Mohave Water Trail In Nevada

Here is everything you need to know about the Mohave Water Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Nevada
  • Length: 76 miles.
  • Type: Water trail.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Mohave Water Trail is a significant waterway located in the southwestern United States, specifically in the Mojave Desert region of California, Nevada, and Arizona. This historic trail follows the Colorado River, stretching approximately 76 miles from the Davis Dam in Nevada to the Topock Gorge in Arizona. The trail has played a crucial role in the development and exploration of the region, serving as a vital transportation route for Native American tribes, early explorers, and settlers.

The Mohave Water Trail has a rich history dating back thousands of years. Native American tribes, including the Mohave, Chemehuevi, and Quechan, have relied on the Colorado River for sustenance and transportation for centuries. These tribes used canoes made from tule reeds or wooden frames covered with animal hides to navigate the river, allowing them to access resources and establish trade networks.

In the 16th century, Spanish explorers, such as Francisco Garcés and Juan Bautista de Anza, ventured into the region, following the Colorado River and documenting their encounters with the Native American tribes. These explorations paved the way for further European exploration and eventual settlement in the area. The Mohave Water Trail became an important route for fur trappers, miners, and pioneers during the 19th century, as they sought to exploit the region’s natural resources and establish communities along the riverbanks.

Today, the Mohave Water Trail continues to be a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and camping. The trail not only provides a unique recreational experience but also serves as a reminder of the historical significance of the Colorado River and its role in shaping the development of the southwestern United States.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Willow Beach Marina and Campground: Located in Willow Beach, Arizona, this is a popular access point for the Mohave Water Trail. It offers boat rentals, camping facilities, and a launch ramp.

2. Katherine Landing: Situated in Bullhead City, Arizona, Katherine Landing is another significant access point along the Mohave Water Trail. It provides boat rentals, a marina, camping options, and a launch ramp.

3. Davis Camp: Located in Bullhead City, Arizona, Davis Camp is a popular trailhead along the Mohave Water Trail. It offers camping facilities, RV sites, boat rentals, and a launch ramp.

4. Lake Havasu State Park: Situated in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, Lake Havasu State Park is a major access point for the Mohave Water Trail. It provides camping options, boat rentals, a marina, and a launch ramp.

5. Pirates Cove Resort and Marina: Located in Needles, California, Pirates Cove Resort and Marina is an important access point along the Mohave Water Trail. It offers camping facilities, boat rentals, a marina, and a launch ramp.

6. Topock Gorge: Situated near Needles, California, Topock Gorge is a scenic section of the Mohave Water Trail. It is accessible by boat and offers stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and wildlife.

7. Lake Mohave Resort: Located in Searchlight, Nevada, Lake Mohave Resort is a significant access point for the Mohave Water Trail. It provides camping options, boat rentals, a marina, and a launch ramp.

8. Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina: Situated in Searchlight, Nevada, Cottonwood Cove Resort and Marina is another major access point along the Mohave Water Trail. It offers camping facilities, boat rentals, a marina, and a launch ramp.

9. Temple Bar Marina: Located in Meadview, Arizona, Temple Bar Marina is an important access point for the Mohave Water Trail. It provides camping options, boat rentals, a marina, and a launch ramp.

10. South Cove: Situated near Meadview, Arizona, South Cove is a significant access point along the Mohave Water Trail. It offers camping facilities, boat rentals, and a launch ramp.

Transportation Available

1. Mohave County Public Works – Provides public transportation services in the Mohave County area.
2. Lake Havasu City Transit – Offers bus services within Lake Havasu City and surrounding areas.
3. Bullhead Area Transit System – Operates bus services in Bullhead City and nearby regions.
4. Laughlin/Bullhead International Airport – A small airport serving the Laughlin and Bullhead City areas.
5. Lake Havasu City Airport – A public airport located in Lake Havasu City.
6. Colorado River Jet Boat Tours – Offers jet boat tours along the Colorado River.
7. London Bridge Jet Boat Tours – Provides jet boat tours departing from Lake Havasu City.
8. Lake Havasu Water Taxi – Offers water taxi services on Lake Havasu.
9. Desert River Kayak – Provides kayak rentals and guided tours along the Mohave Water Trail.
10. Lake Mohave Marina – Offers boat rentals and marina services on Lake Mohave.


The amenities available at the Mohave Water Trail may vary depending on the specific location along the trail. However, here are some common amenities that can be found along the trail:

1. Restrooms: Some sections of the trail may have restroom facilities available for public use. These restrooms may be located at designated trailheads or camping areas.

2. Parking: There are parking areas available at various access points along the Mohave Water Trail. These parking areas allow visitors to park their vehicles and access the trail easily.

3. Camping Sites: The Mohave Water Trail offers camping opportunities along its route. These camping sites may include designated areas for tents or RVs, fire pits, picnic tables, and access to restroom facilities.

4. Picnic Areas: Along the trail, there may be designated picnic areas where visitors can stop and enjoy a meal or snack. These areas may have picnic tables, shade structures, and trash receptacles.

5. Boat Launches: The Mohave Water Trail provides access to the water for boating enthusiasts. Boat launches or ramps may be available at certain points along the trail, allowing visitors to launch their boats or kayaks into the water.

6. Fishing Spots: The trail passes through areas that are popular for fishing. Anglers can find spots along the trail where they can cast their lines and try their luck at catching fish.

7. Interpretive Signage: Some sections of the Mohave Water Trail may have interpretive signage that provides information about the local flora, fauna, history, or geology. These signs can enhance the educational experience for visitors.

8. Wildlife Viewing Areas: The trail passes through diverse ecosystems, providing opportunities for wildlife viewing. Visitors may find designated areas or viewpoints where they can observe and appreciate the local wildlife.

It is recommended to check with local authorities or visit the official website of the Mohave Water Trail for specific information about amenities available at different sections of the trail.

Nearby Services

1. Willow Beach Marina & Campground – Offers lodging, camping, and boat rentals along the Colorado River.
2. Cottonwood Cove Resort & Marina – Provides lodging, RV camping, and boat rentals on Lake Mohave.
3. Katherine Landing – Offers lodging, RV camping, and boat rentals on Lake Mohave.
4. Laughlin, Nevada – Nearby city with various lodging options, restaurants, and emergency services.
5. Bullhead City, Arizona – Nearby city with lodging options, restaurants, and emergency services.
6. Lake Havasu City, Arizona – Nearby city with lodging options, restaurants, and emergency services.
7. Needles, California – Nearby city with lodging options, restaurants, and emergency services.

Mohave Water Trail Difficulty Notes

The Mohave Water Trail presents a moderate to challenging difficulty level for outdoor enthusiasts. Spanning approximately 240 miles along the Colorado River, this trail offers a diverse range of terrains and conditions. Paddlers will encounter calm stretches of water, but also face strong currents, rapids, and occasional winds. Navigating through narrow canyons and rocky sections requires skill and experience. Additionally, the remote nature of the trail means limited access to amenities and potential encounters with wildlife. Overall, the Mohave Water Trail demands physical endurance, technical proficiency, and careful planning to successfully complete the journey.

Features And Attractions

1. Lake Mead National Recreation Area: This scenic area offers stunning views of the lake, surrounded by desert landscapes and rugged mountains. It is a popular spot for boating, fishing, and hiking.

2. Hoover Dam: One of the most iconic landmarks in the United States, Hoover Dam is a marvel of engineering. Visitors can take guided tours to learn about its history and enjoy panoramic views of the Colorado River and Lake Mead.

3. Black Canyon: Located downstream from Hoover Dam, Black Canyon is known for its dramatic cliffs and crystal-clear waters. It offers opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and exploring hidden hot springs.

4. Willow Beach: Situated along the Colorado River, Willow Beach is a picturesque spot with sandy beaches and emerald-green waters. It is a popular destination for swimming, fishing, and picnicking.

5. Cottonwood Cove: This marina on Lake Mohave offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and pristine waters. It is a great place for boating, water skiing, and camping.

6. Spirit Mountain: Located near Laughlin, Nevada, Spirit Mountain is a sacred site for Native American tribes. It offers panoramic views of the Colorado River and the surrounding desert.

7. Grapevine Canyon: This scenic canyon is known for its ancient petroglyphs and rock art. Visitors can hike through the canyon and admire the historical and cultural significance of the area.

8. Christmas Tree Pass: This scenic drive takes you through the Newberry Mountains and offers stunning views of the desert landscape. It is a popular spot for off-roading and exploring the unique flora and fauna of the region.

9. Pyramid Canyon: Located near Lake Mohave, Pyramid Canyon is known for its towering cliffs and unique rock formations. It is a great place for hiking, rock climbing, and wildlife spotting.

10. Eldorado Canyon: This historical site was once a bustling mining town during the gold rush era. Visitors can explore the old mine shafts, visit the Techatticup Mine, and learn about the area’s rich history.

These are just a few examples of the scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks along the Mohave Water Trail. There are many more hidden gems waiting to be discovered along this beautiful waterway.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Mohave Water Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Campfires are only permitted in designated fire rings or grills.
3. Littering is strictly prohibited. Please pack out all trash and dispose of it properly.
4. Fishing is allowed in accordance with state fishing regulations. A valid fishing license may be required.
5. Motorized watercraft must adhere to speed limits and noise restrictions.
6. Camping is allowed only in designated camping areas. Please do not camp in restricted or environmentally sensitive areas.
7. Respect seasonal restrictions, such as closures during nesting seasons for certain bird species.
8. Follow all safety guidelines and regulations provided by the managing authority.
9. Be aware of and respect private property boundaries along the trail.
10. Leave natural and cultural resources undisturbed. Do not remove or damage any plants, rocks, or artifacts.
11. Practice Leave No Trace principles, including minimizing campfire impacts, disposing of waste properly, and respecting wildlife.
12. Stay informed about weather conditions and be prepared for potential hazards.
13. Observe and respect any additional rules or guidelines posted at specific trail sections or access points.

Seasonal Information

The Mohave Water Trail is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore the stunning beauty of the Mojave Desert in California. While the trail can be enjoyed year-round, there are certain times of the year that offer the best experience for visitors.

One of the best times to visit the Mohave Water Trail is during the spring season, which typically runs from March to May. During this time, the weather is mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the 70s to 80s Fahrenheit (20s to 30s Celsius). The desert comes alive with vibrant wildflowers, creating a picturesque landscape. Spring is also a great time for water activities, as the water levels are usually higher, making it ideal for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding.

Another favorable time to visit is in the fall, from September to November. The scorching summer heat starts to subside, and temperatures become more comfortable, ranging from the 70s to 90s Fahrenheit (20s to 30s Celsius). The fall season offers stunning sunsets and clear skies, making it perfect for stargazing and camping under the desert night sky.

It’s important to note that the Mohave Water Trail has seasonal closures in certain areas. The trail is managed by various agencies, including the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Park Service (NPS). Some sections of the trail may be closed during the summer months due to extreme heat and fire danger. It’s advisable to check with the respective agencies for any closures or restrictions before planning your visit.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Mohave Water Trail are during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the landscape is at its most beautiful. However, it’s essential to stay informed about any seasonal closures or restrictions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures or simply want to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the desert, the Mohave Water Trail offers a unique and unforgettable experience.


1. Wheelchair Accessible Launch Sites: Designated launch sites along the Mohave Water Trail that are accessible for wheelchair users, allowing them to easily enter and exit the water.
2. Accessible Restrooms: Restroom facilities along the trail that are designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, including wheelchair-accessible stalls and grab bars.
3. Accessible Parking: Designated parking spaces near the trailhead that are specifically reserved for individuals with disabilities, ensuring convenient access to the water trail.
4. Accessible Trails: Paved or well-maintained trails along the water trail that are accessible for wheelchair users, providing a smooth and barrier-free experience.
5. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail equipped with accessible tables, allowing individuals with disabilities to enjoy outdoor dining and socializing.
6. Accessible Camping Facilities: Campgrounds along the Mohave Water Trail that offer accessible campsites with features such as level ground, wider paths, and accessible amenities.
7. Accessible Fishing Platforms: Fishing platforms or piers along the trail that are designed to accommodate wheelchair users, providing equal opportunities for fishing enjoyment.
8. Accessible Interpretive Signs: Informational signs along the water trail that are designed with accessibility in mind, featuring large fonts, braille, and wheelchair-accessible viewing areas.
9. Accessible Boat Rentals: Rental services along the trail that offer accessible boats or adaptive equipment, allowing individuals with disabilities to enjoy boating activities.
10. Accessible Shuttle Services: Shuttle services available for individuals with disabilities, providing transportation to and from different sections of the Mohave Water Trail.

Safety Information

1. Wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD): Always wear a properly fitted PFD to ensure your safety in case of an accident or emergency.
2. Check Weather Conditions: Stay updated on weather forecasts and avoid paddling during storms or high winds.
3. Carry a First Aid Kit: Be prepared for minor injuries or emergencies by carrying a well-stocked first aid kit.
4. Stay Hydrated: Bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout your journey, as the desert environment can be dehydrating.
5. Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the intense desert sun.
6. Know Your Limits: Be aware of your paddling abilities and choose sections of the trail that match your skill level.
7. Share Your Itinerary: Inform someone about your planned route and estimated return time, ensuring someone knows your whereabouts.
8. Be Aware of Wildlife: Respect the natural habitat and keep a safe distance from wildlife, especially venomous snakes and insects.
9. Pack Properly: Secure your gear in waterproof bags and distribute weight evenly to maintain stability while paddling.
10. Navigation Tools: Carry a map, compass, or GPS device to navigate the water trail accurately and avoid getting lost.
11. Avoid Alcohol and Drugs: Stay sober while paddling to maintain alertness and make sound decisions.
12. Stay Connected: Carry a fully charged cell phone or a marine radio for emergency communication.
13. Be Cautious of Motorized Boats: Stay alert for motorized boats sharing the waterway and give them the right of way.
14. Practice Leave No Trace: Minimize your impact on the environment by packing out all trash and disposing of waste properly.
15. Learn Basic Water Safety Skills: Familiarize yourself with basic water safety techniques, such as self-rescue and buddy rescue.
16. Check Water Levels: Before embarking on your journey, check the water levels to ensure they are suitable for paddling.
17. Plan for Emergencies: Have a plan in case of emergencies, including knowing the location of the nearest medical facilities.
18. Stay Informed: Stay updated on any trail closures, restrictions, or safety advisories before starting your trip.
19. Paddle with a Partner: Whenever possible, paddle with a partner to enhance safety and provide assistance if needed.
20. Practice Environmental Stewardship: Respect the natural environment by avoiding damaging vegetation and wildlife habitats.

Conservation Notes

The Mohave Water Trail, located in the Mojave Desert region of the southwestern United States, is a popular recreational waterway that stretches for approximately 76 miles along the Colorado River. In terms of conservation status, the trail is considered to be relatively well-preserved and protected. Efforts have been made to maintain the natural integrity of the area, ensuring the sustainability of the ecosystem and the species that inhabit it.

The conservation status of the Mohave Water Trail is primarily attributed to the collaborative efforts of various organizations and agencies. These entities work together to implement conservation strategies, monitor the health of the river, and protect the surrounding habitats. The trail benefits from the presence of designated wilderness areas, such as the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which contribute to the preservation of the region’s unique flora and fauna.

Conservation initiatives for the Mohave Water Trail focus on minimizing human impact and promoting responsible recreational activities. This includes educating visitors about the importance of preserving the fragile desert ecosystem, adhering to Leave No Trace principles, and practicing sustainable water usage. Additionally, efforts are made to control invasive species and manage the impact of recreational boating to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of the river and its surrounding environment. Overall, the conservation status of the Mohave Water Trail reflects a commitment to preserving the natural beauty and ecological balance of this unique desert waterway.

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