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Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: It’s Not Lake Havasu; it’s Cattail Cove Sate Park!

May 4, 2011 by · 2 Comments 


Maybe you love Lake Havasu, Arizona. . Maybe you’ve never been there; in which case, you really ought to go.  Or maybe you’ve been there, and while you enjoyed the no-kidding-it’s-the-real-London Bridge, and all the action around  Lake Havasu, you longed for a quieter, calmer place nearby that’s also near water.  I found it. It’s Cattail Cove State Park.

 If your criteria for a great camping experience includes being near (as on!) a body of beautiful water, serenity, and clean facilities, Cattail Cove State Park, just 10 miles south of Lake Havasu, Arizona, may be calling your

Cattail Cove knocked us over with its beauty two weeks ago. It’s like an oasis…a paradise. Seriously. It felt more tropical that desert-a-torial.  We actually went over to photograph the wild flowers but they were late to bloom this year, so we’ll return for that. Staff there said it’s the latest blooming in memory, due to the unusually cold and wet winter Lake Havasu experienced. But, Cattail Cove is so incredible we didn’t care.

On the water? You bet. There’s a great boat ramp (photo of dock) , and someone said you can rent water toys but I missed that, so you may want to check. There’s hiking right alongside the Colorado River, as well as a sandy beach. There are 28 primitive camping sites right on the river. Not for us, the primitive thing, but the more stalwart among you may like it. But it doesn’t matter where you park your RV or camp;  you’re essentially by the water. The water is everywhere. You can’t miss it. For folks into water activities, you can’t beat it.

 Serenity? It was quiet, really quiet. Your teens may miss the action of Lake Havasu. I love Lake Havasu, but its great appeal to the young and rowdy (like my 20-something nephews)  can get to me. Cattail Cove, to our knowledge, doesn’t entice the young and rowdy. Therefore, it appeals to us;  the old and rowdy.  We loved the peaceful, family environment at Cattail Cove.

Facilities? The sites were close together but plenty nice. They have 57 sites with 30 amp service, however,  only 4 sites have 50 amp service. The two handicap accessible restrooms were more than clean and made me happy. The showers were equally nice. It sounds silly, but I loved the Ranger Station with its little gift shop and cheerful staff. Oh, and we loved the armadas and palm trees. Gorgeous.

Cattail Cove State Park has a great website with lots of details, and their staff will tell you anything you need to know if you call. Overall, Cattail Cover offers one of those camping/ RVing experiences where you leave thinking, “We’ll be back here, for sure.”

And one last thing: we’re not extreme hikers so we loved the easy hiking trail snaking alongside the Colorado River. Whytes Retreat Trail is a 1½ mile trail with a difficulty rating of easy, which meets my criteria of “plenty arduous enough.”The trail follows the shoreline of Lake Havasu, and you get a great view of the lower part of the Colorado River and Parker Dam. You’ll walk through low desert hills and there’s a shallow gorge surrounded by bluffs. Maybe we’re slow witted because  we had a heck of a time finding the trail head, and finally had to ask. You can reach the trailhead if you follow the entrance road to the boat launch ramp on the south side. I read that but still had to have it pointed out. You’ll do better, I’m sure.

I think Woodall’s readers would love to hear about your experiences at Cattail Cove, if you’d like to write back. We love it there!

Happy Tales to you and yours,


Note: This part of Arizona can be hot. Real hot. Yes, Cattail Cove is right on the river…but starting in May, temperatures can rise to 117 degrees, and for me, that’s hot even by a river! Those of you sensitive to heat, as I am, may want to check the weather before heading over.


2 Responses to “Patti’s Saga of an RV Rookie: It’s Not Lake Havasu; it’s Cattail Cove Sate Park!”
  1. Gary Worrell says:

    Did you have internet or sufficient Verizon for Mifi? I spent 3 weeks in LHC and it was windy almost every day. Where I have been before, a front will blow through for a few hours, but this blew once 36 hours. I enjoy your writing and share with a friend of mine who is a profession (technical) writer and a non RV’er. Keep up the good work.

  2. Patti Faustini says:

    Hi Gary and how great to hear from you! And thank you for sharing our blog with your friend. I hope he likes Woodall’s as much as I do. OK…this past camp out we used my husband’s personal hotspot on his iPhone 4 for internet access, and it worked fine.His hotspot allows him to share his internet connection with two computers.
    Another time we used our Mifi card and that also worked. But when it comes to Lake Havasu, I count myself fortunte if ANY of my technology works. For whatever reasons, it’s always a gamble if we’ll be able to get internet or even our cell phones to work. Knowing that, I don’t schedule online work while in that area. I just can’t count on it. And the wind? My mother lives in Lake Havasu, so we’ve been there many, many times over the past 15 years, and I’ve not noticed that as a large issue. Maybe we’ve just lucked out!

    On the other hand, I’ve spent two years in Great Falls, Montana, and after that, nothing seems windy!

    Happy Tales to your and yours, Gary.


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