|Havasu National Wildlife Refuge|
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created Havasu NWR to provide migratory waterfowl habitat. The refuge protects 30 river miles - 300 miles of shoreline - from Needles, California, to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The waters of the lower Colorado River flow through Topock Gorge and Topock ...
Lake Mead National Recreation Area
|Description: Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a startling contrast of desert and water, mountains and canyons, primitive backcountry and busy marinas. Lake Mead and Lake Mohave were created by dams on the Colorado River as it flows through one of the hottest, driest regions on earth. America's first national recreation area is a destination for millions of visitors who flock to the desert for water sports and then find other unexpected rewards. The quiet, stark beauty of the Mojave Desert with its dramatic exposed geology and the surprising abundance of specially adapted plant and animals offers a variety of experiences for everyone.|
Here, three of America’s four desert ecosystems—the Mojave, the Great Basin and Sonoran Deserts—meet. Striking and dramatic physical features include deep canyons, dry washes, sheer cliffs, distant mountain ranges, lakes, colorful soils and rock formations, and mosaics of different vegetation.
Wildlife to Watch: Over 55 mammals have been tallied here, but many are nocturnal and difficult to view. Small herds of bighorn sheep can be seen along the ridges and canyons. Other mammals that may be observed include various species of rodents and bats, including Arizona, brush, and pocket mouse.
More than 240 different kinds of birds have been recorded. The creation of Lakes Mead and Mohave made a vast change in the local bird life, attracting many kinds of water and shore birds. Vegetation around the shores became fine feeding grounds for numerous insect-eating birds. Due to the great summer heat, most birds in the region are visitors, coming during the fall, winter, and spring months. Gambel’s quail, rock wren, verdin, and black-tailed gnatcatcher are here year round however, as are a wide range of birds of prey, such as great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, golden eagle, American kestrel, and peregrine falcon, These large bodies of open water attract several species of loons, grebes, mergansers, and other diving ducks during the winter months, although western grebes are often observed throughout the year. Visitors who brave the warmer months may encounter a variety of reptiles and amphibians, including long-nosed leopard lizard, Great Basin collared lizard, desert iguana, common chuckwalla, the small and secretive desert night lizard, gophersnake, long-nosed snake, Mojave rattlesnake, red-spotted toad, Great Plains toad, and Woodhouse’s toad.
Special Tips: Summer temperatures reach 120 degrees F in the shade.
Other Activities: Main hiking areas are: Arizona Hot Springs (6 mile trail); Railroad Hiking Trail (2.6 miles with tunnels); River Mountain Loop Trail (10 miles); Northshore Hikes (5 hikes from .5 to 1.25 miles); Katherine Hikes (3 short hikes); and Grapevine Canyon (1/4 mile hike to petroglyphs, further into canyon for rock dwellings.)
Ownership: National Park Service
Size: 1,495,664 acres
Closest Town: Boulder City, NV
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: