Cattail Cove State Park

Fun times are hard to find nowadays, what with the economy in shambles and families struggling to make it from paycheck to paycheck. Regardless, everyone needs a moment of fun now and again, which is why if you love the outdoors, you really need to check out the Cattail Cove State Park in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Located about 19 miles from the center of Lake Havasu City, the 2,000-acre park offers a wide range of activities that will appeal to any family member. They have swimming for the teens, ranger activities for kids, and fishing & hunting for adults. It’s a paradise under the stars designed to give families a chance to get away from the city life and find some true tranquility.

In particular, it’s a simple but charming compound for people seeking scenic beauty coupled with a relaxed atmosphere. Like I said, it’s simple, which means you’re not going to be overloaded with amenities. This isn’t that type of park. It’s for true outdoor enthusiasts who want to hike, camp out under the stars, and fish for bass, catfish, or strippers. There are also plenty of animals to watch out for, like ducks, loons, pheasants, and even bobcats.

There are a total of 61 camping sites and 28 boat-in camping sites. Also included is a Ranger Station with a gift shop full of souvenirs, a Visitor Center, a swimming area, a large marine, and plenty of picnic tables for enjoying a fresh meal. As I said earlier, amenities aren’t big at Cattail Cove State Park. But that doesn’t mean you get nothing. It’s anything but that. In addition to picnic tables, you also get access to huge fire pits for grilling fish, luxurious parking spaces that will accommodate any RV, quality showers and bathrooms, and of course shaded trees for taking a comfortable nap.

While at the park, visitors are encouraged to explore the premises, and also venture beyond to other nearby locations. Right next door, for instance, is the Sandpoint Marina, where you can rent a boat, purchase supplies at a bait and tackle shop, or even dine at a fine restaurant—in case you get tired of eating fish (it happens!). There’s also the 930-foot long London bridge, the Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge, the Parker Damn, and of course the Grand Canyon.

Another great aspect to Cattail Cove State Park is that it’s extremely kid friendly. Children between the ages of 6 and 12 can sign up to become an official Junior Ranger tasked with helping to preserve the park’s natural beauty. To get sworn in, each child must first obtain a Junior Ranger booklet and then complete all of the activities. If they do everything correctly, they’ll earn a radical Junior Ranger Button!

The best part about the park is that it’s very inexpensive. They charge anywhere between just $2 to $20 for day use, up to $35 for camping, and no more than $50 to rent a cabin, which is cheaper than any hotel in the entire United States. But it’s likely that once you visit, you’ll want to come back for more (as will your children, which is why you might want to purchase some earplugs!), so consider getting an annual pass, which costs as little as $75 up to $200.

Note that the park is open all year long. However, the very best day to come out is on February 20th, when they host the Geo-Cache Bash. It’s an annual treasure hunt that’ll tickle kids and adults alike. It’s a fun activity where families use GPS devices (provided by staff) to track down fun treasure. I especially recommend families with mobile-phone-addicted teens stop by for this. Teens may not be too keen on fishing and sleeping under the stars, but I bet they’ll get a real kick out of using a handheld GPS device1

Anyway. If you’re interested in learning more about Cattail Cove State Park, feel free to log into their website at http://www.azstateparks.com/Parks/CACO/index.html. Better yet, give them a ring at 928-588-1223. These are truly some of the nicest, down-to-Earth people I’ve ever encountered. And they aren’t just interested in earning a paycheck; they’re interested in making sure you have the time of your life! I guarantee it.