Laughlin and a Wildlife Refuge

After our little side trip to Oatman, we were back on the road heading toward Laughlin, Nevada. With tummies full and a perpetual smile plastered across our faces, we wondered why wild burros had such a heart warming impact on us. I think most of us will agree, baby animals are absolutely adorable and these little burros were so incredibly cute that I couldn’t help but smile.

wild burros Oatman AZ
There’s something entertaining about wild burros roaming about!
wild burros Oatman, Arizona
This little one was taking a nap, or at least trying to.

Continuing down the road

We arrived at the Golden Nugget Hotel in Laughlin, Nevada, right around 1:00 in the afternoon. The gal behind the counter was super nice and did her best to find us an available room with a king size bed, but none were quite ready for check-in.

Golden Nugget Casino Laughlin Nevada
Golden Nugget Casino Entrance

Golden Nugget Laughlin NV

So with a little time to kill,  Al and I headed to the lower level for dessert at Bubba Gumps. Not only was the dessert delicious, the outdoor dining was sheer perfection.

Bubba Gump dessert
OMG – so good!
Bubba Gump dining in Laughlin, NV
the outdoor dining area was perfect – overlooks the Colorado River

We found the ambiance of the outdoor dining at Bubba Gump so delightful that we returned a few hours later for dinner and discovered their early bird menu. I ordered the fish tacos (yum), and Al ordered soup and salad. Al loves a good New England Clam Chowder and he said this was some of the best he’s ever had. His Caesar salad was also very good. The next day, we returned for lunch and ordered fried shrimp and more clam chowder. Yep, I’d recommend dining here especially if the weather is perfect for sitting outside, which fortunately for us, it was.

Casino in Laughlin Nevada

Laughlin, Nevada, is pretty small, and Al and I soon found ourselves feeling a tad bit bored. We’re not much into casino gambling these days, especially after having lived in Las Vegas in the mid 1990’s. So we strolled up and down the river walk and in and out of the casinos several times a day getting in some exercise and doing some people watching.

It perplexes me the number of people who smoke cigarettes. I’m reminded gambling, smoking and drinking seem to go together. It was obvious, many of these smokers were dealing with failing health. Sad! I guess not everyone knows how to make healthy choices … that or they don’t care 😪

Laughlin Nevada
getting in our steps along the riverwalk as the sun was rising

We also took the opportunity to check out all the available RV parking opportunities in the area. Most of the casinos offer dry camping in designated sections of their parking lots. There’s also a RV Park with full hook-ups right on the main drag.

Laughlin, NV
most of the casinos allow boondocking in designated sections of their parking lots

On the east side of the Colorado River is Bullhead City, Arizona. This is where Al and I ran a few errands by stopping in at Sam’s Club, Target, and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Just north of Bullhead City is a great campground called Davis Camp. It’s located right along the water and just below the Davis Damn which forms Lake Mohave. Al and I stayed here during our first road trip with the 5th wheel back in 2012. Further up the road is Katherine’s Landing on Lake Mohave. Although the lake looks inviting, the campground here not so much. But from what we’ve heard, this is where the campers in the casino parking lots come to dump their tanks and take on water.

Laughlin NV
Laughlin along the Colorado River

Laughlin Nevada

With our explorations of Laughlin and Bullhead City complete. Al and I were eager to hit the road and return to our RV, but a stop along the way was in order.

pelicans in the desert
Pelicans in the desert?

Stopping at a wildlife refuge

Our route back to Lake Havasu City would take us along the Havasu Wildlife Refuge boundary. I had high hopes to encounter a bunch of birds. Oh, how my camera and I have missed photographing the birds at the Texas Gulf Coast this winter.

Havasu Wildlife Refuge
Havasu Wildlife Refuge

I didn’t prepare to take bird photographs on our little jaunt to Laughlin, Nevada, and therefore left my favorite camera behind. Oh well, this wasn’t a serious photography outing anyway. My point and shoot camera will have to do.

We made a few stops at the Havasu Wildlife Refuge, and although I found a raw beauty in the landscape, the birds were rather elusive.

Havasu Wildlife Refuge
Havasu Wildlife Refuge … in search of birds

During our second stop, I did spot some ducks off in the distance. I walked over to the palm tree on the far right (seen in the photo above) and just then a cormorant flew by.

cormorant in flight
cormorant flies by while a coot bobs in the water

I continued to stand at the water’s edge scouring the landscape. I spot a lone egret in the distance in one direction and some ducks floating in the water in the other direction.

egret Havasu Wildlife Refuge
a lone egret in the distance
Red Heads
Red Head Ducks

Although we didn’t spot an abundance of birds, I did enjoy my quick visit with what few birds we did see. Perhaps if we had a kayak, we could see more of the refuge and possibly more birds.

pelicans Havasu Wildlife Refuge
It’s strange seeing pelicans in the desert. I associate them with the ocean, but I’ve also seen them in Colorado.

All in all, we enjoyed our little vacation. It was a nice three-day get away, but we were glad to get back home to our RV.

Havasu Wildlife Refuge

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All photos in this post were taken with the
 Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70  and edited in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6

54 thoughts on “Laughlin and a Wildlife Refuge

  1. We finally made our way here. We’re at River Island SP outside of Parker for the next few days. Then we meander north mostly along 95 until we get to Pahrump at the end of March. We’ll be visiting the London Bridge, some bike riding, breweries, Havasu City, Oatman, mining towns, boondocking etc. If there is anything special that we must see/must do, please let me know!


    1. Have you two been to the Desert Bar just north of Parker? We were just there this past Sunday – quirky fun place. Mudshark Brewery in Havasu has a Burger Monday that we love. We also enjoyed Hangar 24. You’d love hiking Sara’s Crack or any number of trails in the area. If you’d like to meet up next week and visit over a couple of beers, let me know. I think the guys would have a lot to talk about!


      1. We’ve been to the Desert Bar a few times. Always fun. Thanks for the brewery and hike tips. We’d love to meet up next week! Just let us know when a good day for you is. Steve works, but he can sometimes head out by 4. We’ll be boondocking some where north of her next week about 30 miles so we’ll probably be closer to you.


  2. Ingrid the second photo of the burrow laying down is fabulous. Such a creative angle. I love when photos are surprising. The two standing are super cute but that one just speaks to me.
    Thanks for the tour of Laughlin. Sounds like a good spot for a short stay. also wonderfu lto see your bird photos which are always glorious. Hope both you and Hubby are feeling well now.


    1. Al and I are doing much better, thank you, but it did take a while. That flu thing was pretty bad this year. Although I’m missing my usual sojourn to the Texas Gulf Coast this winter, the burros and fabulous desert sunsets have been equally entertaining. Thank goodness my RV allows me to travel between the two locations and I don’t have to pick a favorite.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Ingrid,

    I enjoyed your escapades to the Wildlife Refuge. I, too, and missing the birds of the Gulf, but have to admit that I really love Tucson. The sun almost always shines! We are west of Gates Pass and I love it here. We are close enough to a large city, but with the rural feel. I love the quirkiness of this town, the art, music, festivals, and Farmers Markets!!! Really there is A LOT more to do here! I’m not sure if we will be back next year or heading to Florida. Ed still has the bug to live on a sailboat… me, not so much.

    I love your photos! Especially the Burros! And,I love your posts. They are always entertaining and thought provoking.

    Happy Trails! Mary Ann


    1. Thank you Mary Ann. Hope you intend to start a blog. I would love to see your photos and read your travel tales. Our friends here in Lake Havasu have taken us out boating a few times, and although I love the water, I would never consider moving onto a boat …. way too much work. We really enjoy Arizona and all the unique quirky places to explore.


  4. I am so glad you all enjoyed your little getaway!!! That picture of the baby burro napping is precious…what a great capture!! Speaking of which….you are spectacular even when you don’t have your “favorite” camera!!! The pictures are awesome!!


    1. Thank you Gerri. I’ve been having fun playing with my new little camera. Still have a bunch of settings to figure out 😏 Therefore, it was awesome having such entertaining subjects to photograph.


  5. Great to see some bird photos pop up on your blog!

    The warm Arizona winter must have been a delight compared to the cold winter Texas has had.

    We popped into Laughlin coming home from somewhere?!?! (A while back.)
    I got a shot of the Colorado with some swimming ducks.

    Love the donkey smiling!!! Great shot!!!


    1. I didn’t realize the little burro looked like it was smiling until I downloaded the pic. Kind of funny, huh! Seems like winter finally decided to show up here in Arizona this week, but I’m not complaining. It has been a lot colder in TX and other parts of the south. Stay warm!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s gotten chilly! Plus we had a frost… I thought for sure our bougainvillea was going to have a frost free winter!

        Funny about your burro! Stay warm!


    1. There were enough things to explore and hold our attention for a few days. Definitely worth a visit if you’re traveling through this part of the country. I’m ready to revisit Bubba Gump for some tasty clam chowder!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This place looks like the gulf coast of Northwest Florida if you ignore the mountains in the background! I never really realized this. Nice selection of shots to emphasize that point, girlie! (whether you tried to or not. ) 😁


    1. I’ve been to FL many times and I didn’t see the resemblance 😎 The landscape is rather stark here, but I’m fine with it. The lack of humidity and wonderful weather make up for the absence of lush FL vegetation. And let’s not forget about the interesting rock mountains. Yeah, fun place to visit!


      1. NW FL, with all the lakes and herons and all. Totally looks alike to me! But oh yes, I will definitely never live in Florida again! Love the West way too much now. ❤️👌🏼😎 I’m a Colorado kind of girl now!!


        1. I hear ya! I left Illinois for Colorado in the 90’s and never looked back. I am definitely a western gal. Bring on the mountains and majestic beauty of Colorado 🏕 Look forward to seeing where you spend the summer in ’18.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Haven’t been through Laughlin yet but I don’t care if I never set foot in a casino again, unless it’s on the way to a show. You’re welcome to come borrow the canoe if you want.


  8. Although we will stay in casino parking lots once in a while and gamble a little, the smoke is just horrible. We can usually only stand it in there for 30 minutes at a time and need to take showers when we get out. Even the nonsmoking sections are bad.


    1. We too will overnight in casino parking lots, but we can’t handle the smoke inside the buildings. Amazing how many people still smoke cigarettes in this day and age.


  9. We passed though Laughlin once a few years ago. We aren’t gamblers, so there was no reason to hang around. That restaurant sounds awesome however.


    1. Walking along the riverwalk and dining outside at Bubba Gumps made the trip worthwhile. The people watching made me very sad though. We were definitely done with the place after a day and if not for the free room, we would’ve moved on.


  10. Amazing shot of that gazebo! I like the scenery of the wildlife refuge as well. It always looks so pretty and tranquil to find water in the desert. I’m glad you had a nice time, but I can understand the joy in returning home to the rig! The wild burros are still my favorite. 🙂


    1. Texas has endured a rough winter. So although I’m missing my sojourn to the coast, I’ve been enjoying a gorgeous winter in AZ. Always trade offs!


  11. We spent two months in Laughlin a few years back and while we also found the town itself a little boring, we enjoyed our stay at the KOA just south and across the river in the Fort Mohave reserve. The casino is attached to a big luxury hotel and people staying at the KOA had access to all the hotel amenities such a the exercise room, pool and hot tub but the campground itself is set back from the road. Having explored many of the other campgrounds, I think the Fort Mohave one was much nicer. There is also three day free boon docking in a separate lot right next to the casino. When we stayed there, security was excellent as well.


    1. We’re really enjoying our time exploring western Arizona leisurely. There are some things we like and others not so much, but overall, it has been a great stay. We still have about a month to play here 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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