Finding Willow Beach & Cottonwood Cove

This was the covered barbecue area found across from Willow Beach and near parking. The barbecue grill and cook are at the far end of this picture.
Photo by Diane Taylor

I am becoming more and more in love with the Lake Mead National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service. My gentleman friend has taken me to two new picnic areas in the last two weeks and they were both great.

The first stop was beautiful Willow Beach, off U.S. Highway 93 and at the end of a very winding ear-popping road. Willow Beach seems to be popular with lots of folks I knew. Even the gal who cuts my hair goes there frequently to picnic and ride kayaks.

At Willow Beach on the Colorado River, a sign warns visitors that the average water temperature there is about 55 degrees while Lake Mead temperatures can get up to 85 degrees.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Our Willow Beach location was the prettiest picnic spot thus far and we were lucky to find a pavilion with a barbecue grill and nearby parking. We were also near a long walkway which many of the Willow beach visitors used to see the area which included a beautiful harbor and restrooms for public use.

Sunset at Willow Beach
Photo by Mark Sedenquist

The cost to visit Willow Beach is $25 or an inter-agency or Golden Age passport.

The water may be cold, but kayaks love the Colorado River at Willow Beach.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Last week’s visit to Cottonwood Cove was the more exciting picnic find, however. We were adventurers having heard of Cottonwood Cove, but knowing nothing about it.

Our route included U.S Highway 95 to Searchlight, Nevada. We then turned left onto a street marked Cottonwood Cove. We rode down that ear-popping road (with a stop midway to pay a $25 fee or, as in our case, show a Golden Age Passport and driver’s license for free entry) and after about 14 miles we arrived at Lake Mohave, a harbor, a motel, an office, a community of mobile homes and lots of picnic and camping areas

We were the lone picnickers last Friday, so we chose a table with nearby parking and a lake view. Our picnic menu consisted of liver and onions, Kiełbasa sausage, hamburgers and chicken (some of this to eat; the rest to take home). The barbecue grill was provided next to a series of picnic tables. He cooked. We ate. We sat in the chairs we brought. We met two retired couples who were in the area just to walk around; they were talkative and nice. The weather, though overcast, was delightful, so we, too, walked to the lakefront and said hello to a very friendly duck. A few flies joined us for lunch.

The lakeside walkway at Willow Beach is great for walking and hand-holding.
Photo by Diane Taylor

The map we were given of the area (the map is part of a free brochure given at the park entrance) explained that Willow Beach is is actually a widened part of the Colorado River between Boulder and Davis dams. oth picnic areas, incidentally, warn visitors of the dangers of flash floods. Fortunately (or unfortunately) it’s been a while since Clark County has been deluged with rain, so we were safe.

All in all, our picnics were another success and we’d do it all again.

My pictures taken on our Cottonwood Cove trip (on a mildly overcast day) are below:

This was the National Park entry area at Cottonwood Cove.
Photo by Diane Taylor
This was our first view, after a 14-mile ride, of the Cottonwood Cove Mojave Lake area.
Photo by Diane Taylor
At Cottonwood Cove, this is how close we were to Lake Mojave. That big box at the right is a trash can making clean-up very easy.
Photo by Diane Taylor
This whole area of picnic tables and barbecue grills was ours for the taking. At the far end is the building containing restrooms.
Photo by Diane Taylor
This is one of the male/female restrooms at Cottonwood Cove:very basic, but clean and well-stocked. The sink is at the far left and not fully in the picture.
Photo by Diane Taylorr
The harbor at Cottonwood Cove is crowded with houseboats and small boats for rent, individual boats moored for a night or a season, etc. (I called. The cost to rent a large houseboat for two nights: approximately $2000).
Photo by Diane Taylor
Every trip is a learning experience if one reads the signs. This one notes that “Lake Mohave stretches 67 miles from Black Canyon at the base of Hoover Dam to Davis Dam and is never wider than four miles. Lake Mohave also retains much of the look of the ancient untamed Colorado. Steep spectacular canyons hem the lake and its shore offers some of the most scenic camping in the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.”
We didn’t see any cottonwood trees on our way to Cottonwood Cove, but we did see this spiny cactus which, even with Google’s help, I couldn’t identify. Anybody know the official name of this hairy beast?
Photo by Diane Taylor


7 responses on “Finding Willow Beach & Cottonwood Cove

  1. I am pretty sure that is a member of the Yucca family. (Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae) and therefore, not a cactus plant at all.

  2. Very interesting Diane. Ron and I may have to check some of these places out in the near future. They look great! Wonderful pictures too.

  3. Thanks for sharing another picnic adventure, Bill and I spent many lovely hours at those locations!

  4. Love your pictures! Some are beautiful and many are “practical” especially for people who need a variety of places to sit 🙂 Glad you are having fun!

  5. Enjoyed your beautiful photos and descriptions of these areas, as I’m somewhat of a nature-lover myself.

  6. Hello there, if I rent a covered picnic are with grill, how long can I be there?

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