Activities

Filled with natural wonders, Blythe is a premier site for many outdoor recreations. From Golf to jet skiing to fishing on the Colorado River to soaking up the sun on a pleasant day, Blythe is a great place.

There is power boating, canoeing, fishing, hunting and other water sports. There is almost 95 miles of navigable water to use for your enjoyment between the Palo Verde Diversion Dam above Blythe, and Imperial Dam below Yuma. Personal Water Craft rentals are available in town at Dekens Cycle & Marine. The Palo Verde Valley is an indoor and outdoor recreational wonderland. Outdoor activities include boating, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, fishing, canoeing, camping, rock hounding, hiking, archery, hunting, horseback riding, trapping, trap & skeet shooting, dune buggying, and dirt biking.

Fishing

The Colorado River and its backwaters are home to a variety of finny creatures, including crappies, perch, bluegill, striped bass, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, tilapia, carp and various species of catfish, including flatheads, some of which are large enough to cause one great concern as to just exactly where one should grab it to land it! Most of the species are even found in the Valleys, canals and drainage ditches.

Flatheads in excess of 40 pounds been taken on occasion and those in the 10 to 20 pound class are not at all uncommon. Inasmuch as the flathead feeds only on live prey, most anglers use goldfish, carp minnows, small bluegill or waterdogs for bait. Better pack a pretty heavy rig for those babies, and with heavy line.

The ultralite rig will come in handy for bluegill and perch on nightcrawlers, and crappie, caught on nightcrawlers, worms and with small crappie jigs, fished slowly. A small safety pin spinner attached to the jig, retrieved or trolled slowly, is very effective.

The prime location for stripped bass is most likely just below the diversion dam, some 12 miles North of Blythe on Highway 95. Fishing with moderately heavy gear, large lures and both live and cut bait have been used successfully.

Small mouth bass up to 4+ pounds are taken on live crawdads, shinners and artificial lures such as crankbaits, spinnerbait, plastic grubs and worms. Spinning, spincast and baitcasting and rigs one would regularly use for bass fishing will do fine on these superb fighters.

The largemouth bass fishing offered in the area would have to be classed as excellent, with 3 to 6 pounders being caught regularly and quite a few in the 6+ pounds are recorded each year. They are in excellent physical condition and will give you some exciting battles. They are taken on live bait and on just about every conceivable artificial lure invented and by every method from flipping to trolling. Even in the colder weather good catches may be had and during the warmer weather, the topwater bite can be awesome! While a boat is not necessary to catch bass, one is certainly preferable. A boat lets you get to those honey holes not accessible from the shore.

Upon your arrival, check in with the Blythe Chamber office for directions to the many launching and camping facilities available. Then visit to some of the bait and tackle establishments will be most helpful in learning what s going on at that particular time of year.

Remember, the worst day of fishing is better than the best day of working! Oh yes, while we want you to enjoy eating a mess of fish, we also urge you to practice catch and release. It will sort of make you feel good when you turn a few loose! Those 16 years and older must have a fishing license

Fishing License Fees

Resident License

$32.80

Second Rod Stamp

$10.00

Non-Resident

88.20

Sport Salmon Punch Card

1.05

Duplicate

6.55

Steelhead Report Card

5.25

Colorado River Stamp

3.00

Short Term Licenses

Abalone Report Card

15.75

One-Day

10.50

Two-Day

46.55

Non Resident Ten-Day

32.80

Fishing Licenses Available at:

B & B Bait

10380 8 th Avenue

(760) 921-2248

K-Mart

1455 W. Hobsonway

(760) 921-8442

Yellowmart

228 W. Hobsonway

(760) 922-4215

BIRDWATCHERS PARADISE

Two wildlife preserves are located just south of Blythe, California, each bordering the Colorado River and teeming with wildlife and a vast variety of birds, to birdwatchers' delight.

CIBOLA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Location: Cibola can be reached from the California side of the Colorado River, just south of Blythe, or on the Arizona side, south of Quartzsite.

The Cibola National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1964 as mitigation for dam construction on the Colorado River in the 1930's and 1940's. It provides important habitat for migratory birds , wintering waterfowl and resident species . The refuge contains several miles of historic river channels and several backwaters that provide key habitats in a changed environment.

About 240 species of birds use the refuge during the year . Several endangered or threatened species, including the willow flycatcher, brown pelican, peregrine falcon, bald eagle, Yuma clapper rail, bonytail chub and razorback sucker use the refuge. Other resident bird species include Gambel's quail, kestrel, Harris' hawk, roadrunner, phainopepla, and burrowing owl.

Mule deer, coyote, and bobcat are common among the other animals on the refuge. Visitors occasionally spot mountain lion, kit fox, or gray fox, and badger as well. Many species of reptiles and amphibians, including the western diamondback rattlesnake and sidewinder, also call the refuge home.

KOFA NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE

Location: Kofa is located 30 miles east of Blythe in S. Arizona south of Interstate 10 off Arizona Highway 95.

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge is a pristine desert environment home to the unique desert bighorn sheep and the Californa fan palm, the only native palm in Arizona. Kofa Mountain barberry (a rare plant found only in SW Arizona) also occurs on this refuge. Other notable wildlife species found in the area include white-winged dove, desert tortoise and desert kit fox.

Water is always scarce in the desert. Natural water sources are highly variable and may not last until seasonal changes can refresh them. By enlarging natural water holes, shading them to reduce evaporation, and blasting artificial basins in areas previously without a water supply, refuge managers have greatly increased availability to the teeming wildlife making the refuge their home or temporary stop-over. Bighorn sheep have responded to this assistance by producing a larger, healthier herd. Up to 1,000 sheep live here.

Palm Canyon , in the west end of the Kofa Mountains, is well known for its native palms. Though less than 100 in number, this handful of trees plus one or two other groves around the state, are the only places these native palms can be seen. This is a beautiful, although slightly difficult climb, but the reward is well worth the effort!

Rockhounds Paradise

The desert surrounding Blythe and the Palo Verde Valley in which it is located, is called the “Colorado Desert”. All areas are easily accessible with a pickup, and many places can be reached in the family car.

WILEY WELL

Location: 26 miles southwest of Blythe. West on I-10 approximately 17 miles to Wiley Well Road and Rest Area, then south 9 miles on well-maintained road to Wiley Well. This is the most popular collecting area in the Colorado Desert. Areas called Potato Patch, Cinnamon Beds and Hauser Beds are some of the many sites where seam agate, large geodes containing calcite crystals; nodule (deep blue) beds and more are located. Collecting is free and the Bureau of Land Management maintains several excellent campgrounds.

LITTLE CHUCKAWALLA MOUNTAINS

Location: 40 miles west of Blythe and south off Interstate 10 at Desert Center.

Material: Geodes in deep rich blue, lavender, pink and tan, banded with turtleback agate and fortification moss, as well as chalcedony amygdales, rhombs, jaspagate and agate.

Good level desert campsites but no water and limited wood.

RIVER TERRACE AGATE, WOOD & JASPER

Location: 20 miles south of Blythe on State Highway 78.

In times past, the Colorado River cut many channels across the desert. Logs of petrified wood and other gemstone material were swept away from their source in Arizona, Utah and other places to the north. Crushed in their violent journey to the south, many finally ended up as huge piles of rock we call terraces.

Material: Fine quality agate, jasper and petrified wood. Two of these locations are close to Blythe. Both are easily reached in a pickup truck. The Palo Verde Terrace is okay for passenger cars.

PALO VERDE MOUNTAIN FOOTHILLS

Location: 25 miles south of Blythe on State Highway 78.

Material: Geodes, agate, petrified wood, chalcedony roses and mineral specimens. This area is also easy to reach. Just park your vehicle off the road at any of the places available and hike. A good place to start is about 5 ½ miles south of Palo Verde on State Highway 78.

This is a large area and contains many different types of interesting things to collect. Selenite (blades tipped with white) as well as clear pieces can be found in some of the canyons. Clam shells are occasionally found that indicate the area at one time was a lake of inland sea.

MIDWAY WELL

Location: 25 miles south of Blythe, 18 miles south of Palo Verde on the Ben Hulse Highway (State Highway 78). This is a wild and beautiful region in the southeast corner of our desert.

Material: Paleozoic coral, agate, jasper, petrified wood, geodes, nodules, chalcedony, palm root, dumortierite, to name a few. Camping is open desert, no facilities, water or wood.

EARP BADLANDS

Location: 50 miles north of Blythe. Several roads lead into the badlands, and while okay for a trailer, sections crossing washes may require some shovel work to make them passable.

Material: Red, Yellow, Green, and Brown Jasper, Jaspagate, banded agate and chert. Camping is open desert, no facilities, water or wood.

ARLINGTON MINE

Location: Some 30 miles northwest of Blythe. The Arlington Mine has been idle for many years. It is actually a district composed of a number of mining claims which were most active during World Wars I and II. Manganese was the ore mineral. U.S. Gypsum's Midland Plant is located north in the Little Maria Mountains.

Material: botryoidal psilomelane, cabachons.

Camping is open desert, no facilities or water, some wood in the washes.

OPAL HILL MINE

Location: 25 –30 miles south of Blythe.

The Opal Hill Mine is a private claim and the only site in California where high quality fire agate is found. For those who prefer to acquire their fire agate with no exertion whatsoever, nicely finished and polished pieces are sold at the mine for very reasonable prices. Digging fees are subject to change. Bring your own food, water and beverages.

--- Planning A Desert Trip ---

If you are planning a trip into the desert during the months when high temperatures can occur, this is usually June through September, with July and August being the hottest. Consider if this trip at this time of year, is really necessary. The most elaborately planned desert trip could result in your being placed in a survival situation. Desert temperatures can rise in excess of 120 degrees.

Before You Go

  • Always tell someone where you're going and when you expect to return.

Desert Survival

If you don't have it with you, don't expect to find it in the desert. Carry everything you will need to survive until help arrives, should you become lost or stranded.

· Don't leave your vehicle if it becomes disabled.

  • Try to attract attention: greenwood fire, etc.
  • Always carry water for you (5 gallons per day, per person). and your car.
  • Carry a small survival kit with a metal match and steel wool for starting a fire, map, signal mirror, road flares and flare gun, fold up rain coat, medication, sun lotion, fold up hat, gloves.
  • Clothing; long trousers, long sleeved shirt, and shoes.
  • Pack that little shovel and burlap bag.

Stuck In The Sand?

Stop the vehicle immediately, get out and assess the situation – go forward or reverse? Make roadway of brush or burlap bag, slightly deflate tires, slowly rock car back and forward, inching your way out. Someone standing on the rear of the car will help, or jack car up, place rocks under rear tires for better leverage.

SPECIAL NOTE TO HIKERS AND BIKERS

In as much as you are unable to carry a sufficient amount of water to sustain you in a survival situation, you should have positive back up with water, or, limit the range of your activity. Remember, in the early stages of dehydration, mental impairment can occur, often causing disorientation, making survival virtually impossible. It has been shown that a 154 lb. Person carrying a 20 lb. Pack and walking in the sun at 100 degrees, would require 1.3 quarts of water per hour to replace that which is lost due to sweating.

ROAD CLOSURES

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has temporarily restricted motorized vehicle use to specific routes of travel in certain areas of desert tortoise habitat in eastern Riverside and Imperial Counties. Vehicle travel in all BLM wilderness and on military lands is also prohibited.

There is power boating, canoeing, fishing, hunting and other water sports. There is almost 95 miles of navigable water to use for your enjoyment between the Palo Verde Diversion Dam above Blythe, and Imperial Dam below Yuma. Personal Water Craft rentals are available in town at Dekens Cycle & Marine.

The Palo Verde Valley is an indoor and outdoor recreational wonderland. Outdoor activities include boating, water skiing, jet skiing, swimming, fishing, canoeing, camping, rock hounding, hiking, archery, hunting, horseback riding, trapping, trap & skeet shooting, dune buggying, and dirt biking. Blythe's 350 days of sunshine offer year round sporting activities such as tennis, golfing, softball, football, soccer, and volleyball. The City of Blythe's Recreation Department offers indoor racquetball, basketball, aerobic activities, weight room, summer swimming, supervised games for all ages and after school youth activities. They also supervise basketball, soccer, football, track and volleyball leagues. Under different programs are little league baseball, Blythe football league and many different softball leagues.

The City of Blythe operates the Blythe Municipal Golf Course located at the northwest end of the valley. The course is rated 72.4 Men's yardage at blue tees 6866 – Lady's yardage 5684. Men's Par 72 Slope 121 – Lady's Par 73 Slope 110. It features a majestic view of the Palo Verde Valley.

The city maintains 4 public parks including the “Big Foot Skate-board Park” for all skateboarders. This facility is located at Todd Park which is known for its large beautiful shade trees. You'll also find the community center located here. Miller Park on 14 th and Lovekin Blvd. features an RV dumping and water station. This unique facility is available to all that visit the Blythe area at no charge.

Lake Havasu

The abundance of dams along the Colorado River creates a number of large lakes in arid, regions of the Southwest where large, natural bodies of water are nonexistent. These lakes provide unique recreational opportunities and offer an exceptional contrast to the scenic desert landscapes that surround them.

One of the most popular and interesting lakes along the Colorado River is Lake Havasu, well-known for one particular historic point of interest, the London Bridge. The London Bridge is one of the main attractions at Lake Havasu that sets it apart from other desert playgrounds.

More than 2.5 million visitors flock each year to shores of Lake Havasu to enjoy the scenery, the cool waters of the lake and abundant recreational activities. Water sports, hiking, off-road opportunities and cultural and natural history are some of the attractions that draw visitors year round.

Impounded by Parker Dam , 45-mile long Lake Havasu is nestled along the foot of California's Chemehuevi Mountains near Interstate 40.. The Lake is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) which oversees nearly 1.4 million acres of public lands in both the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts along the Colorado River, Lake Havasu and the Arizona uplands to the east.

This area is best known for the boating , fishing and sightseeing on Lake Havasu. The backcountry surrounding the Lake is virtually undiscovered by the many tourists and outdoor enthusiasts who venture to the Lake. The backcountry offers miles of quiet, seldom-visited lands including 6 wilderness areas, historic mines, abandoned town sites, unique wildlife, interesting geology and numerous trails and roads for adventurers who like to explore.

The diverse landscape ranges from sand dunes and rugged canyons to mountains and basins. Adding to the textures and shapes of the region are the diverse flora and fauna. Towering Saguaro Cactus stand like statues along the hillsides, along with Ocotillo, barrel and prickly pear cactus. Bighorn Sheep, Coyotes, reptiles, over 200 species of birds and wildlife can be viewed throughout the region. The Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge is located at the south end of the lake and is an excellent location for wildlife watching.

London Bridge

Lake Havasu City is located on the Arizona shoreline of Lake Havasu where the world-famous London Bridge crosses over to a small island in the Colorado River. Lake Havasu City was established after the Parker Dam was constructed and the lake formed.

The city offers a multitude of fun activities and recreational facilities. Golfers of all levels can enjoy the four golf courses, and for those who prefer smaller courses there is a miniature golf course. Tennis courts, an ice skating rink and a movie theater are also conveniently located within the city limits.

The focal point of Lake Havasu is the towering walls and archways of the London Bridge that has stood in the waters of the Colorado River for more than 25 years. The Bridge serves as the backdrop to the English Village that has grown up around it. The village is filled with Tudor-style buildings and charming shops creating an atmosphere of Medieval England. Many visitors are surprised when they learn this is the original London Bridge and not a gimmick.

For more than 140 years, London Bridge served as a crossing over the River Thames in London, England. It survived both world wars and a terrorist attack in 1884. So why did London want to remove such a significant landmark? And how did the London Bridge end up in Lake Havasu City, Arizona?

The London Bridge had survived many historic events, but not nature's sinking forces. The Bridge began to sink into the River Thames and in 1968, the city of London decided to sell it for 2.5 million dollars to Robert P. McCulloch, founder of Lake Havasu City.

It took 3 years and another 7 million dollars to dismantle, ship and rebuild the bridge. Today, the London Bridge connects Lake Havasu City with an island in the lake. Its massive body of stone brings the essence of England to Arizona.

Things to Do at Lake Havasu

Similar to Lakes Powell and Mohave, visitors seek Havasu's cool, clear waters well-known for various water sports including fishing, water skiing, speed boating, jet skiing, sailing and canoeing.

Free public fishing access is available and continues to be developed at the Lake by the Lake Havasu Fisheries Improvement Program. The program is also funding the creation of artificial habitat to increase the game fish population.

Lake Havasu's deep water, fringed with coves and inlets, provides ideal fishing conditions for black and striped bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and trout. Lineside bass can be found in schools around the Parker Strip. Some of the best fishing is toward the south end of the Lake in the Bill Williams Arm.

Boating, skiing, swimming and other water sports are the dominant activities on the Lake. You will find just about every type of water-based recreation including many organized events like music festivals, international jet ski competitions and auto shows.

If you don't have your own water toys, you can rent them. There are a number of facilities that rent boats , skidoos and other equipment. If you just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, you can try one of the many water- and land-based tours. The boat tours take you into remote canyons and historic sites where ancient peoples once lived. Guided land tours will take you on an exploration into lands where the pioneers once tread, while you learn about the geology, flora and fauna of the region.

Another great way to explore the Lake Havasu area is by car or off-highway vehicle ( OHV ). If you are in a car take the Parker Dam Road "Thread of Life," a backcountry byway that highlights the scenic, natural, historic and prehistoric features along an 11-mile road. The road passes along the California shore of the Colorado River providing access to an abundance of recreation activities, including camping, swimming, boating, fishing, rock hounding, hiking, OHV play areas and wildlife viewing.

This scenic byway begins at Parker Dam and travels along Parker Dam Road south to the boundary of the Colorado River Indian Reservation.

If you like four-wheeling, ATV-riding, dune buggy driving or riding a motorcycle, the BLM can accommodate your OHV recreational needs. The Lake Havasu BLM territory includes hundreds of miles of roads and trails and two open areas. See the Notes at the end of this page for more information on these locations.

Lake Havasu and the surrounding region is a recreational paradise offering abundant opportunities to explore, learn and relax. However you choose to spend your time at Lake Havasu, you will find the enchanting atmosphere and year-round sunshine fulfilling as well as memorable.

Notes

Lake Havasu BLM Field Office: The Lake Havasu BLM Field Office is located south of the intersection of Highway 95 and Acoma Blvd. South at 2610 Sweetwater Ave. Office hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding Federal holidays.

Fishing: Current fishing access sites include Take-off Point, Havasu Springs, Site Six and Mesquite Cove. These sites all include parking, restrooms and universally-accessible fishing docks.

OHV Information: The two OHV open areas located within the Lake Havasu BLM Field Office territory are Copper Basin Dunes (1,275 acres ) and Crossroads (1,500 acres). These areas have no travel restrictions , which means that vehicles can go off the roads and trails.

Both locations are on the California side of the Lake between Parker Dam and the Colorado River Indian Tribes Reservation. There are OHV staging areas at each site complete with parking, restrooms and unloading ramps.

Stop at the BLM office on your way out of town for an access guide and maps of the Lake Havasu area. OHV riders must stay on existing roads and trails with the exception of the two open areas mentioned above.

 

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