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  1. #1

    Default Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    In a few weeks some friends and I are planning on running from Laughlin to Havasu, partying at Havasu for the afternoon and then running the river back to Laughlin.

    I haven't done this and am have a hard time finding any info, I know the jet boat tours do it daily but I'm not in a jet boat. I have a 23 ft Checkmate with a Bravo I, draft is no more than 24 inches at idle. Are there any hazards I need to know about, does the water level change throught the day? Any and all tips are welcome. We plan on putting in between 7-8am in Laughlin and heading back to Laughlin late in the afternoon.

    Thanks, Jake

  2. #2
    Moderator QC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    Well I have not done the whole run for quite a few years although I was just in at Laughlin a couple of weeks ago. I also boated between Park Moabi and Needles this year, and I have a lot of experience from the I40 bridge down into Havasu.

    Basically the stretch from the casinos down to the lower reaches of Bullhead is pretty treacherous. If you know that stretch, then you know the risks there. My recollection is that it is pretty reasonable from there to the Avi. From the Avi to just below Willow Valley Marina there are a lot of snags, bars and one particularly nasty rock bar just below Willow. From Willow to the I40 bridge is pretty good right down the middle. From I40 into Topock Gorge is actually pretty deep with the exception of the corner where the Sandbar is (Blankenship Bend).



    I'd simply follow any boat through there. Also if you miss the main channel and venture off into some of the little backwater areas you can get in big trouble fast.

    The next concern is the area where the river dumps into the lake just south of the buoys that mark the Gorge entrance from south to north. I'd also follow boats out of there. I go through there several times a year and it still freaks me out. With that said, I have never hit anything. That section is divided by a large sandbar, and I prefer the AZ side despite appearances. There is usually a large debris field just as you get into the lake proper. That area is actually fairly deep, but lots of stuff to hit like floating logs etc.

    My recommendation is to figure out the schedule of the tour boats that run from London Bridge to Laughlin and back. I'd follow them, but I think their schedule might be backwards for you, but I am not sure (looking for a link after I post). These are 40 ft. + jet boats and draw enough water that a smaller prop drive of any kind should have absolutely no issues where ver they go.

    Also, Google maps has a pretty good look at the whole thing. I can see the rock bars, sand bars and generally shallow ares pretty clearly, so I'd stare at hat for a while and probably make some notes.

    Finally, all of this is worth about as much as you have paid for it. Be CAREFUL!!! Wish I was going. Good luck!!

  3. #3
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
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    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    Watch the traffic, it gets very hectic, they had a very bad prang there a month or two back with several dead due to alcohol, over tired from sun etc and excessive speed and no room to maneuver. Some of those guys are going very fast, in a small river.

  4. #4
    Moderator QC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    Follow these guys, schedule is actually good for you . . . London Bridge Jet boat tour

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Commander redone4x4's Avatar
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    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    Quote Originally Posted by soaringhiggy View Post
    Watch the traffic, it gets very hectic, they had a very bad prang there a month or two back with several dead due to alcohol, over tired from sun etc and excessive speed and no room to maneuver. Some of those guys are going very fast, in a small river.
    I lost a friend to the london bridge years back.....it was at night though and i wasnt there. they were speeding and hit a pillar. but good points, just be careful.
    Samuel Adams. Always A Good Decision.
    1987 5.0 OMC capri 1950CX bowrider, 3 bow 6 ft. Westland bimini

  6. #6

    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    Thanks everyone, I'm going to repost this in the Boat Topics at the rec of QC. I'll let you all know how it goes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run ???s

    I have not gone from Laughlin to Needles, but have gone from needles to Lake Havasu last month. Generally the river is down in the morning and up in the evening. I have an I/O with a draft of about 2.5ft. and was nervous in a few spots just north of Needles where the depth finder showed 4ft. Be prepared for at least a 3 hour ride each way if you are going at a safe speed. I think there are more shallow stretches from Laughlin to Needles. Hopefully you can follow another boat. Take an extra prop or two. You may also want to get the Boat US towing option for $53 a year just in case.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run ???s

    thanks, I just google earthed the run and it looked pretty straight forward. I figure as long as I slow up for all the corners and stay alert we should be OK. I was surprised at home many boats were on the river, looks like a nice ride.

  9. #9
    Moderator QC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    BTW, I made a mistake in my PM to you. I didn't realize this was here where it belongs . . . Let's leave it here and good luck.

    I merged the threads and deleted the duplicate. My fault, sorry Jake.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    Do you all think it would be safer/smarter to put in at Needles/I-40 bridge area? I want to run part of the river and I hope the scenery is still good for that part. Is there anything between Needles and Havasu? Is there a good boat ramp close to I-40?

    Sorry for all the questions,
    Jake

  11. #11
    Moderator QC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    You could put in at Needles Marina or Park Moabi or Topock Marina (weird website and I know nothing about launching there) . . .

    Here is a good thread that describes the ride from the I40 Bridge to London Bridge. Lots to see for sure, the best part of the whole ride.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Laughlin to Havasu River Run

    I use the Needles Marina launch and the one right next to it--I think its Needles RV park marina. There both in a small coves away from the current and I think have 2-3 launch lanes.

    As QC said, there is a lot to see from Needles to Havasu and the sand bar is on the way. Topock Gorge is a no wake zone, so it is a little slow through there. But, its scenery makes it go by faster.

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