The main purpose of the dam is to provide reservoir storage. Lake Havasu is the reservoir behind the dam and is 45 miles long and contains 20,390 acres of water (211 billion gallons). It took three years for the lake to fill after the dam was built. The Colorado River Aqueduct (man-made river) can deliver 1 billion gallons of water daily to to Southern California from the reservoir.
Today there is security at the dam and no pedestrian traffic is permitted on the bridge. Furthermore, it closes daily from 11 pm to 5 am. Here is a photo I took while we were driving over the dam.
After crossing the dam, we stopped at the pullover on the right to get a better look at it. The powerplant is on the California side below the dam and can be seen in the second photo below. It houses four hydroelectric generating units.
We continued to the next pullout on the left side of the road. The first is a view to the north of the dam; and, the second is the downstream view to the south.
This is the deepest dam in the world. 73% of the structural height of 320' is below the original riverbed. Workers excavated 235' into the Colorado River riverbed to lay the concrete foundation of the dam. About 85' of the dam is visible. The super structure rises another 62' above the roadway on the bridge.
The Parker Road Dam National Back Country Byway begins on the California side of the dam. The Bureau of Land Management introduced the Back Country Byway Programs as a national effort to open up less traveled corridors of the western public lands.
We saw these burros grazing along the side of the road very close to the dam. They are so darn cute.
As we drove further on the Parker Road Dam, we came across this sign. And, we saw at least 10 other burros from the road.
As we drove back toward Lake Havasu City, we made a quick stop at Cattail Cove State Park to let Sadie go for a swim at their dog beach on the lake. The rocky beach was beautiful in the late afternoon light. Lots of ducks could be seen from the beach as well.
We stayed until the sun set over the mountains of California. It was a lovely and leisurely end to our little sightseeing tour today.
Sadie is always a happy girl when she gets to go for a swim!
Admission to Cattail Cove State Park is $10/vehicle. Because we purchased an annual pass to Arizona State Parks, it was no additional cost for us.
For additional information about Parker Dam or Cattail Cove State Park, please see their websites.