Everyone who visits Las Vegas gets to know the incredibly beautiful Colorado River. Some may fly over the majestic Hoover Dam before landing in the city, but it depends on where you are coming from.
You may also know that the Colorado River is the main source of water and electric energy for the city of lights. Many years ago when I first visit the dam, the water level was much higher. But the extensive use of it brought this river down to the minimum level. I’m talking about many dams along the way, plus agricultural irrigation and domestic water supply.
Coming from the Colorado Rocky Mountains, this is one of the main rivers in USA, and it serves as water supply for seven USA states. Here is a map of it borrowed from Wikipedia:
There is not too much water left when it finally drains into the Gulf of California in Mexico, but people can still benefit from it as much as possible. Just as a curiosity, the river is the source of water for about 40 million people. I would say that Colorado River is a hero river :)
This is a picture of Havasu Lake Parker Dam in Arizona
Colorado River a near Las Vegas Attraction
Whether you saw it from the airplane or not, while in Las Vegas you shouldn’t miss a trip to the famous dam. You will be surprised to see how low the water level is now. It is still impressive today, and that white band on the surrounding rocks make an interesting view.
* If you think that people living in Las Vegas are worrying abut the water supply, you are right. The municipality imposed some restrictions on using it.
But you have to see it to believe it. There are many ways to go and see it, whether by your own or taking an organized tour. Right now all the group activities have been temporary suspended in Las Vegas due to the pandemic virus, but hopefully the life will come back to normal soon. I really hope that this is not “the new normal“!
Another thing that surprised me, was the beauty of the Lake Mead, the actual reservoir created by the Hoover Dam. The water lever there is very low too, but it is so incredibly turquoise – blue !
This is the view of it from the height of the dam.
You can see the marks of the previous levels of water on the rocks. The marina is way down too, but people are still enjoying fishing and boating on the lake.
Colorado River at the Grand Canyon South Rim
If you go North from Las Vegas beyond Hoover Dam you will follow the river more or less to the Grand Canyon National Park. Everybody has heard about this famous attraction near Las Vegas, in Arizona. It takes a day trip by car or bus and about one hour by helicopter to get there. Now the time will vary depending on how many stops you want to make along the route. There are several and, they are all worth seeing. You can actually also find trips by by boat on the Colorado river! My husband and I drove there, and it took us about 3 days with all the stops along Route 66 :) But when we finally arrived, I just couldn’t believe my eyes. It was so beautiful! The river is deep down in the canyon, and it’s so blue, contrasting with the colors of the surrounding rocks. Oh, I’m glad I could see it! :)
The big depth of the canyon makes it quite difficult to see the river below. Warning: do not attempt to go over the marked lines! Some have lost their lives trying to get closer to the drop off to see the depth…
Colorado River at Lake Havasu City
Could you ever imagine to see the London Bridge crossing the Colorado River in the middle of the desert? Well, again you have to see it to believe it!
Yes, it’s a totally different scenario and environment, yet it is still the Mohave desert :) Click on the link to read my post on London Bridge at Lake Havasu, Arizona. But in the Havasu Lake City area yo can see more than just the bridge.
First of all you can walk to see the Parker Dam that created the lake.
This is the actual river before entering the dam:
It was the month of June when we visited this place, and it was already starting to be hot. This location is really fortunate in benefiting by the river that keeps the temperature down. And the beach really helps.
What a great place to live in, or just for a vacation. Well, this was my experience with the Colorado River so far. I hope you enjoyed this virtual tour :)