Three Dunes Campground sits on the east shore of Lake Havasu a few miles south of Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Despite the name, I only saw one large sand dune. During the warmer months of the year, the area is often visited by boaters. I will describe below a path that will take you from Route 95, over the desert floor and through a small canyon to the sand dune and then brings you back via a partially different route.
Standard wash sits to the west of Three Dunes area. It starts as a broad wash near Route 95, narrows to a canyon and then broadens again before reaching Lake Havasu. After Three Dunes, I went to Standard Wash but reached a 10 ft tall dry waterfall that stopped me from continuing to the lake.
From the south end of Lake Havasu City, I drove roughly 7 miles south on Route 95 to a rest area on the west side of the road near mile marker 170.
Loop (lollipop) hike from the Route 195 rest area to Three Dunes and back seen. The line on the left shows my path to Standard Wash at the dry waterfall where I could not continue to the lake.
Hiking distance from Route 95 to Lake Havasu is 3.4 miles
one way via the shorter path and 3.9 miles
one way via the longer path.
This is a description of my hike. There were no trails or signs.
I went to the north end of the rest area, got into a broad desert wash and started to hike in a southwesterly direction.
After 0.7 miles, before reaching power lines, I reached a faint dirt road. Turned left and started walking south on the road.
I had looked at satellite photos and knew where I was supposed to go. After a short distance on the road, I turned right leaving the road hiking down another dry wash heading southwest.
Start of the wash
The wash narrowed to form a canyon.
It soon opened up again.
Near Lake Havasu.
I went to the right (west) side of the wash and went up a trail on the small hill to reach the lake where the big sand dune could be seen to the right.
Hiked around a growth of bushes to reach the big dune.
|The big dune |
|The big dune
Views from the top of the big dune.
|Lizard Peak |
For return, I came back up a wash to the west of the one I had come down from. This wash did not form a canyon. It reached the same dirt road I had been on before.
Standard Wash also started as a broad wash on the desert floor.
As I continued southwest, a canyon formed.
The first dry fall was easy to bypass.
First dry fall
The second one had no bypass. It was roughly 10 ft tall. I could have jumped down but I knew I could not have come back up it all alone without equipment.
Second dry fall
Went up a steep slippery slope on the left canyon wall.
From the top of the wall
Looking at Lake Havasu from the top of the wall.
Looking into the canyon at the dry fall.
When to Hike
Winter is the best time to hike. Summer can get dangerously hot.