Growing up in Parker I visited this river many times.  It is always a great Arizona adventure. Outdoor adventurers will find opportunities for many activities in a unique setting. The Swansea Ghost Townsite is also nearby.  Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Bill Williams River in La Paz and Mohave Counties, Arizona, with the river as the dividing line between the two counties. The refuge was established in 1941 as part of Havasu NWR as mitigation for the Boulder (Hoover) and Parker Dam projects. Since the early ’90s, 6 state and federal agencies have worked together to manage the Bill Williams River's outstanding riparian, wildlife, recreational, and fisheries resources. There are only two public access vehicle crossings of the river, on Lake Havasu at the Highway 95 bridge and the El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline Crossing. The lower portion of the river, in the Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge, is accessible from the road south of the Bill Williams Bridge on Highway 95. From Interstate 40, take State Highway 95 south approximately 37 miles to where the Bill Williams River flows into the Colorado River at Lake Havasu. The marshy delta created at the confluence can be viewed from several Highway 95 turnouts. 

In 1993, the two refugees were separated and the Bill Williams Unit became the Bill Williams River NWR. There are few places in the world where one can stand, look at a Saguaro cactus, a cattail stand, and a cottonwood tree together. This unique blend of upland desert, marsh, and desert riparian habitats provide for a diverse array of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The cottonwood/willow forest is the last Riparian restoration and protection of native flora and fauna that depend on this habitat are management priorities. Planting and maintaining cottonwood and willow trees, controlling Salt Cedar, and reintroducing native fish are included in future plans. Returning the flows in the river to a more natural state which will better mimic historical conditions is the best management tool for restoring native flora and fauna. The refuge is an important part of the lower Colorado River Ecosystem as it contains the largest remaining cottonwood/willow stands in the ecosystem.

There are over 275 bird species are found here. This includes southwestern willow flycatcher, vermilion flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, western tanagers, Lazuli bunting, Townsend's warbler, black-throated gray warbler. The Yuma clapper rail nests in the delta. Beaver, raccoon, bobcat, mountain lion, gray fox, Javalina, mule-deer, desert bighorn sheep, Ring-Tailed cat are a few of the mammals found on the refuge. Razorback sucker and Bony Tail chub have been reintroduced in the Bill Williams Delta.In 1941, the Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge was established.  Since the 90’s, the refuge has been managed and maintained by six state and federal agencies.  It is an excellent resource for riparian, wildlife, and fisheries.

Bill Williams River National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Bill Williams River in La Paz and Mohave Counties, Arizona, with the river as the dividing line between the two counties. The refuge was established in 1941 as part of Havasu NWR as mitigation for the Boulder (Hoover) and Parker Dam projects. In 1993, the two refugees were separated and the Bill Williams Unit became the Bill Williams River NWR. There are few places in the world where one can stand, look at a Saguaro cactus, a cattail stand, and a cottonwood tree together. This unique blend of upland desert, marsh, and desert riparian habitats provide for a diverse array of birds, mammals, and reptiles. The cottonwood/willow forest is the last Riparian restoration and protection of native flora and fauna that depend on this habitat are management priorities. Planting and maintaining cottonwood and willow trees, controlling saltcedar and reintroducing native fish are included in future plans. Returning the flows in the river to a more natural state which will better mimic historical conditions is the best management tool for restoring native flora and fauna. The refuge is an important part of the lower Colorado River Ecosystem as it contains the largest remaining cottonwood/willow stands in the ecosystem. 

Over 275 bird species are found here. This includes southwestern willow flycatcher, vermilion flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, western tanagers, Lazuli bunting, Townsend's warbler, black-throated gray warbler. The Yuma clapper rail nests in the delta. Beaver, raccoon, bobcat, mountain lion, gray fox, javelina, mule deer, desert bighorn sheep, ringtailed cat are a few of the mammals found on the refuge. Razorback sucker and bonytail chub have been reintroduced in the delta. 

There are few places in the world where you can see such a diverse assortment of plants and animals.  It is possible to stand in one spot and see a saguaro cactus, a cattail stand, and a cottonwood tree.  You will be amazed at the variety.  This unique blend of upland desert, marsh, and desert riparian habitats provide numerous birds, mammals, and reptiles.  Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge is a destination spot you won’t want to miss.

Growing up in Parker, I visited this area many times.  It is always a great Arizona adventure.  You can get to the refuge by traveling north out of Parker.  Just past the Parker Dam, you will see the road east to the Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge.

Six state and federal agencies have worked together since 1992 to manage the Bill Williams River's outstanding riparian, wildlife, recreational, and fisheries resources. Recreationists will find opportunities for many activities in a unique setting. The Swansea Ghost Townsite is also nearby.

There are only two public access vehicle crossings of the river, on Lake Havasu at the Highway 95 bridge and the El Paso Natural Gas Pipeline Crossing. The lower portion of the river, in the Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge is accessible from the road south of the Bill Williams bridge on Highway 95. From Interstate 40, take State Highway 95 south approximately 37 miles to where the Bill Williams River flows into the Colorado River at Lake Havasu. The marshy delta created at the confluence can be viewed from several Highway 95 turnouts.