Camping and hiking information with tips for parents
If you plan on going to Laughlin, the first thing I must suggest is reservations! The rates are based on room location and availability. We were surprised (as first time visitors) to discover that our room had several different rates; not just weekend rates- but different prices every day!
We stayed a night at "Don Laughlins' Riverside Casino". The room was nice, but the layout of the casino was very confusing. Our car was parked out in the boonies.
The "Colorado Belle" was much more simple to
find your way around. The rooms were nice, but the line to register for
your room was hellish. I enjoyed the layout of the "Belle" but I couldn't
recommend the food there. My husband and I ate "all-you can-eat ribs and
chicken at the "Mark Twain" restaurant. The service was good, but I think
Mark Twain would have been insulted if he'd tried the food! Yech!!!!!!!!!!!
We also tried the food at the "Wok". I had pork fried rice- and it was
I hate to bad-mouth Laughlin, but I have to give it two thumbs down. There are areas for non-smokers, but the whole place reeks of cigarettes. If you are over 55 years old, you'll feel welcome. This is a senior mecca full of R.V.s and crappy drivers. If you like your kids, don't bring them here!
There were some good points to this area, despite my dislike of Laughlin. One mile north of Laughlin is Davis dam. This dam is much smaller than Hoover dam, but much less touristy (is that a word?).
The dam has a self guided tour. There is no charge for the tour
or the parking (unlike Hoover dam). The self guided tour leads you into
the dam for a look at the operating room, the turbines, and the shaft.
Check out the vintage government issue furniture and vending machines!
Everything is very well maintained and I thought it was really cool.
I did go to Hoover dam (75 miles north of Laughlin) but was disappointed after my visit to Davis dam. The traffic over the dam was heavy and the air stank of exhaust fumes. The road leading to the dam is a narrow winding two lane road that seems to be a main truck route. There were no signs of fees on the road to the dam or in any of the pamphlets, so we were surprised at the $2.00 parking fee for convenient parking. The fees for the dam tour were $6.00 per person. Seniors go for $5.00 and kids are $3.00. If you're feeling rich you can go for the $25.00 per person "hardhat tour". This tour takes you into parts of the dam that the regular tour doesn't't go to. You even get to keep the hardhat. The fees add up quickly. I chose not to take the tour, but I spoke with a family who did. They saw the same equipment I'd seen at Davis dam- but for a big price in large crowds. There were people smoking everywhere, and I watched in disgusted as people pitched their butts onto the sidewalk feet from ashtrays. The amount of litter here was surprising for a public area with so many user fees.
you take route 95 to the 163 to get to Laughlin, you can see some great
petrogliffs! A few miles before you reach Laughlin on the 163, you'll see
a dirt road to the north (on your left). There are park signs at the junction
of this road and 163. Follow
the road about two miles, and go to the left at the first fork in the road.
There is a half mile easy hike from the parking area to the rock art and
it is fantastic. PLEASE don't touch! Use care not to fall. The gravel in
the canyon river bed is surprisingly sharp. I fell and lodged a chunk of
it in my palm. Ouch!