
In 1905, floodwaters caused a levee to break on
the Colorado River near Yuma; water rushed into the Salton Basin.
This created the Salton Sea, about 68 feet deep, 55 miles long, and
16 miles wide, with a total water area of some 300 sq. miles. Since
the break threatened the agriculturally rich Imperial Valley and a
major railroad route, the levee was finally repaired in 1907, but
the Salton Sea remains.
Commerce & Politics
The Colorado is a remarkable source for
hydroelectric power and irrigation. Of its 10 million potential
horsepower, one-fifth has been developed . 21 dams have been built
on the Colorado and its tributaries. The river rarely reaches the
Gulf of California because of these dams. The Morelos Diversion Dam,
located on the Mexico-Arizona border is the southernmost dam on the
Colorado. It sends virtually all of the remaining water to
irrigation canals in the Mexicali Valley and to the towns of
Mexicali and Tijuana.
The Colorado System was the first drainage basin
in which the concept of the multipurpose dam was employed. In 1922
the Colorado River Compact was concluded by the seven states that
constitute its drainage area. The first major development began in
1928 when Congress passed the Boulder Canyon Project Act authorizing
construction of Boulder (now Hoover) Dam. Construction of this dam
was considered a major engineering accomplishment of its time. Since
its completion in 1936, the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, which it
created with its impounded waters, have become major tourist
Many additional projects have been completed since
then. In the mid-1960s, Glen Canyon Dam was completed, impounding
Lake Powell. This dam was controversial, and opposition to its
construction helped shaped policy toward concepts of water
management and environmental protection.
Shortly after the completion of Hoover Dam,
planning and construction began downstream on the Parker Dam. From
Havasu Lake, the reservoir impounded by the dam, water is
transported some 250 miles across California to supply a portion of
the water needs for Los Angeles and most of the water supply for San
Diego. Davis, Imperial, Laguna, and Morelos dams further regulate
flow and diversion in the lower basin.
In 1963 a decision of the U.S. Supreme Court made
explicit the amount of water apportioned among the lower-basin
states, as well as the amounts that had been implicitly "reserved"
for Indian tribes and federal public lands.
This decision prompted funding of the Central
Arizona Project, completed in the 1980s. The project comprises a
mountain tunnel through which water from the southern end of Lake
Havasu is pumped up and into an aqueduct that flows southward to the
two cities of Phoenix and Tucson.
The increasingly severe competition for whatever
small quantities of water remain in the Colorado River keeps the
basin tied up in litigation and controversy. Water projects must now
undergo thorough environmental-impact studies in accordance with
federal environmental protection legislation.
Ute and Southern Paiute Indian tribes hunted and
gathered on the plateaus and in the canyon lands of the upper
Colorado basin for centuries. In the lower basin, Hohokam Indians
constructed the largest prehistoric canal irrigation system in the
American West on the Gila and Salt rivers. Yuman tribes practiced
complicated patterns of floodplain farming and hunting on the
Colorado. In the face of economic exploitation of the region by
whites, and the resulting ecological changes, Indian groups have
struggled to maintain vestiges of traditional lifeways with respect
to the river.
Several Europeans explored the Colorado River
early on, but upon discovering that it was practically useless for
navigation later ignored further exploration. In 1538, Francisco de
Ulloa traveled to the Colorado from the Gulf of California; in 1540,
Hernando de Alarcon became the first European to sail up the river,
while Garcia Lopez de Cardenas of discovered the Grand Canyon.
In 1776, Fathers Velez de Escalante and Dominguez
crossed the Colorado in Glen Canyon. That same year Father Francisco
Garces named the river "Colorado" because of its red mud.
Lieutenant Joseph C. Ives in 1857, maneuvered the
Colorado from Black Canyon. But it wasn't until 1869 that Major
John Wesley Powell made the first trip through the Grand Canyon. He
led an expedition by boat, recording and mapping his journey. His
journals are still in print and provide exciting reading for modern
adventurers ready to discover the greatness of the Desert Southwest.