If you enjoy boating, camping and the RV life, chance are that you have heard of the desert oasis that is Lake Havasu City, Arizona. And there is a very good possibility that you have heard of Crazy Horse Campground, the city’s oldest RV park and campground located right on scenic Lake Havasu.
But did you know that the most famous highway in America, the Main Street of America is located just a few miles away. And did you know that the longest uninterrupted segment of Route 66 stretches from the Colorado River at Topock to the historic Partridge Creek bridge near Ash Fork, Arizona? This 160 miles of smiles provides an endless array of day trip adventures for all seasons.
The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is one of the last native riparian areas on the lower Colorado River. Here is preserved habitat for desert bighorn sheep and an array of other animals. It is also a birding area for an array of species.
The old highway twists and turns on a scenic drive from the river valley to the old mining town of Oatman turned into a caricature of the Old West. Burros have free run of the streets, there are impromptu gunfights, and the back drop of the rugged Black Mountains is stunning.
The drive through Sitgreaves Pass, and through the forgotten ghost town of Goldroad, is an endless string of ever more impressive vistas. On the drive up and over the pass are the sharpest curves and steepest grades found anywhere on Route 66.
In Kingman on Beale Street, one block off Route 66, is a string of eclectic restaurants and shops, art galleries, a wine bar, and award winning microbreweries. And on the third Saturday afternoon of each month, Chillin’ on Beale transforms the district with vintage cars, colorful hotrods, music and vibrant music.
East of Kingman, just off Route 66 are an array of surprises. In the Kingman Airport and Industrial Park is Desert Diamond Distillery. An internationally acclaimed agave rum, and cask aged whiskey is their specialty. On site is a tasting room, and a century old rail car transformed into a unique restaurant. And a few miles away are wineries and an event center at Stetson Winery.
As the highway leaves the Hualapai Valley and begins another climb into the mountains it passes Giganticus Headicus, an eclectic landmark for Route 66 enthusiasts and the gallery of artist Greg Arnold. At every turn there are historic relics framed by awe inspiring backdrops; the circa 1936 Hackberry General Store, the 1880s Crozier Canyon Ranch, Truxton Canyon, the haunting ghost town of Truxton.
A great place to beat the heat is Grand canyon Caverns. This roadside gem has been providing visitors with unforgettable memories since 1926. Tours of the caverns that range from wheelchair accessible to actual spelunking, above or below ground dining options, and the world’s deepest motel room are but a few of the surprises.
What better way to wrap up a day trip, or weekend getaway, is there than a great dinner. In Seligman the Road Kill Café offers hearty classic American dishes with a twist. And there is also the distinctive West Side Lilo’s.
As the proprietor is originally from Wiesbaden you can enjoy authentic German dishes or traditional American offerings. And the deserts are so legendary the restaurant has become a destination for an international legion of Route 66 enthusiasts.
If you need another reason to consider Crazy Horse Campground in Lake Havasu City as your next home away from home, consider the great day trip opportunities that await just outside your door.
Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America