Bullhead City is in west-central Mohave County, located on the east side of the Colorado River near the juncture of Arizona, California, and Nevada. Among Arizona’s fastest-growing communities, it is the sister city to Laughlin, Nevada, and just 90 minutes from Las Vegas. Bullhead City began as the headquarters for the construction of Davis Dam and Lake Mohave in the 1940s. Today, the city serves a trade area population exceeding 144,000.
In 1995, and Bullhead City/Laughlin attracted more than 6 million visitors. With 11 major casino/resort hotels, Laughlin employs 14,000 people, most of which make their home in Bullhead City. On the Arizona side, more than 2,000 businesses employ approximately 6,800. The city is a little more than 500 feet above sea level and has an area of 43 square miles. It was incorporated in 1984.
Tourism is a primary economic activity centered on the Laughlin resort/gaming industry. Visitors enjoy area water sports and golf. Also popular is trophy fishing for bass, trout, and other species in the Colorado River between Davis Dam and Parker Dam and on the 67-mile long Lake Mohave. Laughlin resort hotels have 11,975 rooms (early 1995 figures) with an average occupancy rate exceeding 90 percent. Motels in and around Bullhead City have another 1,780 rooms. A new resort/casino on Mohave Indian tribal lands south of Laughlin added another 350 rooms in early 1995.Bullhead City also has the shopping malls, supermarkets and other retailers that serve the Bullhead City-Laughlin market. Two bridges connect the communities. A Bullhead City Economic Development Authority has been formed and the area was recently designated as an Enterprise Zone by the Arizona Department of Commerce.
The Colorado River and the Lake Mead National Recreation Area (including Lake Mohave) offer area visitors year-round, water-related recreation. Lake Mohave, which stretches 67 miles, is the gateway to the Lake Mead Recreation Area. Visitors come to camp, fish, houseboat, sail, water ski, jet ski, sailboard, sunbathe, swim and picnic. Along Lake, Mohave is water-front resorts with excellent swimming conditions, attracting many visitors to the expansive but tidy beaches. The Black Mountain Range east of Bullhead City provides for a variety of recreational opportunities, including off-road vehicle use, hiking, and photography, rockhounding and exploring ghost towns. Bighorn sheep, mule deer, quail, and dove attract hunters to the mountains. South of Bullhead City is the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge with waterfowl, other bird varieties, and fishing.
Bullhead City is a popular tourist spot. It is on the eastern side of the Colorado River across from Laughlin, Nevada and the river provides great water fun. Today, Bullhead City has a population of 20,315. The city sits at an elevation of 540 feet. The climate is mild in the winter, but the summer temperatures can be hot. The low temperature in the winter is 39 degrees and the summertime high temperatures are 106 degrees. Casino entertainment is one of the highlights of this city. The Bullhead City/Laughlin area attracts approximately 6 million visitors a year. It is also one of the fastest growing communities in Arizona.
In the 1940’s the construction Davis Dam put Bullhead City on the map. Bullhead City was the headquarters for the construction of the Davis Dam and Lake Mohave. As construction ended, the city continued on. The building of Laughlin across the Colorado River gave Bullhead City a boost. The city also serves as a trading spot being only 90 minutes from Las Vegas. Bullhead City was named by early townspeople who felt a huge boulder jutting out of the Colorado River near the city looked like the head of a bull. Unfortunately, when Davis Dam was completed in 1953 the water rose over the boulder and is covering Bullhead City’s namesake. The city sprawls out 43 square miles and was incorporated in 1984.
The most well-known attraction near Bullhead City is Laughlin, Nevada. Laughlin is filled with casino entertainment. Visitors can also go on an interesting tour of Davis Dam. This Dam has created Lake Mohave. Bullhead City’s Colorado River Museum is another attraction in town that gives visitors a look back at what the Colorado River was like in the beginning.
Outdoor activities are very popular. Since the town is along the Colorado River, water adventures are available year round. Lake Mohave is the door to Lake Mead National Recreational Area. Lake Mohave offers visitors camping and water fun. After seeing Lake Mohave you will want to continue on to Lake Mead National Recreational Area. This area stretches northward along the Colorado River. You will find endangered wildlife at the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, just south of Bullhead City.
Hardyville Days October 22-23
The Bullhead City area has four elementary schools, one junior high and two high schools. You can get in touch with the Bullhead City Elementary School District Office, which serves the elementary schools and the junior high by calling 520-758-3961. If you are interested in the high schools, you will have to contact the Colorado River Union School District Office at 520-758-3916.
There are two hospitals servicing Bullhead City. The Mohave Valley Hospital at 1225 East Hancock Road 520-758-0105 and Bullhead Community Hospital at 2735 Silver Creek Road 520-763-2273 both provide good health care.
The Citizens Utilities Company Water Department provides service to Bullhead City and Palo Verde Meadows. If you need to talk to the company, you may call 520-758-1146. If you live in the southern half of Bullhead City your water provider is Bermuda Water Company at 520-763-6676.
Southwest Gas Corporation supplies gas to Bullhead City. You can call their office at 520-763-7766.
Mohave Electric Cooperative meets the electrical needs of the city at 520-763-1100.
The local telephone provider is Citizens Communications. If you are interested in residential, call 520-763-1122. For business telephone service, call 520-763-1111.
Bullhead Community Park is close to the Colorado River. It has a variety of ramadas to choose from for a picnic day. There are swings and playground equipment for the children. Children play in the two Little League fields and the Bobby Sox field located at the park. The park also has a boat launch ramp for boaters. It is right off of Highway 95 and is easy to find.
One of the biggest parks in the city is Ken Fovargue Community Park. It is so popular because of its pool, a perfect spot to cool off in the summer. The park also has unique playground equipment. The equipment is made just for hot summer days in Bullhead City. The playground pieces are wrapped with a plastic coating that isn’t too hot to touch. The Ken Fovargue Park has a lit basketball court, two lighted sand volleyball courts, and two lit softball fields. Many people come out at night to try their hand at a team sport. Of course, a park wouldn’t be a park without picnic tables. There are several in the area, along with barbecues.
There are two golf courses in Bullhead City. One is the Riverview Golf Club at 2000 East Ramar Road. It is two miles east on Highway 95. It is an 18-hole championship course. To find out more about the course, you can call 520-763-1818.
Chaparral Country Club is the second golf course in the city. It is a 9-hole course and in the center of Bullhead City. It is located at 1260 East Mohave Drive 520-758-6330.
The Bullhead City/Laughlin International Airport has many flights coming in and out daily. The airport has a 7,500-foot paved runway. This airport was remodeled and expanded in the early 90’s. The airport is equipped to handle Boeing 737’s, DC-10’s and MD-80’s. It’s terminal includes ticket counters, luggage claim, gift shop, car rental agencies, a conference room and lounge area. It covers 10,500 square feet. Several airlines service the airport such as America West, American Trans Air, Sun Country Airline and Great American Airways. It is estimated that 234,745 passengers travel through the airport in a year.
Things To Do
Visit Lake Mohave
Lake Mohave is the first stop along the Colorado River northward to Lake Mead National Recreational Area. The lake is 67 miles and filled with lots of outdoor fun.
You can get a houseboat, sail, jet ski, windsurf or water ski. If you want to get a look at Lake Mohave from land, there are picnic tables and camping spots. Waterfront resorts also dot the shores of Lake Mohave, which have good swimming areas and terrific beaches. Or you might want to try your hand at fishing. Mohave Lake has everything for the outdoor lover.
You can get to Lake Mohave by heading north out of Bullhead City on Highway 95 to the junction at Davis Dam. From there check around for signs to the resorts and marinas that are along the lake. If you are coming from Kingman, travel out of town on Beale Street. Once you get to Highway 68, take it west toward Laughlin and Bullhead City. Lake Mohave is just off of Highway 68 before you cross Davis Dam. You will see signs for the resorts and marinas that are near the Lake.
Visit Laughlin Nevada
Just across the river from Bullhead City is the community of Laughlin, a place filled with entertainment, outdoor activities, and casino fun. The town of Laughlin draws people from both sides of the Colorado River, Arizona, and Nevada. The Mohave Desert surrounds the town and visitors are greeted with outstanding weather all year long.
You can park your car on the Arizona side of the Colorado River and take a ferry across or you drive over the bridge connecting Bullhead City and Laughlin. Either way, you will have a terrific time in this town. The unique part of Laughlin is that you can enjoy casino gambling without making the long drive to Las Vegas. Laughlin also has a more casual relaxed environment, compared to the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas.
During the 1940’s and 1950’s, South Pointe sprang up along the Colorado River. It was a small town benefiting from the influx of people building the Davis Dam. South Pointe had a small motel and a bar. When Davis Dam was completed, the motel closed and South Pointe fell into hard times.
In 1964, Don Laughlin, the former owner of the 101 Club in Las Vegas decided he saw potential in this small town near the Colorado River. Don Laughlin bought the town in 1964 and renamed the town after himself – Laughlin. Construction began on a site that now has 5 million visitors a year. In the beginning, Laughlin’s focal point was a 28 story, 1,405 room Riverside Resort Hotel and Casino.
As the years passed, the town has grown. There are now many casinos, condominiums, a two-story enclosed shopping mall, an Outlet Center, a Cinema Complex, parking structures and private homes. Currently, there are over 8,000 residents. In order to connect Bullhead City, on the Arizona side. In Laughlin, on the Nevada side, Don Laughlin built a 3.5 million-dollar bridge. When the bridge was completed, he donated it to Nevada and Arizona. The bridge has helped to improve the travel time between the two towns.
The area continues to expand with the Laughlin/Bullhead City Airport. This airport was remodeled and expanded in the early 90’s. The airport is equipped to handle Boeing 737’s, DC-10’s and MD-80’s. Its terminal includes ticket counters, luggage claim, gift shop, car rental agencies, a conference room and lounge area. It covers 10,500 square feet. Several airlines service the airport such as America West, American Trans Air, Sun Country Airline and Great American Airways. It is estimated that 234,745 passengers travel through the airport in a year.
Laughlin is a town that includes indoor casino entertainment, along with outdoor activities. There are so many outdoor activities in the area that it is difficult to choose. You can play golf, tennis, boat, swim, water ski, camp, hike or go horseback riding. Laughlin has something for everyone.
If you are interested in indoor entertainment and casinos, then you have several choices.
Colorado Belle Hotel and Casino at 2100 Casino Drive 800-477-4837
Edgewater Hotel and Casino at 2020 Casino Drive 800-677-4837
Flamingo Hilton Laughlin at 1900 Casino Drive 800-Flamingo
Gold River Resort and Casino at 2700 Casino 800-835-7904
You can get to Laughlin from Parker or Lake Havasu City by traveling north out of town on U.S. Highway 95 until you come to Bullhead City. From Bullhead City you may cross the river by boat or by car across the bridge. If you are coming from Kingman, you need to travel west out of town on Beale Street. When you get to State Highway 68 turn left and head west. Once you get to the Colorado River, you will see signs to Laughlin.
You will have a terrific stay in Laughlin. There is so much to do and see, especially if your luck is with you.