So you’re planning a trip to Arizona and are wondering if you can swim in Lake Havasu.
We have visited Lake Havasu City three times in the past two years and answer everything you want to know about swimming at Lake Havasu.
Can I swim at Lake Havasu?
Yes, you can can swim at Lake Havasu.
Almost all of Lake Havasu is open to swimming.
The only swimming restrictions at Lake Havasu are in the Bridgewater Canal.
Visitors can wade in the water’s edge however swimming across the Bridgewater Canal in Lake Havasu is illegal. It is not safe due to the high volume of boat traffic in the narrow waterway.
Is Lake Havasu swimmable?
Lake Havasu is very swimmable.
The fresh temperate water of Lake Havasu is clear and very swimmable. There are no dangerous aquatics species, tides, currents or other worries.
You will see people swimming off boats and along the shoreline of Lake Havasu.
If you don’t have a boat, don’t worry there are plenty of awesome places to swim at Lake Havasu.
Does Lake Havasu have a public beach?
Lake Havasu has multiple public beaches including the largest city park, Rotary Park.
Rotary Park and London Bridge park both have a wide sandy beach area that is perfect for swimming or launching a kayak or paddleboard at Lake Havasu.
Motor boats are allowed to drop off or pick up passengers but cannot anchor at Rotary Park.
It is located adjacent to the Bridgewater Canal making it a great starting point to paddle to London Bridge or just enjoy the boat traffic.
Best Beach for Swimming at Lake Havasu
If you’re planning swim from the shore at Lake Havasu, the best beaches for swimming are either Rotary Park or London Bridge Park.
Admission is free to both city parks. They are located across the Bridgewater Canal from each other.
Rotary Park in Lake Havasu
Rotary Park is a waterfront city park with one of the Lake Havasu’s best beach to swim.
You’ll almost forget you’re in Arizona when you walk on the wide sandy beach complete with palm trees and turquoise waters.
It has 3 playgrounds, restrooms, covered picnic areas with charcoal barbeque grills, volleyball courts, a skate park and a walking path. Dogs are not allowed in Rotary Park.
Rotary Park in Lake Havasu covers nearly 40 acres and has abundant free parking.
Alcohol consumption is not permitted at Rotary Park in Lake Havasu unless a group permit has been arranged in advance.
Location of Rotary Park Lake Havasu: Rotary Park Drive
Admission Fee to Rotary Park Lake Havasu: $0
London Bridge Beach Park in Lake Havasu
London Bridge Beach is a waterfront city park located across the Bridgewater Canal from Rotary Park. It is a bit smaller than Rotary Park but offers more amenities.
To access the park, you must cross over the London Bridge onto Grand Island. This can be a hassle during busy traffic times if you are not already on Grand Island.
London Bridge Beach Park is one of Lake Havasu’s most popular beaches.
It offers a wide sandy beach complete with palm trees much like it’s sister, Rotary Park. It also offers non-motorized boat launch.
The main differences between Rotary Park and London Bridge Beach are:
- seasonal rental jetskis, paddleboards and kayaks are available at London Bridge Beach Park in Lake Havasu
- day moorings are available for motorboats at London Bridge
- dog are welcome
London Bridge Beach has a designated dog park to let dogs run off leash. Leased dogs are also welcome in other areas of London Bridge Beach Park.
Other park amenities at London Bridge Beach Park include basketball and volleyball courts, 2 playgrounds, restrooms, covered picnic areas with charcoal barbeque grills, walking trails and free parking.
Alcohol consumption is not permitted at London Bridge Beach in Lake Havasu unless a group permit has been arranged in advance.
Location of London Bridge Beach: 1340 McCulloch Blvd N, Lake Havasu City, AZ 86403
Admission Fee to London Bridge Beach: $0
Everything You Need to Know (and Some You Didn’t) about Swimming at Lake Havasu
Alright so now you know the best free beaches at Lake Havasu for swimming. Let’s get into everything else you need to know plus a few things you didn’t even know you needed to know about swimming at Lake Havasu.
Is it OK to swim at Lake Havasu?
Yes, it is OK to swim at Lake Havasu.
Remember lakes are natural bodies of water so there is some risk. They have not been treated with chemicals like a pool.
Bacteria may be present so it is best to avoid lake swimming if you have open wounds.
The turquoise waters of Lake Havasu are inviting on a warm Arizona day. In winter, the water is a little too cold for my Southern blood. There are plenty of other things to do in winter at Lake Havasu.
Is Lake Havasu dangerous?
Yes. According to USAbyNumbers, Lake Havasu is the 8th most dangerous waterway in the United States in 2022.
There are no currents, riptides or dangerous aquatic species in Lake Havasu.
The primary dangers at Lake Havasu are inexperienced, impaired and/or distracted boaters.
Lake Havasu is the most visited lake in Arizona. It attracts millions of vacationers each year.
Some are experienced, responsible boaters. Some are not. And you can’t predict which ones you will be encountering.
To stay safe on a boat, drive like everyone else has been drinking alcohol all day and isn’t paying attention to you.
Keep your distance and act defensively to protect your boat and yourself.
Does Lake Havasu have swimmers itch?
Lake Havasu is a natural body of water and while not common there have been cases of swimmers itch.
Swimmer’s Itch is an itchy skin rash resulting from an allergic reaction to parasites in fresh bodies of water. It is also called cercarial dermatitis.
The parasites released by infected snails generally affect birds and mammals.
How to Avoid Swimmers Itch
A Utah park ranger told us the best ways to avoid swimmers itch is avoid entering the water at the shore because most parasites linger at the waters edge.
If you can’t avoid the shoreline (by swimming off a boat) then be sure to either shower with fresh water or dry yourself completely when exiting the water.
If you can immediately remove the water from your skin with a dry towel then you can remove the parasites before a reaction occurs.
Is the water in Lake Havasu clean?
Yes, Lake Havasu is clean. The lake is a clear with over 400 miles of coastline.
Is Lake Havasu water clear?
Lake Havasu has clear water but is occasionally impacted by algae which can cause a green water color.
Since it is fed by the Colorado River, Lake Havasu generally has a clear turquoise look. You can see fish swimming in the clear water.
What is the water temperature at Lake Havasu?
Thanks to warm daytimes in southern Arizona year-round, the water temperatures at Lake Havasu are fairly temperate.
They range from 15 to 25 degrees Celsius or 59 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check the complete current lake conditions at Lake Monster.
Where does the water in Lake Havasu come from?
The water in Lake Havasu comes from the Colorado River.
Lake Havasu is a 19k acre freshwater lake created by the Parker Dam on the Colorado River.
In 1938, the Parker Dam was built on the California side of the border. It is the world’s deepest dam at 320 feet. The majority of the dam sits below the riverbed.
How much water is in Lake Havasu?
The water in Lake Havasu varies but at capacity the lake can store as much as 648,000 acre-feet of water or nearly 211 billion gallons.
The Colorado River provides drinking water for most of Southern California. Lake Havasu is a balancing reservoir for Lake Mead and Lake Powell which means the water level varies.
How deep is Lake Havasu?
Lake Havasu is up to 90 feet deep at some of it’s deepest sections. The average depth of Lake Havasu is 35 feet.
How is the Lake Havasu water level?
The Lake Havasu water level vary year-round based on the balancing needs of Lake Powell and Lake Mead.
Summer water levels at Lake Havasu never drop below 98% capacity which means the water levels do not vary more than 5 feet in summer.
Will Lake Havasu ever dry up?
If water consumption continues at its current rate, California and Arizona will eventually run out of water.
Lake Havasu feed Lake Mead which is at record lows. It is only logical to believe that water demands may cause Lake Havasu to drop but hopefully not dry up completely.
Rules & Regulations at Lake Havasu Arizona
Lake Havasu is a great destination for swimming, boating and fishing. But there are a few rules you might want to know before you go.
Do you need a permit at Lake Havasu?
Permits are not required for boating or swimming at Lake Havasu. This is often confused with the permits that are required to hike to Havasu Falls near the Grand Canyon.
Fishing licenses are required to fish at Lake Havasu. Arizona fishing licenses are available online.
Camping permits are required for established campgrounds like Lake Havasu State Park. Free camping is available around Lake Havasu. (add link for havasu in winter)
Can you drink on Lake Havasu?
Yes, you can drink alcohol on a boat at Lake Havasu.
There no additional regulations restricting alcohol consumption on a boat that don’t apply on land.
It is illegal to drive a boat in Arizona impaired (including alcohol or drugs). You must be 21 years old to legally drink alcohol.
Keep in mind boat captains should treat their drinking the same as driving a car. Stick to a beer or two but no more.
The legal limit is 0.8% BAC. Violators will be subjected to a breathalyzer test.
If found guilty, Operating Under Influence (OUI) violations are serious criminal offenses. They can result in hefty fines and/or jail time.
The legal limit for operating (driving) a boat or personal watercraft in Arizona is 0.8% blood alcohol content.
Consider hiring a Designated Captain if you want to drink on a boat at Lake Havasu and are planning to booze it up.
Can you drink alcohol at Lake Havasu?
As with most US cities, you can only drink alcohol in private homes, licensed business or on private property (such as a boat). Alcohol consumption is not allowed at city parks or in public areas of Lake Havasu.
Things to do at Lake Havasu other than Swimming
Lake Havasu attracts visitors year round. It is the number one visited lake in Arizona.
That is not surprising considering the dry desert without much water in Quartzsite, Tucson, Yuma and most of Arizona.
When it is too cold to swim in Lake Havasu, we love swimming at the local Aquatics Center. For more ideas of winter activities check out 21 Fun Things to Do in Lake Havasu in Winter 2022 .
A few of our favorite things to do in Lake Havasu City are getting sweaty at SARA park and visiting the Lake Havasu Lighthouses.
Visit a Lake Havasu Lighthouse
A non-profit volunteer run organization, Lake Havasu Lighthouse Club designed and constructed 28 lighthouses on the shores of the lake.
They are unexpected gems nestled among the lake shores. Touring them offers visitors a diverse geography and history lesson.
SARA Park in Lake Havasu
SARA park is a city run desert park that offers outdoor attractions for everyone. There is a dog park, disc golf course, extensive network of mountain bike single tracks and hiking trails including the highly rated SARA’s crack.
Check out 21 Fun Things to Do in Lake Havasu in Winter 2022 for more ideas of free and fun things to do in Lake Havasu.
Where to Stay Lake Havasu
Now that you’ve decided to visit Lake Havasu, you’re probably wondering where to stay.
Don’t worry we’ve combed through the ratings and online review for you and rounded up a few top recommendations for every budget.
Since swimming the lake is a top priority we’ll start with resorts on the water.
Best Waterfront Resort on Lake Havasu
We prefer the location and pool complex at London Bridge Resort compared to Nautical Beachfront Resort based on photos and reviews.
Other Lake Havasu accommodations to consider:
- Luxury Recommendation
- Mid-Range Recommendation
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lake Havasu
- Located near London Bridge with outdoor pool and free breakfast
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Lake Havasu
- Budget Recommendation
- Island Suites
- Suites with free breakfast and outdoor pool
- Island Suites
- Free Recommendation
- Camping for Free on Public Land in an RV or rented campervan
Summary: Swimming in Lake Havasu
Swimming at Lake Havasu can be a lot of fun especially in warmer months.
We hope our guide has answered all of your questions about swimming at Lake Havasu.
Stay safe and have fun!
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