The Colorado River travels more than a thousand miles, starting in the Rockies and ending at the Sea of Cortez. It provides irrigation, hydroelectric power, and water to many areas in Arizona, California, and Nevada. In Bullhead City, the river is where many people go to relax, whether they are boating, fishing, or taking a dip during warm weather. You can view the river on the Heritage Trail in Rotary Park, watching recreational boaters traverse the water.
Featuring a large collection of pottery, photographs, Indian artifacts, memorabilia, and antiques, the Colorado River Museum brings the past to life. Operated by the Colorado River Historical Society, the museum is housed in a former Catholic Church in Laughlin. Enjoy their extensive collection of maps and learn more about the steamboats that were once prevalent on the river. When you enter the museum, you are greeted by a statue of Don Laughlin, founder of the town. There is also an outdoor exhibit with a replica of the Katherine gold mine. Kids will love the intricate model train display that includes a model of the motel that Mr. Laughlin purchased in 1966. The museum can be found at 2201 Highway 68.
Located at 1776 Arizona State Route 95 in Bullhead City, Hardyville Pioneer Cemetery is the most significant remnant of Hardyville which was the name used for Bullhead City in the early 19th century, named after William Hardy. The mining industry created a population boom in areas surrounding Hardyville. When a railroad was constructed from Needles, California to Kingman, Arizona, a town almost 40 miles away, Hardyville became a ghost town.
Arizona Veterans Memorial Park, located at 2170 Rio Grande Road, is a stunning tribute to those who served in the Armed Forces. The north section is on Rio Grande Road and contains panels with the names of every Arizonian who died in military conflicts. The south section holds an eternal flame surrounded by green space. It is an amazing place to contemplate the sacrifices made by others for freedom and to gain an understanding of history related to the conflicts that took the lives of so many.
Oatman, Arizona, began as a mining tent camp more than a century ago and soon became a gold mining center in the area after two miners struck $10 million in gold. Within a year, the town had grown to a population of 3,500, served by a rail line between 1903 and 1905 that ran 17 miles to Needles, California. In 1921, the fire burned down many small shacks and in 1924, the mining company shut down operations. The town became a tourist stop for those traveling on Route 66 until the construction of Interstate 40 in the 1960s which almost destroyed the town. Today, however, the town boasts 128 residents and almost as many burros who roam the streets. The Oatman Mine Museum allows you to walk a short distance into a former mining shaft and you can visit a replica Wild West saloon. Twice each day a comedy “gunfight” is held in the center of town and you can learn about Olive Oatman, the town’s namesake, who legend has was kidnapped by the Apache people, traded to the Mohave and later rescued not far from the town. Oatman is about a half hour drive from Bullhead City.
The Grapevine Canyon Petroglyphs, which are prehistoric rock carvings, are located on Spirit Mountain in the Grapevine Canyon. Known as Christmas Tree Pass, the petroglyphs extend through the canyon. A graded, dirt road runs through the canyon which is rich with wildlife and petroglyphs. A short hike up the canyon there is a spring that allows certain plants to grow there. The area is considered sacred to Native Americans in Southern Nevada.