(Last Updated On: September 29, 2022)
sunset behind cloudy skies at River Island State Park in Arizona

Clouds over the hills at River Island State Park. Photo: Park Facebook Page

Scenic River Island State Park is located in the Parker Strip of Western Arizona, 26 miles south of Lake Havasu City.

This beautiful recreational area hugs the historic Colorado River and is connected by trails to nearby Buckskin Mountain State Park. Both parks lie along the Colorado River and have amazing views of the Buckskin Mountains and the Sonoran Desert.

Visitors enjoy camping, swimming, boating, fishing, picnicking and exploring the miles of trails between the 2 parks.

Activities

Visit for a day or spend a few nights at this picturesque Arizona state park. Stop by the River Island Market (¼ mile outside the park) on your way in and pick up lunch or snacks to enjoy under the shaded ramadas. And then explore the trails between the 2 parks by foot, bike, horse or OHV. Or enjoy some water activities in the Colorado River.

The visitor center at nearby Buckskin Mountain State Park features exhibits on the history of this area as well as the native flora and fauna. The gift shop there carries souvenirs, apparel, snacks, drinks and supplies.

Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to River Island State Park:

Boating at River Island State Park

Enjoy a day boating or tubing along the Colorado River during your visit to River Island State Park. The park has a three-lane boat launch ramp and you can rent kayaks, canoes and tubes at nearby Parker Boat Rentals. Be aware that there is an island reef located in the center of the cove; it’s important to stay close to the cliffs in order to access the main river channel.

Ramps are also located inside Buckskin Mountain Park and available for both overnight guests and day-use visitors. Any non-motorized watercraft may be launched from these boat ramps.

Swimming at River Island State Park

Relax and enjoy the cool water of the Colorado River. A sandy beach area is located along the riverfront and tucked safely into a cove where the river’s current is not as fast. Swim at your own risk along the shore but not near the boat ramps.

Some areas may be 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 the 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.

Nearby Buckskin Mountain State Park also has a designated swimming area for guests to safely enjoy the water.

Fishing at River Island State Park

Fish from shore or from your canoe or kayak for bass (smallmouth, largemouth and striped), catfish, carp, sunfish, crappie and bluegill. The Colorado River is a great place to fish whether you’re young or old!

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 River Island State Park

River Island State Park has one trail but the park is connected to Buckskin Mountain State Park which has an extensive trail system that leads into the Arizona backcountry and along the Colorado River. These trails feature breathtaking views of the mountains, desert wildlife, wildflowers, nature-formed arches, bridges and abandoned copper mines.

Wedge Hill Trail, inside the park, is a one mile loop that starts east of the boat launch and trails past scenic overlooks of the Colorado River and Parker Dam.

The Buckskin Trail is a moderate 6.8 mile loop that leads past several scenic overlooks, two abandoned mine shafts and lots of vegetation and wildlife to connect with the Lightning Bolt Trail inside Buckskin Mountain State Park. Benches are located along this long trail for guests to take a break and enjoy the views.

Wildlife Viewing at River Island State Park

During your visit to River Island State Park you may see Bighorn sheep, bobcat, coyote, gray foxes, beavers, rabbits, snakes, lizards, iguana and many other species of wildlife. Many types of birds including osprey, egrets, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, turkey vultures, hummingbirds and pelicans may also be seen.

Camping at River Island State Park

River Island State Park has 37 campsites, 8 of which overlook the Colorado River. All campsites have water and 20-amp electric hookups. The 8 beachfront sites are ideal for tents and small campers up to 24 ft and the remaining sites are ideal for larger campers and RVs up to 65 ft.

The RV sites are a mix of back-in and pull-through and also have 30- and 50-amp connections.

Nearby Buckskin Mountain State Park has another 60 campsites plus 21 RV riverfront sites. Each of these sites has water and electric connections (many also have sewer hookups) plus a picnic table, BBQ grill and access to modern bathhouses.

Pets at River Island State Park

Pets are allowed at River Island 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. Pets are also allowed on the beach east of the boat ramp.

Attractions Near River Island State Park

  • Buckskin Mountain State Park

    Buckskin Mountain State Park is connected to River Island State Park by trails (and is 1.3 miles down the road). Here you will find more opportunities to camp and enjoy the Colorado River.
    This park also has grassy picnic areas with tables and grills, a dog park, a playground, basketball and volleyball courts, an arcade, restaurant, park store and exhibits within the visitor center.

  • Cattail Cove State Park

    White sandy beach, trails, primitive camping and access to shopping and dining lies 13 miles from River Island State Park.

  • Lake Havasu State Park

    Visit the famous London Bridge, swim in Lake Havasu and shop and dine at this pretty resort area only 28 miles from River Island State Park.

More Information

Open 24hrs/day all year round

Park Entrance Fees:

Per vehicle (1-4 Adults): $10.00
Individual/Bicycle: $3.00

Visitor Center is available at nearby Buckskin Mountain State Park

Park Location

River Island State Park
5200 AZ-95
Parker, AZ 85344
Phone: 928.667.3386

Website
Reservations

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video with aerial footage of River Island State Park: