(nr Parker Dam AZ)
The Visitor Center for Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge is not visible from the highway. It is easy to miss; which I did before finally getting there. The small building had ample displays providing info about the refuge and a helpful ranger made good suggestions about what to do.
I started with the Delta Loop trail, which went along the shore toward the river, and had spots marked to match a handout describing the plants or features. Along the way was a pond, a shell beach, a hillside with cacti, and a high viewpoint overlooking the delta.
To the west was the southern end of Lake Havasu with the Whipple Mountains and Wilderness beyond. Eastward was the Bill Williams River basin stretching for ten miles. I moved Tardis to a scenic pullout across from the entry to Planet Ranch Rd, which parallels the river, and was suitable for high clearance vehicles only. Or, so I was told.
I walked in, on the gravel road, for 1 1/2 miles and passed only two spots that were a bit rough. Tardis probably could have made it. The walk up and down the hills did me good and wasn’t difficult. There were several draws along the side, heading into the mountains, that looked like good hiking possibilities. The goal was to see a small slot canyon just off the road.
The slot was very short and soon opened onto a pretty clearing once through it. Red rock formations, saguaro, cholla, and palo verde trees made for some beautiful photos. The shade in the canyon was a nice respite from the warm sun too. It was worth the hike. The road continues to a parking area, with trails extending into the refuge.
Most dump stations in the area were charging $15, and fresh water costing an additional $10. La Paz Campground provided the dump and a primo spot backed up to the Colorado River for $16. I was warned not to get water there though. Since I still had 35 gallons on board that was OK.
Camp: La Paz County Park Campground
Scene: Mountain, lake, slot canyon