Canoeing & Kayaking


Enjoy breathtaking views of the longest natural river area on the Colorado River and paddle through a wilderness area.

Topock Gorge
Paddlers can enjoy a down-river experience by launching at either Topock Marina in Arizona or Park Moabi in California and paddling through the Havasu Wilderness Area. The Wilderness Area provides breathtaking views of the longest natural river area on the Colorado River. Visitors are welcome to paddle through a tunnel of rocky cliffs that bank each side of the river. Castle Rock, located at River Mile 220, is a designated take-out area for non-motorized boats. Access to the Castle Rock parking area is located off of Vista Drive in the community of Crystal Beach. It is necessary to portage the boats about 100 yards to/from the sandy beach landing area.

Castle Rock Bay is closed to Personal Watercraft (PWC) use and is a No Wake Zone for all other watercraft.

Canoe and kayak rentals and guided tours are available from Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City, Arizona and Laughlin, Nevada.

Colorado River Launch Areas
Local boat launches that provide access to the Colorado River include the Topock Marina, Arizona (exit 1, I-40); Park Moabi (located 11 miles south of Needles, California on I-40); and Havasu State Park at Windsor Beach (on London Bridge Road in Lake Havasu City). There are many other private and public boat launches along the Colorado River.

Topock Marsh
Topock Marsh provides a unique canoeing or kayaking experience for paddlers of all skill levels. Paddlers can explore the 4,000-acre marsh and paddle into some of the narrow backwaters and enter coves surrounded by cattails.

Topock Marsh Launch Areas
Canoes and kayaks can be launched, free of charge, at North Dike, Five Mile Landing and Catfish Paradise. Each landing has designated parking. The Topock Marsh launches do not provide access to the Colorado River main channel.

A portion of Topock Marsh is closed from October 1st through the end of the state waterfowl season (including the youth hunt). The closed area is marked with signs and/or buoys.

Lake Havasu City Area 
Visitors can kayak the northern end of Lake Havasu by launching at Castle Rock or Mesquite Bay Central, a designated canoe and kayak launch and take-out site.  We recommend starting at Castle Rock and paddling south with the current to Mesquite Bay Central.  The water trail is just over four miles and is a great way to see the southern part of the refuge and experience the clear waters of the Colorado River without planning an all day trip.