A side trip from Historic U.S. Route 66 to Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Route 66 Side Trip to Lake Havasu City

Double-decker English bus in Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Many travelers want to know ... does Route 66 go through Lake Havasu City in Arizona?

The answer is "No", but it is only about 20 miles from the 1952 Route 66 alignment between Kingman, Arizona and Needles, California. It lies about 60 miles south of Kingman and about 42 miles southeast of Needles.

About Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City is located in southwestern Mohave County in Arizona, on the east side of Lake Havasu, a reservoir on the Colorado River. The city is home to about 57,000 residents.

The city began in World War II as Site Six, an Army Air Corps rest camp on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, a peninsula that would eventually be transformed into an island. After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area.

Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors, as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. The city was incorporated in 1978.

The city is located on what is known as "Arizona’s West Coast," just 3 hours west of Phoenix, 2½ hours south of Las Vegas and 4 to 5 hours east of the Los Angeles area. As part of the northern and western limits of the Sonoran Desert, Lake Havasu City and the surrounding area feature outstanding biodiversity absolutely loaded with beautiful experience.

The area attracts 835,000 visitors annually with its historic London Bridge, pristine lake, friendly community, abundant sunshine, annual events, ideal weather, and wide range of restaurants and lodging.

Lake Havasu City Area Map Showing Nearby Route 66

Map showing the directions from Historic Route 66 to Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Map showing the directions from Historic Route 66 to Lake Havasu City, Arizona



London Bridge Comes to Lake Havasu City

Robert P. McCulloch purchased the famous London Bridge over the River Thames in the 1960s for $2.5 million and relocated it from England to the shores of the Colorado River. The bridge was disassembled via a contract with Sundt Construction of Tucson, and 10,247 stone blocks were shipped to the Port of Long Beach, California and then transported overland to Lake Havasu City, where reassembly began in 1968 by Sundt for another $7 million. The construction took three years to complete. Today, London Bridge crosses the narrow Bridgewater Channel that leads from Lake Havasu (a segment of the Colorado River) to Thompson Bay (also on the river).

As the new home of the London Bridge, Lake Havasu City attracts more than 1 million visitors annually with 60 miles of uninterrupted navigable waterways, 300 annual events, 300 days of sunshine, 400 miles of river coastline, and 1,800 miles of off-road trails.

London Bridge in Lake Havasu City
London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona
View from the top of London Bridge
View from the top of London Bridge in Lake Havasu City, Arizona


Things to See and Do Around Lake Havasu City

Route 66 visitors to the area can explore the nearby desert regions by foot, mountain bike, or off-road vehicle. They can also explore lake coves in a kayak or in a high-performance luxury boat, lounge in the Bridgewater Channel or camp under gazing stars.

The area features 27 replica lighthouses along the river's edge, the largest skateboard/BMX/scooter complex in Arizona, and WWII etchings in a granite block of the London Bridge.

The sandy shoreline and cool, fresh water of the Colorado River make Lake Havasu State Park a favorite destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

The city is a popular destination with outfitters that offer year-round helicopter rides, skydiving excursions and hot air balloon float trips. No trip to the Lake Havasu area would be complete without walking across the historic London Bridge. Nearby shops and eateries create an English village vibe that visitors find enticing!

Rated as one of the top 100 best bass fishing lakes in America, Lake Havasu is ideal for catching large and small-mouth bass; and is a renowned striped bass fishery. The Lake Havasu region is also host to extensive off-road trails and undeveloped stretches of river.

The Bill Williams National Wildlife Refuge is a 6,150-acre habitat south of Lake Havasu. The refuge is on the Bill Williams River, a tributary of the Colorado River. Native fish and migrating birds can be found here in abundance. To the north, the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of 37,515 acres along the lower Colorado river in Arizona and California. The refuge protects 30 river miles and encompasses 300 miles of shoreline from Needles, CA to Lake Havasu City.

The city hosts a number of popular annual events such as the Havasu Balloon Festival, Winterfest Festival, Bluegrass on the Beach Music Festival, July 4th Fireworks, Boat Parade of Lights and many more.

Spend a day, or more, and enjoy the excitement of Lake Havasu City before returning to Route 66!

Scenes Around Lake Havasu City

One of several lighthouses in the area
One of the many lighthouses in Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City waterfront
Waterfront scene in Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Dining in Lake Havasu City
One of the many dining and restaurants in Lake Havasu City, Arizona
One of many tourboats in Lake Havasu City
Tour boat in Lake Havasu City, Arizona



Lodging Options in Lake Havasu City

As one of the most popular destinations in the Central United States, Lake Havasu City has over 40 lodging options, from upscale resorts to lakefront cabins to B&Bs.

Visitors have an endless variety of restaurants and food establishments from which to choose. There are over 120 restaurants offering a variety of cuisines.

Lake Havasu City Travel Guide at TripAdvisor

Lake Havasu City Travel Guide

Lake Havasu City Hotel Directory, Traveler Reviews and Reservations

Vacation rentals in Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu Restaurants

Lake Havasu Attractions and Things to Do


London Bridge Resort in Lake Havasu City
London Bridge Resort in Lake Havasu City


Map of Lake Havasu City, Arizona

More Information and Resources about Lake Havasu City


Lake Havasu Convention & Visitors Bureau: GoLakeHavasu.com

Lake Havasu City at Visit Arizona

City of Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu Area Chamber of Commerce

Lake Havasu Travel Guide at TripAdvisor


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