Our stay at Lake Havasu was short, a brief two night stop on our way to Alamo Lake. The other two couples we travel with had never been to Lake Havasu so we decided after leaving Senators Wash reservoir to take a detour and check out Havasu.
Our goal was to camp within town limits close to the sights, but as luck would have it nothing was available that suited us. We ended up boondocking south of town. This was okay with me, I was curious about boondocking locations near Havasu.
Besides, I prefer not to pay north of $50. a night at an RV park, one night is not too bad, but several nights adds up quickly.
Our two nights boondocking was long enough to do some exploring and get a feel for the area. Beautiful Lake Havasu as well as the picturesque Colorado River south of the Parker Dam. Also plenty of ATV trails through the hills on the east side of the highway.
Alamo Lake is a remote reservoir about 50 miles east as the crow flies from Lake Havasu. The highway route is much farther and takes most of the day. There is said to be an ATV route through the mountains from Lake Havasu to Alamo Lake, I would love to explore this route, an adventure for a future trip.
After leaving Lake Havasu we retraced part of our route from Senators Wash on highway 95 to highway 72 where we head east to Highway 60 and then northeast to Wenden, Arizona.
From Wenden, we head north about 40 miles into the desert. After turning off Highway 60 one gets the feeling of traveling into the outback, all signs of civilization quickly vanish.
The road is paved for the first 35 miles to Alamo Lake State Park. The park provides RV hookups, however, the best camping spots closer to the lake are dry camping. Cell service is surprisingly good for this remote area, although data not so much unless you have Verizon. We use a Verizon ‘hot spot’ for internet, it seems to work everywhere.
Our destination at Alamo Lake is not the state park, we are destined for a free dispersed camping area north of the park and closer to the lake.
We turned off the pavement about 10 miles before the state park on a dusty but decent gravel road which soon deteriorated as we descended into a large wash. The condition of this road is at the whim of the rains.
We are fortunate rain has not damaged the road recently and we are able to make our way through the soft sand with no issues.
Once we climbed out of the wash our mandatory stop is the famous Wayside Inn, a true desert oasis. The Inn consists of an RV park and a restaurant with a small selection of sundries, fishing tackle, and laundry facilities.
The restaurant/bar is small but plenty large enough to accommodate the sparse population of the area, which probably reduces to near nil during the hellish summer heat.
The bearded patrons around the bar reminded me of actors from an old western movie. The old wrinkled desert relics sat around talking about rattlesnakes, wild donkeys, and old gold mines.
The Wayside Inn is our last stop in civilization before driving the five-mile gravel road west to Alamo Lake. Here we replenish our fresh water and dump our black and gray tanks. No charge for the water but dumping is $6, the cheapest I’ve seen.
The owners hope offering free water will encourage people to stop by for a beer or a meal. Which we usually do during our two-week stay at Alamo.
Once our three rigs are ready we drove west on the dusty gravel road toward our destination the dispersed camping area near Alamo Lake.
The lake itself was formed by the construction of the Alamo Dam during the late 60’s. The dam was built to control flooding from the Bill Williams River and now provides recreation as well as rare fishing opportunities in the desert.
Driving in Lynda and I discussed the camping possibilities in this remote area. Alamo Lake is a favorite destination for many snowbirds some spending the entire winter, even though the posted length of stay is two weeks.
The date is March 6th, we are hoping some snowbirds have already started the trek home leaving a prime spot for our group.
We arrived and parked our rigs at the last intersection before the lake, continuing further would not be wise. The dry camping area consists of several elevated fingers of dead end roads radiating from our parking area, most with no turnaround.
Each of these fingers offers access to several camping spots some large enough for several rigs others accommodate only one.
The morning clouds cleared away early afternoon pushing the temperature into the mid 80’s making our foot search for a camping spot a pleasant afternoon stroll. Like a walk through the summer sun in mid winter, you gotta love it.
As Mike and I walked toward the lake it was immediately obvious to me the lake was much higher than I’ve ever seen it. Most of the prime camping spots on the lake shore were either under water or not accessible.
We discovered later while talking to a veteran camper the lake had risen more than 40 ft in the last month, the highest in years.
We lucked out, the area was not as full as it would have been a few weeks earlier and several camping spots large enough for our group were available. Naturally, we took the one with the best view of the lake.
By the time camp was set evening happy hour was upon us, Ralph unloaded firewood from his truck while the rest of the gang moved rocks for a fire ring.
That’s when Kris had the scare of her life. While moving stones for the fire ring she uncovered an unusual looking creature, a miniature lobster, a scorpion.
She watched and screamed as the nasty looking creature ran for cover. Everyone gathered for a look at the strange sight.
After the commotion subsided a campfire rose from its new home casting long shadows like a small angry sun as the day came to a relaxing end.
Our firewood reserves were almost depleted, that evening Ralph, Mike and I decided a wood run would be necessary. Lynda and I stayed at Alamo several times, I knew where to find a good stock of wood.