Cattail Cove State Park, in southern Mohave County, is a 2,000 acre public recreation area alongside Lake Havasu and only 19 miles from Lake Havasu City. This picturesque park has white sandy beaches, shaded picnic areas, a boat launch and rentals, hiking trails and a dedicated dog beach and walking area.
Visitors enjoy this more peaceful access point to Lake Havasu, especially at times when Lake Havasu State Park is overcrowded. Lake Havasu, formed when the Colorado River was dammed near Parker, is 45 miles long and a favorite attraction in this part of the state.
Activities at Cattail Cove State Park
Stop in for the day or stay for a few nights at this serene lakeside Arizona state park. The park’s amenities help create a perfect day at the beach – shaded picnic areas, hot showers, flush toilets, snacks and drinks, boat rentals, day-use camping sites, trails and more.
The Cattail Cove Ranger Station has a small gift shop with guide books, maps, apparel, souvenirs and children’s activities.
Here are some more activities that you can do during your visit to Cattail Cove State Park:
Swimming at Cattail Cove State Park
Cattail Cove State Park has a designated swimming area and white sandy beach in its day-use area. Swimming is allowed anywhere along the shoreline but not near the docks, boat ramps or the dam. Picnic areas with ramadas are also located along the beach area for guests to take cover from the hot sun.
Some of the shoreline is rocky so consider wearing something on your feet and bring something to sit on (if you plan on resting along the shore). Water temperatures vary greatly depending upon time of year and how far out you swim so plan ahead and wear a wetsuit or long sleeve swimsuit if you plan to swim far or visit off season.
Boating at Cattail Cove State Park
All types of boats, motorized and non-motorized, are allowed on Lake Havasu but remember that both Arizona and California share jurisdiction of this lake. Cattail Cove State Park’s large four-lane boat ramp can accommodate any boat 35’ or under.
The park now has paddleboard and sit-on kayaks available to rent by the hour. Inquire at the ranger station or when making a reservation; all rentals do require a $300 deposit. If you will be bringing your own watercraft into the park be sure to register ahead with the Arizona Game & Fish Dept.
Fishing at Cattail Cove State Park
Fish from the shoreline or your boat during your visit to Cattail Cove State Park. Largemouth, smallmouth and striped bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill can be found in these waters.
Remember to pick up an Arizona fishing license ahead of time; a fishing license is required for anyone over the age of 10.
Trails at Cattail Cove State Park
The park has 6 trails that spread throughout the park’s desert areas and alongside the lake. Trail maps are available at the visitor center.
Here are a couple of the trails at Cattail Cove State Park:
- Ripley’s Run & Ted’s Trail – Moderate 4.2 mile trail past 3 waterfalls, canyons and with beautiful views of the lake. It’s recommended that you do this trail clockwise since parts of Ted’s Trail are steep.
- Whytes Retreat Trail – Easy 1.5 mile trail that follows along the lake’s shoreline and views of Parker Dam. The trail then connects with McKinney Loop and goes through low desert hills past plants and wildlife on its way back to Cattail Cove.
Wildlife Viewing at Cattail Cove State Park
Cattail Cove State Park gets its name from the many cattails growing here. These plants were used for bedding and food by earlier inhabitants of the area. Today they provide an ideal habitat for birds. A few birds you may see during your visit are
hummingbirds, ducks, loons, hawks, vultures and egrets. You’ll probably also see deer, bighorn sheep, rabbits, raccoons, coyotes, snakes, lizards and toads.
Camping at Cattail Cove State Park
Both modern campsites and primitive boat-in sites are available year round at Cattail Cove State Park. The 61 modern campsites have water and electric connections for guests with either tents or RVs. Each of these sites has a picnic table, BBQ grill and fire ring and is close to modern bathhouses.
The 32 boat-in campsites are scattered along the lakeshore throughout the park and have picnic tables, stand-up BBQ grills and access to primitive vault-style restrooms. These sites are available on a first-come, first-serve system and can also be used for the day if desired. You’ll pay for these primitive sites directly at each site, using the ‘Iron Ranger.’ No fire pits or campfires are allowed at these sites.
Pets at Cattail Cove State Park
Pets are allowed at Cattail Cove State Park but must be attended to at all times and kept on a leash no longer than six-feet. Please clean up after your pet.
Become a Junior Ranger at Cattail Cove State Park
Junior Ranger Pledge: ‘As an Arizona State Parks Junior Ranger, I pledge to help the park rangers protect and preserve habitat, wildlife, and help keep the park clean and safe for visitors and wildlife.’
Encourage younger generations to do their part and help preserve the beauty of the parks for future visitors. If your child is between the ages of 6-12 they can become a Junior Ranger at Cattail Cove State Park.
All they need to do is download and complete the Junior Ranger Activity Sheet and then request a Junior Ranger booklet at the park’s visitor center once you’ve arrived at the park. Complete each of the activities during your stay.
When all of the activities have been completed report back to a Park Ranger who will swear your Junior Ranger in and award them with a Junior Ranger Button. Kids can become a Junior Ranger at most Arizona State Parks and earn each park’s unique Junior Ranger Button. Check out the For Kids section on each park’s website.
Attractions Near Cattail Cove State Park
Lake Havasu City
Visit the many shops, restaurants and other attractions in nearby Lake Havasu City.
This nearby state park, just 17 miles away, resembles a beachfront resort area and is within walking distance to shops and restaurants. Explore trails, boat, swim, camp and then visit the famous London Bridge, located nearby.
While in the area visit the original London Bridge, possibly the world’s largest antique. Take a tour and learn about the history of this famous bridge and how it came to be reconstructed in Arizona in the late 1960s.
River Island State Park
River Island State Park has trails, boating, a sandy beach, picnic areas and tent camping and is only 14 miles from Cattail Cove State Park.
This beautiful riverside park is only 15 miles from Cattail Cove State Park.
Cattail Cove State Park
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Cattail Cove State Park: