The Colorado River!
PREMIER TOURISM ATTRACTION OF THE WEST!
Parker's economy is based primarily on tourism. The 16-mile strip of the Colorado River, between Parker Dam and Headgate Rock Dam, forms one of the finest bodies of water in the country for water-based recreational activities. This makes Parker a major destination point for tourists and winter visitors who take advantage of local motels, campgrounds, an 18-hole golf course, mobile homes, RV Parks, restaurants, gasoline stations and convenience markets.
Agriculture, historically the major economic base of Parker, continues to contribute to the local economy. The fertile fields of the Colorado River yield melons, lettuce, cotton, wheat, barley and alfalfa. The 270,000-acre Colorado River Indian Reservation is an integral part of the community.
The Parker Strip
Lake Moovalya, created by Parker Dam to the north and Headgate Rock Dam (shown) to the south, accounts for a number of boating accidents on the California side of the Colorado. This 10-mile-long, 400-foot-wide body of water is perhaps better known as “The Parker Strip.” A majority of accidents on The Strip involved motorboats under 20 feet in length. These accidents are usually the result of improper lookout, operator inattention or carelessness, intoxicated operation, or illegal skiing practices. Citations will be issued to boats emitting a noise level above 86 decibels at 50 feet on the Arizona side. The noise level requirements for boats operating on the California side of the river is determined by the year the boat engine was manufactured, but in no instance can the noise level exceed 86 decibels. See the “ABCs of the California Boating Law” for legal noise limits.
Boaters must be constantly alert for underwater and partially submerged hazards such as sandbars, rocks, or snags on the Colorado. In areas where fast currents empty into lakes, such as the north basin of Lake Havasu, it is not uncommon to find floating, partially submerged tree stumps that can measure ten feet or more in length. Because water levels fluctuate both seasonally and daily, the visibility of hazards in the water can vary. Sandbars continually change position as the current disturbs the river’s sandy bottom. The current varies from 2 to 8 mph depending on the area, season, and amount of water being released from dams upstream. Few aids to navigation exist on portions of the Colorado. A typical “snag warning” may be a bottle tied to the limb of a submerged cottonwood by a conscientious fisherman. Shoals and sandbars usually are not marked, so ... BE ALERT. Rafters are quite common on the river. Since they can be difficult to see, motor boaters should be on the lookout for rafts and proceed with caution.
Stretches of the river suitable for paddle craft are below Parker Dam
Download the Colorado River Guide
Note: The guide is provided in the Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You must have the Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view this file.
If you do not have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader, you may download it by clicking here.