Havasu NWR is bisected by the Colorado River and lies within the Mojave Desert. The refuge includes a large man-made marsh, beautiful backwater areas adjacent to the Colorado River surrounded by high and curved mountain peaks and cliffs, riverine rock and gravel strewn hills and sand dunes.
These different land and aquatic areas with their associated mixes of vegetation provide a multitude of habitats and a variety of ecosystems within the harsh desert environment. A variety of wildlife can be seen on the refuge.
Neotropical birds, including the endangered Southwestern Willow Flycatcher, frequent riparian areas, waterfowl visit the refuge during fall and winter. Marsh dwelling birds live year-round throughout the area, including the endangered Yuma clapper rail.
A large number of reptiles and amphibians can be seen as well as desert bighorn sheep. Thousands of people come to the refuge during the spring and summer months. Most of their boating activities occur along the Colorado River.
The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is along the Colorado River in the Mojave Desert. It is divided into two sections. One section is just north of Lake Havasu City and the other section is closer to Needles, California on the Arizona side. The refuge includes 37,515 acres of land and water. The Wildlife Refuge has a large manmade marsh, mountains, ravines, sand dunes, water areas and hills.
All of these water and land areas create a perfect habitat for a variety of plants and animals. You will see many different types of wildlife within the refuge. You might see migratory birds, beavers, bighorn sheep and a large number of reptiles and amphibians.
One endangered bird in the area is the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. Many birds come to the spot during the fall and winter. There are year round birds such as the endangered Yuma clapper rail that lives in the marsh areas of the refuge.
Many people come to the refuge throughout the year, especially in the spring and summer. The Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is open daily from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. The refuge is free of charge.
Hunting and fishing are permitted in season. Camping and boating are also allowed in specified areas. If you would like more information you make go by the refuge headquarters located in Needles, California or call 760-326-3853.
You can get to the first section of the refuge is north of Lake Havasus City near Topock Gorge. You can get there from Lake Havasu City or Parker by traveling on U.S. Highway 95 north out of the towns to Interstate 40. Turn left and head west on Interstate 40 until the Interstate crosses the Colorado River. It should be south when you are on Interstate 40. Keep your eyes open for signs. This particular section of the refuge is accessible by boat or foot. The second section of the refuge is located near Needles, California. You can get to this section by taking U.S.Highway 95 out of town north to Interstate 40. Turn left and head west on Interstate 40 to County Highway 227. Take County Highway 227 north on the Arizona side of the Colorado River. You will need to look for signs to find this section too.