I know, when you think about lighthouses, one would never associate a landlocked desert with lighthouses. However, there are more than twenty-five scaled-down functioning replicas along Lake Havasu’s shores with plans to build even more.
The construction of these lighthouses was originally intended for safety purposes, but have become as much of a landmark as the London Bridge.
The Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club, a non-profit group of independent people, wanted to make the lake safer for night boating and fishing. All lighthouses are built and maintained by the folks at the Lighthouse Club and meet the coast guard’s navigational regulations. So not only do they serve as a unique tourist attraction, they assist in safe water navigation.
All the lighthouses on the west side of Lake Havasu are replicas of famous lighthouses on the West Coast. On the east side of the lake are replicas from the East Coast, and the lighthouses around the island are all replicas of lighthouses from the Great Lakes.
Each lighthouse replica costs about $5,000 to build, which includes $1,000 or more just for the beacon. The majority of the labor is done by Lighthouse Club members and other volunteers, and many of the lighthouses are sponsored by families as memorials for their loved ones. Some of the lighthouses can easily be viewed from land while others can be seen only from the water.
One of my personal favorites is the Split Rock Lighthouse. When Al and I lived in the Chicago suburbs, every summer we would pack up our canoe and camping gear and head to northern Minnesota. The stretch of road along the north shores of Lake Superior between Duluth and Grand Marais is a beautiful and scenic drive … a drive I always enjoyed.
Both sides of the road feature interesting sights. On the north side of the road, we see waterfalls. The iron ore rich land turns the cascading water into an interesting copper color which rapidly flows over huge rocks and drains into Lake Superior.
Glancing to the south side of the road is Lake Superior; the largest of the Great Lakes. A rocky cliff shoreline serves as a reminder that these waters can be dangerous. You won’t find many beaches along Lake Superiors north shore but you will find lighthouses.
During our many travels through this part of Minnesota, a stop or two to capture a photograph of the Split Rock Lighthouse was always on the agenda.
Somewhere in my storage unit back in Colorado are all my vacation photos from those Minnesota vacations.
I had a great time watching the sunset over Lake Havasu. As I stood next to the Split Rock Lighthouse replica, I couldn’t help but reminisce. Ah yes …. fond memories indeed. Wherever does the time go?
Lake Havasu City is a great destination for a get away year round. Just remember, this is the desert and temperatures in the summer do soar, but fall, winter, and spring are an RVer’s dream. For info on a lighthouse tour, click here.
Can you believe Christmas is just around the corner? I’ll be keeping a close eye on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals. Here’s a few items on my list (affiliate links). What’s on yours?