Crazy Horse Campground Campground, RV Park in Lake Havasu City Fri, 10 Mar 2023 22:30:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Crazy Horse Campground 32 32 193920346 High Flying Fun Sun, 12 Mar 2023 21:35:04 +0000 Lake Havasu City on the banks of picturesque Lake Havasu is a destination for snow birds who prefer mild winter days under the Arizona sun. And it is also a destination for people who enjoy water sports, craft beer, a diverse array of events, desert exploration, hiking, mountain biking, and exciting night life.

And the premier destination for Lake Havasu City visitors is Crazy Horse Campgrounds. Located on the Island just across the London Bridge the multi-layered park offers rustic as well as modern amenities. Our campground offers lake access and beach front sites, boat or jet ski rentals, and everything needed to ensure a pleasant, memory making stay.

Sun, sand, and fun are what most often comes to mind when Lake Havasu City is mentioned. But did you know that the “island” is a tangible link to WWII history and to Mohave County’s rich aviation history?

The first airfield in Kingman, Arizona was established in 1918. That field was used as a base for the first aerial survey of the Grand Canyon.

In 1927, Western Air Express, the first company to offer passenger service in the southwest, opened a terminal and airfield in Kingman. Two years later Transcontinental Air Transport, a pioneer in providing coast to coast passenger service, opened in KIngman. Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart attended the ribbon cutting.

In mid 1942 the United States Army Air Corps established Kingman Army Airfield in Kingman. The base was a training center for navigators as well as gun crews assigned to the heavy B-17 and B-24 bombers.

The sprawling base was the hub at the center of a network of auxilliary and emergency airfields. Most of these facilities were Spartan with few amenities. Others such as the one established at Yucca included barracks, a paved landing stip, control tower, and related infrastructure.

Site Six, the island at Lake Havasu City, initially served as simple auxilliary field for emergency landings. But as it was located on the lake it evolved into a rest and recreation center for area personnel. Then, as now, it was an oasis.

A new chapter in the county’s aviation history kicks on on April 1, 2023 with the first annual Laughlin Bullhead Air Show at the Laughlin Bullhead International Airport in Bullhead City. From Lake Havasu City this is a mere 75 scenic mile drive along the Colorado River.

This exciting aviation extravaganza will celebrate the country’s aviation heritage and history. This fun, family-friendly event will feature displays from some of the most famous performers in the air show industry.

Also on the schedule are military demonstrations, vintage warbird fly overs, and civilian aerobatic displays. The free event also includes a diverse array of static ground exhibits.

Lake Havasu City is one of Arizona’s premiere destination cities for a reason. And Crazy Horse Campgrounds is a favored destination for Lake Havasu City visitors.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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Spring Is Here! Mon, 06 Feb 2023 23:40:40 +0000 Spring is here, or at least it will be in a week or so. In Lake Havsu City, Arizona on the shores of picturesque Lake Havasu winter is short. And even on the worst day of winter in this desert oasis the weather is usually better than it is on an early summer day in Minnesota!

If you need a break from winter and streets lined with dirty grey snow that never seems to melt, or an escape from the pressures of life, perhaps it is time to make plans for a stay at Crazy Horse Campground. We are Lake Havasu’s oldest RV Park and campground, and most every site in our complex provides you with stunning views. As a bonus we offer guests access to the lake, and boat or jet ski rentals are nearby.

And during the first months of our early spring, the calendar is filled with a diverse array of events in Lake Havasu City and the surrounding region. As an example, on February 11, the historic El Garces railroad depot and hotel complex on the grassy plaza in Needles, Califronia, 45 miles to the west, is the site of the annual Route 66 Info Fair.

Regional car clubs use the event as an excuse for a Saturday cruise. There will also be live music, food vendors, tours of the El Garces, and booths manned by Route 66 experts to assist with planning a trip on that iconic highway. There will also be an array of presentations by acclaimed authros, historians, and humorists.

The following day, February 12, at the Lake Havasu Museum of History, it is the Car Cruise for History event. For the fan of hot rods, classic cars and vintage trucks, that is staying at Crazy Horse Campground, this is a perfect way to wrap up a weekend that includes a bit of a cruise on Route 66 and two car shows.

Most every weekend in Lake Havasu City there are a staggering array of events taking place. The city’s tourism office keeps the calendar of events update and so this is a great place to begin planning for a fun filled weekend.

As an example just look at the last weekends in February. The two day, 15th annual Lake Havasu City Rockabilly Reunion is the largest event of its kind in the southwest. This is also the weekend for 34th annual Western Winter Blast Pyrotechnic Show. And Grace Arts Live is presenting Newsies, the Broadway musical.

Lake Havasu City is at the heart of a diverse array of attractions, events, and opportunites for adventure. Petroglyphs and sites associated with a WWII Army Air Corps training base. Air shows and ghost towns. A cavern where you can dine above or below ground. An award winning distillery and microbreweries, wineries and territorial era saloons. Or simply relax and watch a stunning Arizona sunrise.

Crazy Horase Campground is more than a place to pitch a tent or set up an RV. It is an oasis, a delightful escape from the ordinary.

Writen by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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Let The Good Times Roll Sat, 07 Jan 2023 18:17:23 +0000 If you are currently staring out the window and dreading the thought of shoveling snow to get the car of the garage, perhaps it is time to begin making plans. Once you get the car or truck out of the garage, just keep going. Head south until you find sunny days, a desert oasis on picturesque Lake Havasu, and a very special home away from home for the winter refugee – Crazy Horse Campgrounds in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

We are Lake Havasu’s oldest RV Park and campground. We offer lake access, beach front sites, boat and jet ski rentals, tent camper and RVer amenities, and even park models that include a microwave and refrigerator. As a bonus, in January the average temperature is 66 degrees.

As might be expected, event organizers capitalize on this delightful winter weather. And that means there are a diverse array of activities to ensure a fun filled, memory making winter holiday in Lake Havasu City. This is only a partial list of events scheduled for January!

27th Annual Festival of Lights

Southwest Kayaks Fishing Open
07:00 AM-03:00 PM

Polar Bear Day
12:00 PM-02:00 PM

Ice Skating at the London Bridge
04:00 PM-11:00 PM

Back on their BS Comedy Tour
06:30 PM-08:00 PM

26th Annual Buses by the Bridge
10:00 AM-10:00 PM

American Bass Association Tournament
06:00 AM-03:00 PM

6th Annual Havasu Balloon Festival Golf Tournament
07:00 AM-02:00 PM

Lake Havasu Farmers Market
08:00 AM-12:00 PM

Havasu 95 Speedway Race
02:00 PM-06:00 PM

12th Annual Havasu Balloon Festival & Fair
12:00 PM-10:30 PM

London Bridge Model Boat Club 20th Annual RC Boat Race
08:00 AM-05:00 PM

Grand Canyon Pro Rodeo Association & Little Delbert Days
10:00 AM-04:00 PM

With Lake Havasu City as your base camp, the day trip opportunities are only limited by the imagination. Nearly 160 miles of picturesque Route 66 is a portal to an array of attractions including a former mining boom town where the romanticism of the Wild West is kept alive, the world’s only electric vehicle museum, an award winning distillery that specializes in agave rum, the natural wonders at Grand Canyon Caverns, and with a short detour, the awe inspiring beauty of the skywalk at Grand Canyon West.

The Coloraod River Valley is full of diverse attractions. The resort at Tock is a perfect lunch stop, especially for people planning to explore Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, the last major riparian are on the river.

On the west side of the river is the old railroad town of Needles. The historic El Garces, a Harvey House and depot on Route 66 is open for tours, and the city’s fascinating museum is just across the plaza. On Saturday, February 11, the El Garces will be the focal point for the Route 66 Info Fair, an event that will include live music and a car show.

And if you miss the snow, Hualapai Mountain Park is just 75 miles away. Haulapai Mountain Lodge in this pine forested oasis serves superb dinners with stunning views of the snow covered peaks.

This winter toss the snow shovel. This winter get a tan and make memories in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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More Than An Oasis Thu, 08 Dec 2022 18:52:02 +0000 Located on the picturesque banks of Lake Havasu, Crazy Horse Campground is more than Lake Havasu City’s oldest RV Park and campground. Located on the island the campground is conveniently located close to shopping, dining and recreational venues including acclaimed golf courses.

As the campground offers lake access as well as beach front sites, it is ideally suited for boating adventures on the Colorado River. And we also offer sites for RVers’ or tent campers as well as deluxe park models complete with microwave and refrigerator.

But what makes Carzy Horse Campground in Lake Havasu City an ideal winter oasis is the diverse array of day trip and adventure opportunities on your doorstep. Less than fifty miles away, via Route 66, Topock and the beautiful Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, is the fascinating old railroad town of Needles, California.

In the historic heart of Needles is the El Garces, an historic depot, hotel and Harvey House. After decades of abandonment this architectural treasure is being given a new lease on life.

The chamber of commerce will soon be relocating its offices to the renovated building. The former dining room is now being rented for special occassions such as wedding receptions, and a conference center has been added. On February 11, 2023 this will be the site of the Route 66 Info Fair Conference.

The historic railroad complex is named for Father Francisco Garces, a Franciscan missionary that traveled through the Colorado River Valley with the DeAnza expedition in 1776. Garces was the first European to follow the Native American trade route across northwestern Arizona that later became the course of the railroad, National Old Trails Road and Route 66.

In 1883 one of the first buildings erected in Needles was the Southern Pacific Railroad depot. It was a simple, single story building of wood frame construction. It was a spartan building that was designed for utility rather to provide a service for passengers. After the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad line bought the depot was transformed into a two story hotel and depot complex. In 1898 a Harvey House dining room was added.

This depot was destroyed by fire on September 6, 1906. Its replacement, the El Garces built at a cost of $250,000, mirrored the city’s prominence and progressive vision.

It opened in 1908 as one of California’s first modern “combination depots” that included a hotel, Harvey House dining room, and railroad offices. It was also one of the first concrete depots built by the Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.

The stylish complex was designed by architect Francis Wilson. He chose a Classic Revival style that stood in contrast to the Spanish Revival and Mission style depots built in the southwest. In May 1908, Santa Fe Magazine publshed an article about the pride of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad.

El Garces, the new Santa Fe hotel at Needles, was opened for business on April 3. It was erected at a cost of almost a quarter of a million dollars and is one of the finest station hotels on the Santa Fe. It is constructed of reinforced concrete and is 518 feet long and two stories high, the architecture being colonial. It will be managed by Mr. Riley, who will have almost 150 employees to help him. Mr. Riley is one of the youngest and most popular of the Harvey hotel managers and is fully capable of doing El Garces justice.

During World War II, the El Garces boomed as Needles was a stop for troop trains crossing the country. And the soda fountain proved to be very popular, especially during the months of summer with its searing heart, for troops being trained in the desert for the invasion of North Africa.

In 1949 the hotel closed. In 1961, the Santa Fe Railroad demolished the east wing. The rest of the building was gutted and remodeled as offices and crew quarters for the railroad.

Tours of the El Garces are offered through the historic society. Inquire at the museum across the shaded plaza.

A day trip to Needles is but one example of the adventures that await guests at Crazy Horse Campgrounds. And it is an example of why we are the best winter oasis you can find. This year escape the snow and ice, and come discover an adventurers paradise.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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A Touch of Paradise Mon, 21 Nov 2022 18:56:08 +0000 Buffalo, New York is cleaning up from a storm that has dumped six feet of snow. The forecast for Thanksgiving morning calls for temperatures hovering around ten degrees. In Minneapolis it doesn’t look like high temperatures will exceed the mid 30s for the foreseeable future. And in Lake Havasu City, Arizona on the Colorado River, the temperature will be a nice pleasant 75 degees over the Thanksgiving weekend.

So, for refugees from the snowy north, Lake Havasu City is a touch of paradise. And Crazy Horse Campground is their home away from home as they bask on the beach.

As our website says, “Lake Havasu’s oldest RV Park and campground is located on the Island just across the London Bridge. Winter guests taking a reprieve from the cold enjoy the park’s close proximity to shopping, restaurants, golf and everything that Lake Havasu has to offer. The campground offers lake access, beach front sites, boat and jet ski rentals and so much more. Crazy Horse has tent camper and RVer amenities alike to make for a comfortable stay. Park models include in-room coffee, microwave and refrigerator for your convenience.”

But there is another reason to consider Crazy Horse Campground as an ideal place to wait for spring. Lake Havasu City is at the heart of a wonderland of diverse attractions and holiday events.

Take a look at the calendar of events held in Lake Havasu City during the months of winter. Golf tournaments, craft fairs, the festival of lights, and concerts hint of the diversity that make the city a destination.

Kingman Main Street in Kingman, Arizona, a mere sixty mile drive, recently unveiled phase one of an innovative narrated self guided walking tour in the historic business district. The tour that begins at the railraod depot built in 1907 includes historic sites as well as public art displays, and is an excellent way to discover the charm of Beale Street with its eclectic array of shops and restaurants, micro breweries, and wine bar.

For a tour personalized to your interests, internationally acclaimed author and historian Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America offers his services as a guide in the historic business district and along the Route 66 corridor. He also will provide similar services with narration at nearby historic sites such as Beale Springs.

Have a vintage car? Bring it along! You won’t have to worry about snow or salt on the road, and can enjoy your ride all winter. You can even drive along more than 160 picturesque miles of iconic Route 66. And, of course, there are a number of regional car shows such as at the Route 66 Info Fair in nearby Needles, California scheduled for February 11, 2023.

So, why are you shoveling snow, shivering as you wait for the car to warm up, or slipping on the ice? Pack up and head for the corner of paradise that is Crazy Horse Campground in sunny Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

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Let The Good Times Roll Wed, 05 Oct 2022 23:32:00 +0000 If you are a fan of classic cars, trucks, hotrods and things with wheels you might want to give thought to setting up camp at Crazy Horse Campgrounds. Located on the shore of picturesque Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu City, Arizona’s oldest RV Park and campground with beach front sites is ideally located to enjoy three back to back car shows, a couple of family friendly festivals, and a cruise on iconic Route 66.

In Kingman, Arizona, on the weekend of October 14 and 15, it’s the second annual Kingman Route 66 Fest. This celebration of legendary Route 66 will take place in Lewis Kingman Park, a grassy desert oasis that was once a rest stop on Route 66.

The schedule of events includes live bands, regional craft beers in a beer garden under the trees, and food and craft vendors. Also on tap is a motorcycle show, a classic car show, a vintage trailer show, and a zipline along Route 66. More information is available on the Kingman tourism website.

Just a few miles away, on the afternoon and evening of Saturday the 15th, Chillin’ on Beale just one block off Route 66 in the historic heart of the city fills the street with alll manner of cars, trucks, motorcycles, and even custom bicycles. If it has wheels you will see it at this fun event.

As a bonus the vibrant Beale Street corridor is lined with an array of eclectic shops, restaurants, art galleries with special exhibits, award winning microbreweries and a wine bar with live music. And discovering Kingman’s rich and colorful history, and surprising Hollywood connection, is as easy as taking the self gudied narrated hsitoric district walking tour that starts at the railroad depot built in 1907.

Following highway 95 and I40, Kingman is just sixty miles east of Lake Havasu City. And if you choose to cruise Route 66 through the old mining of Oatman and the awe inspiring beauty of the Black Mountains, the drive is only eighty-five miles.

The following week it’s the 44th Annual Relics & Rods Run to the Sun on Bridgewater Links at London Bridge Resort in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. One of the largest car shows in the Southwest kicks off on Thursday evening with the Relics & Rods “Cruise Night” on Main Street.

On Friday and Saturday, from from 8am-4pm, the “show and shine” transforms the Bridgewater Links Golf Course into a display of more than a century of automotive history. There will also be a large array with vendors, and on Friday afternoon a dinner and dance at the London Bridge Resort Convention Center is scheduled.

So, let the good times roll. Set your sights on wonderful, dynamic, exciting Lake Havasu City (and Route 66). Come for the week, stay a month as Lake Havasu City is at the heart of an adventruers paradise. And while you are making memories on Arizona’s west coast, make Crazy Horse Campground your home way from home .

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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Unleash The Adventurer Mon, 19 Sep 2022 19:41:02 +0000 Crazy Horse Campground is not just Lake Havasu City’s oldest RV Park and campground. It is a desert oasis on the banks of Lake Havasu. It is a refuge for anyone seeking an escape from months of snow and ice. And it is also at the heart of a dynamic and vibrant city surrounded by an adventurers paradise.

We have lake access and beach front sites. Boat and jet ski rentals are nearby. And in addition to tent camper and RV sites, and a fully stocked store, we also offer Park model cabins with a microwave and refrigerator for your convenience.

If spending the winter honing your golf game is a paradise, well we should be a destination for youor winter escape. There are several award winning golf courses in Lake Havasu City including the west course at Lake Havsu Golf Club, Bridgewater links at the London Bridge Queens Bay course, nd he Refuge Golf and Country Club.

It is only forty-five miles to historic Needles, California on iconic Route 66. And that city is home to Rivers Edge Golf Course.

A mere 65 scenic miles away is Bullhead City, and the excitement of Laughlin, Nevada with its row of casinos along river. Challenging course abound including Chaparral Golf & Country Club, Laughlin Ranch Golf Club, Huukan Golf Club, Mohave Resort Golf Club, Willow Springs Golf Course, and El Rio Golf Club.

Kingman is just sixty miles to the east, 95 miles if you prefer to follow historic Route 66 through the picturesque ghost town of Oatmen, and through the stunning Sitgreave Pass in the Black Mountains. Here is found Cerbat Cliffs Golf Course, the oldest course in Mohave County, nestled among towering buttes and mesas.

And 15 miles east of Kingman, just off Route 66, is Valle Vista Country Club and Golf Course. Located at the heart of Kingman’s wine country in the Hualapai Valley, this award winning course offers panoramic views from every hole.

And after a challenging 18 holes, before heading to your temporary home in paradise on the Colorado River, stop at the Desert Diamond Distillery in the Kingman Airport and industrial park. Take a tour of this internationally acclaimed distillery, try a sample of their award winning agave rum or cask aged whiskey, and stock up your bar.

There is so much to do, to see and to experience in Lake Havasu City, and the surorunding area, it is easy to fill every day of a fall, winter and spring getaway. There are car shows and festivals, golf tournaments, casino entertainment, hundreds of miles of dusty roads for back country exploration, and more than 160 miles of iconic Route 66. As a bonus the weather is picture perfect.

So, what are you waiting for? Make plans today, and set your sights on Crazy Horse campground in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Make this a memory making winter and unleash the inner adventurer.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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Beneath The Surface Mon, 08 Aug 2022 16:55:00 +0000 Imagine ending a day of boating, water skiing or enjoying Lake Havasu on a jet ski with a cold beverage in hand as the sun seems to explode in vivid Technicolor splendor on the western horizon. Such is life at Crazy Horse Campgrounds on picturesque Havasu Cove in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

This is one of those special places where the cares and worries of the world seem to melt away as the sun sinks in the west. This a desert oasis where you can just relax and give thought to adventure, to day trips, and to the beautiful lake. And you might also give thought to what is hidden just beneath the surface besides beer cans and bottles, and a lost ring, phone, or outboard motor or two. .

Lake Havasu is a relatively recent chapter in a long and acient history. The lake was created with completion of Parker Dam in 1938. The reservoir with nearly 450 miles of shoreline was filled to capacity in the early 1940s.

Before there was a dam or lake, the river was a vital artery of commerce in the desert southwest much as is I40 today. Before that the river banks were the home of the Chemehuevi people. Traces and vestiges of villages now rest below the lakes water. There is even the site of a ghost town, Liverpool Landing, a steamboat landing and supply point in the mid 19th century.

On January 2, 1960 a WWII era North American AT-6C single engine fighter plane crashed in the lake killing the two people aboard. Both bodies were recovered. In 2014 the Lake Havasu City Convention & Visitors Bureau offered $1,000 to anyone who could find the wreckage of that plane or another wreck from 1943. Scuba divers have explored the lake for decades and the wreckage of the planes have proved elusive.

In the 1970s near Skier’s Cove a party boat named Millers Folley sank. The circumstances of the sinking are shrouded in myth and urban legend. As it rests in 25-feet of water, the site is well documented, it is a popular site for divers of all skill levels. There are at least two dozen boats of varying sizes at the bottom of the lake, including two sailboats that went down in well documented accidents near Site 5.

Members of Lake Havasu Divers Association tell stories of discoveries that range from cell phones and cameras to diamond necklaces and rings, Rolex watches, and designer sunglasses. And seldom is there a weekend at the local dive shops that there isn’t an inquiry about the availability of a diver to search for something lost in the lake.

And now you have another reason to stay at Crazy Horse Campground on the island. We are conveniently located near a diverse array of restaurants, microbreweries, a golf course, dive shop and jet ski or boat rental.

And we have lake access as well as beach front RV and camp sites. For those who want to rough it with the comforts of home, we also rent cabins.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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It’s A Dry Heat Fri, 15 Jul 2022 22:06:00 +0000 Lake Havasu City and the Colorado River Valley are well known for summer heat that some people might call excessive. But, as locals say, it is a dry heat. And the response to that comment by snow birds heading north come June is that so is the oven.

Don’t let summer heat deter you from enjoying a delightful weekend or vacation at Crazy Horse Campground on the island in Lake Havasu City. We have RV spaces, campsites and cabins as well as trailer rentals, a fully stocked general store, laundromat, rec room, swimming pool and BOAT LAUNCH.

Beautiful and scenic 45-mile long Lake Havasu Lake Havasu is rate as one of Arizona’s top ten attractions. It is estimated that more than 2,500,000 sun loving people flock to the lake every year. And with more than 450 miles of shorline that includes shaded picturesque canyons and secluded coves there is endless opportunity for aquatic adventutre.

If you prefer to blend your time on the lake with a litle air conditioned fun, well that can be added to your holiday plans. On the opposite of the lake is Havasul Lake Resort & Casino.

Also located on the island are several boat and jet ski rental companies. And the world famous London Bridge and charming English Village with an ecclectic array of restaurants and pubs are less than two miles away.

And what better way to stay cool than with a tall craft beer, good food and lively conversation with friends as the sun sinks in the west? The acclaimed and award winning Mudshark Brewery and Public House, Arizona’s number one solar powered brewery, is less than four miles away.

Counted among the many surprises for the first time visitor is the short day trips to places such as the pine forested oasis of Hualapai Mountain Park. This mountain top retreat with lodge that offers fine dining, motel, and miles of shade dappled trails is just 75 miles away.

Add another sixty miles and you can visit Grand Canyon Caverns. This iconic roadside attraction along Route 66 is a perfect beat the heat day trip. Inside the caverns the temperature is 58 degrees year round, and you can dine above or below ground. And as the old caverns resort sits at an elevation of 5,500 feet, you are assured temperatures twenty or even thirty degrees cooler than Lake Havasu City.

Discovered in 1927, the caverns mirrors the evolution of Route 66. In the 1950s it was the second most visited attraction in the state of Arizona. Within one year of Route 66 being bypassed in 1978, business dropped by 75%. Within a decde the property was a forlorn relic. And then with the Route 66 renaissance the caverns complex was transformed in a gem, a tangible link to the era of I Like Ike buttons, tail fins and road trips in the family station wagon.

Lake Havasu City is a vacation destination in any season. But during the months of summer the town has an infectious vibrancy.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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In Search of Sat, 04 Jun 2022 00:28:00 +0000 People who enjoy the RV life are often possessed of an adventuresome spirit. And that is one reason why Crazy Horse Campground on the lake in Lake Havasu City, Arizona is so popular. This full service campground with deluxe cabin rentals, fully stocked general store, RV spaces and tent sites is located at the heart of an adventurers paradise.

Recrational opportunites on the water are only limited by the imagination. But if you want adventures that will last a life time, perhaps the search for plane wrecks, train wrecks, or forgotten cemeteries in the picturesque deserts that embrace Lake Havasu City will be your inspiration.

During WWII the Kingman Army Airfield in Kingman, Arizona was one of the largest flexible gunnery schools in the county. The airfield was also a school for navigators, and auxilliary fields were constructed throughout Mohave County. One of these was Site Six, now the island in Lake Havasu City.

After the war the air base was transformed into a vast storage depot. New planes were flown direct from the factory and mothballed in the desert. But so were badly damaged warbirds. Scattered throughout the desert are wrecks and remnants, silent memorials to tragedy.

One of these wrecks is a B-25, number J s/n 44-31401, that crashed approximately 25 miles south-soutwest of Yucca, Arizona on August 11, 1945. The plane crashed and burned, so after the crash site was investigated by the US Army Air Corp the remnants scattered across the rugged desert were largely forgotten until they were rediscovered by Aviation Archeology in the 1990s.

East of Lake Havasu City, the Franconia Road exit on I40 is a portal to some fascinating historic sites. Follow the graded gravel road to the south, and under the 1920s railroad trestle to follow in the tracks of Edsel Ford. This is the National Old Trails Road, predecessor to Route 66, that Edsel followed in the summer of 1915.

Follow the road north, and then through the deep sand along the railroad tracks to the forgotten site of Franconia. Located here was a siding, depot, railroad construction camp and mining supply center that is today maked by concrete slabs, and a forlorn cemetery. It was here on August 22, 1945 that, resultant of a signal error, a westbound passenger train was struck by an express train.

About two miles west of the siding, just after 5:00 in the morning on November 20, 1901, Santa Fe Flyer Number 3 collided head on with Santa Fe Flyer Number 4. It was a horrendous collision. At the time it was also the worst accident in Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad history. A weathered and forlorn marker stands in mute testimony at the site today.

When exploring remote sites in the desert there are important rules to keep in mind. Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints or tire tracks. In the months of summer plan your adventures for the cool hours of morning about sunrise.

Always carry water. If you don’t need it there is a chance someone that you meet along the way does, and water can be a literal matter of life and death. Be sure your vehicle is in good repair. Last but not least, let someone know where you are going and when plan to return, sort of like filing a flight plan.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America

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