WHEN MOST PADDLERS think of the Colorado River in Arizona, visions of Grand Canyon-esque rapids and mile-deep chasms come to mind. But just upstream From Lake Havasu City is another remarkable canyon straddling the border between CA and AZ up to I-40. Topock Gorge is the crown jewel of the 37,515-acre Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, the last remaining untouched natural portion of the lower Colorado River before it reaches the Gulf of California.
Many people refer to Topock Gorge as a miniature Grand Canyon with its colorful, steep rocky walls and abundant wildlife. Topock Gorge is a little over four miles long, located approximately three and a half miles south of the I-40 bridge at Topock, AZ. The Gorge is part of the designated Havasu National Wildlife Refuge and a favorite place for boaters, kayakers and canoeists to enjoy the splendor of hundreds of species of birds, big-horn sheep and wild burros. Sandy beaches are in abundance along the shores of the Gorge, and with the heart of the Topock Gorge a no-wake zone, it’s easy to pull up and enjoy the day without the worry of large wakes breaking on the shoreline.
There are many jump rocks along the Topock Gorge, both on the Arizona and California sides of the shorelines. And with the waters at least ten degrees cooler than Lake Havasu itself, the Topock Gorge is a respite for locals and visitors alike during the dog-days of summer.
Stop in our kayaks sales and rental center in Lake Havasu and check out the perfect kayaks for exploring Topock Gorge – the Hobie Mirage models featuring the easy-to-use pedal drive system that Hobie invented.