Exploring Cattail Cove State Park

Where is Cattail Cove State Park?  Lake Havasu is a very popular destination for tourists coming from all over the United States. Fortunately, this landmark is so well-loved that it has two different state parks along its scenic shores. If you’re looking for the quieter of these two parks, your best bet is Cattail Cove State Park. Not only can visitors enjoy Lake Havasu’s blue waters and beautiful views, but they can do it while also gaining some quality peace of mind. If that sounds ideal, then this state park should be at the top of your list!

Keep reading to find out more about what Cattail Cove State Park is known for as well as the area’s must-see spots, hiking trails, open hours, entrance fees, picnic grounds, camping opportunities, and nearby accommodations. Phew! That’s a lot of ground to cover. Let’s get started.

1. What is Cattail Cove State Park Known For?

Lake Havasu was formed when the Colorado River was dammed near Parker, Arizona. Today, the 45-mile long lake offers Cattail Cove State Park visitors a broad variety of activities that the whole family is sure to enjoy.  Most of all, Cattail Cove is a frequently sought after destination for boating, swimming, fishing, hiking, and wildlife viewing. 


Cattail Cove State Park invites motorized and non-motorized watercraft users to enjoy the water responsibly.

  • Paddle Board and Kayak Rentals – Cattail Cove visitors can now rent paddle boards and kayaks for hourly rental right inside the park. Visit the Ranger Station when you’re in the park or make a reservation at +1 (928) 855-1223. All rentals require a $300 deposit.
  • Boat Ramp – The park offers those with their own boats a spacious four-lane boat ramp with a 10-minute courtesy dock that can accommodate any size boat at various lake levels. If you plan to launch a boat 35′ or longer, please call ahead to speak with a Park Rangers; you will need advance permission before launching.

Cattail Cove State Park requires motorized boaters to be properly registered before sailing the water. To learn more about the necessary registration and what type of safety equipment you should bring, we recommend paying a visit to the Arizona Game and Fish Department website.


There is a wonderful designated swimming area and beach in the park’s day-use area, but swimming is permitted throughout Cattail Cove State Park along the shoreline. There are no lifeguards on duty, so it is up to swimmers to remain aware while in the water. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind if you’re outside of the designated area:

  • Wear water shoes to avoid cutting your feet on rocks or other unknown debris under the water.
  • Do not swim near boat ramps or docks.
  • Be prepared for sudden changes in the water temperature when switching from shallow to deep.


Visitors are more than welcome to fish for largemouth and striped bass, channel & flathead catfish, bluegill, and crappie at Cattail Cove State Park! If you have a successful day on the water, the park even offers a fish cleaning station so you can enjoy your catch after the fact.

Please note that a valid Arizona fishing license is required for all fishers who are 10 years of age and older. Licensing information is available online at Arizona Game & Fish website or from several local dealers. 


Take a break from the water sports and enjoy one of Cattail Cove State Park’s hiking trails! Take a look at the park’s map to plan your route.

Wildlife Viewing

Don’t forget your binoculars! Visitors often report sighting an impressive list of birds within the park limits. Examples include loons, ducks, Gambel’s quail, hummingbirds, and vultures. If you’re lucky, you may also come across wild rabbits, coyotes, bighorn sheep, raccoons, lizards, bobcats, and a number of different snakes. 

Bird watchers, if you want to study the variety of bird species recently seen at Cattail Cove before planning your trip, you can do so by clicking here.

2. Top Spots to See at Cattail Cove State Park

Cattail Cove’s number one attraction is undoubtedly Lake Havasu. However, if you’re interested in finding some other must-see spots around the park, we recommend checking out the Sandpoint Lookout trail and the nearby London Bridge in Lake Havasu City.

Sandpoint Lookout

This is a quick .10 mile hike to a lookout spot that offers views of the whole area. There’s no better way to see the true beauty of Cattail Cove than from here!

Lake Havasu City’s London Bridge

If you’re okay with traveling a few minutes outside of Cattail Cove State Park, this is definitely a must-see. Roughly 10 miles up the road from the park, you’ll find the Lake Havasu City London Bridge. This bridge was originally opened in London, England all the way back in 1831. Over 100 years later in 1968, Robert McCulloch of Lake Havasu City purchased it for $1.2 million and decided to bring it back to the states by slowly dismantling the pieces, labeling every single one of them, and then reconstructing the bridge in his hometown. Today, swarms of tourists come to Lake Havasu City every year to admire this London Bridge’s granite structure and five arches. You won’t find anything else like it in the southwestern United States, that’s for sure!

3. Hiking and Trails Information

While Cattail Cove’s claim to fame is certainly Lake Havasu, the park also offers a good number of scenic hiking trails to clear your mind or get your heart pumping. Check out the park website for an extensive list. In the meantime, here are some of our favorites:

  • Whytes Retreat Trail – This is an easy half-mile hiking trail that provides an excellent view of the lower portion of the Colorado River, the Whitsett Pumping Station, and Parker Dam through low desert hills and a shallow gorge with bluffs on both sides.
  • Wayne’s Way Trail – This trail can either be .20 or .90 miles depending on which trail experience you choose. It’s a great time either way!
  • Three Dunes – This is the park’s longest hike. Coming in at 3.37 miles, hikers rate this as moderately difficult but well worth the trek.

No matter which trail you decide to embark on, always be sure to tell someone where you’re headed and bring along lots of water and sun protection.

4. Park and Camping Information

Park and Facility Hours

Cattail Cove State Park is open 24 hours every single day of the year.  Day use is from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. The park’s Visitor Center and Park Store are open from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm daily. 

Day Use Entrance Fees

Please note, this entrance fee includes boat launching, parking, and beach use only.

  • Per Vehicle (up to four adults): $10 from Monday through Thursday, $15  from Friday through Sunday and on holidays
  • Oversize Parking (55′ or longer): $10 additional per day
  • Per Individual or Bicycle: $3

Overnight Parking Fees

Please note, overnight parking is available at a rate of $15 from Monday through Thursday and $20 from Friday through Sunday for unoccupied vehicles at boat accessible campsites only.

Ranger Station and Park Store

Cattail Cove State Park’s Ranger Station is open every day from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Here, you will find park rangers who can help you with any questions you may have. In addition, the Ranger Station includes a small gift shop with books as well as Cattail Cove State Park t-shirts, polos, sweaters, and baseball hats.

Day Use Picnic Areas

Visitors who have paid for day-use admission are more than welcome to utilize and enjoy the provided picnic tables on the beach. These picnic sites are shaded from the intense Arizona sun and also offer a limited number of grills on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Tent and RV Camping Information

Cattail Cove State Park has 61 camping & RV sites available inside the park. Each site has electrical outlets and water access, as well as a picnic table, barbecue grill, and fire pit. Fires are allowed in the fire rings at each site all year unless other fire restrictions are in effect. 

Unreserved campsites are sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Saving sites is not allowed. The park allows six adults, six children, and two cars per campsite. Overflow camping is $20 per vehicle.

Boat-In Camping Information

For those who are interested, Cattail Cove also offers a good amount of secluded boat-in camping sites. These sites come with picnic tables, barbecue grills, waste bins, and access to pit toilets. Fires are not allowed, but propane stoves are acceptable. 

All of the park’s boat-in camping sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visitors who wish to use these boat-in campsites should park their vehicle and boat trailer in the parking lot and pay for overnight parking before setting out.

Camping Reservations

Cattail Cove State Park campground reservations can be made with the Arizona State Parks department online or by calling their reservations desk at 1-877-MY PARKS (697-2757) during normal office hours. Keep in mind that Cattail Cove State Park enforces a $5 non-refundable reservation fee per reserved campsite.

5. Where to Stay

If you want to stay indoors, you’ll have to look outside of Cattail Cove State Park. However, you won’t need to look too far! Lake Havasu City is located roughly 10 miles north of Cattail Cove. In addition to a wide variety of hotel and Airbnb accommodations, Lake Havasu City also offers water sports and ATV rentals, guided tours, fishing gear, restaurants, fuel, banks, grocery stores, golf courses, shopping, movie theaters, and laundry services. For more information about the area surrounding Cattail Cove State Park, please contact the Lake Havasu Visitors Center online or by phone at +1 (928) 855-5655.

As you can see, Cattail Cove State Park’s open waters, white sand beaches, unique campsites, bustling wildlife, and scenic hiking trails offer a broad spectrum of activities that everyone in the family is bound to enjoy. If you want to get away from the commotion of Lake Havasu City while still thoroughly enjoying the area, Cattail Cove is the place to be!