Always something new
Explore the Southwest
When you stay at Arizona Oasis, playing on the river or in the nearby dunes is only the beginning. Our resort in the tiny mineral mining town of Ehrenberg is the ideal home base for launching dozens of desert adventures in Arizona, California, Nevada and Mexico, all within a day’s drive.
Less than an Hour
Take a drone out to discover the haunting magic of Blythe and Needles intaglios from the air. These giant pictographs were carved into the desert gravel by scraping away darker layers of rock to reveal lighter shades. The designs, perhaps ceremonial, are sometimes in the shape of humans. The age and origins of the intaglios are unknown, adding to the intrigue.
On the Arizona side of the river, Cibola National Wildlife Refuge is a delight for bird watchers and nature lovers. This winter wildlife habitat on the edge of the Sonoran Desert is the migratory home of a variety of birds, including Canada geese, Gamble’s quail, vermillion flycatchers and blue herons, among others. The best times for spotting wildlife are dawn and dusk, so plan accordingly.
Tracing the river upstream, make the hour’s drive along backcountry dirt roads to the Desert Bar, an old mining camp turned quaint western saloon near Parker, AZ. What started off as a three-sided structure with a liquor license has turned into a full bar, live music stage, horseshoe pit and a constantly-evolving re-creation of a wild-west style village by the local land owner. The bar is open for visitors on weekends from October through April.
An hour and a half from Arizona Oasis, at popular Colorado River hotspot Lake Havasu, play the blackjack table at Havasu Landing Casino, or try your luck crossing the London Bridge—that’s right, the same one from the nursery rhyme! After partially sinking into the Thames River in London, the historic bridge was bought in 1967 by Lake Havasu’s founder, then dismantled, brick by brick, and reassembled over the river, where you can walk across it today.
Continue the historic trend back to the time of gold mining, when the town of Oatman struck it rich. The population has sunk from its 1890 high of 10,000 to just under 100 residents today. Take the two-and-a-half-hour drive from Ehrenberg to relive the ghostly legends of this faded town at the haunted Oatman Hotel restaurant and ice cream shop.
Of course, for a real journey into the trippy world of reinvention, Las Vegas is a mere three-and-a-half hours away. Visit the Strip for a tour of medieval England, as well as contemporary Paris, Venice, Monte Carlo and Rome, all in one Sin City afternoon.
Follow Interstate 10 across the border into California for some nearby desert treasures less than two hours from Ehrenberg. The General Patton Museum is a great place to honor the service of loved ones at the Remembrance Wall, or by examining the collection of artifacts from past wars and discussing their significance at the museum.
Head to the headquarters of unconventional, the Salton Sea, to view the quirky art of the Slab City community at Salvation Mountain. The colorful adobe clay monument is a one-of-a-kind desert treasure. Further to the west, as you head towards Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, you’ll encounter more than 100 life-sized, metallic sculptures of prehistoric desert creatures throughout the town of Borrego Springs. Check out a sculpture map and visit some modern masterpieces. To see nature’s own strange work of art, head into the cacti-rich Joshua Tree National Park, climb the unusual boulders and do your best to pose like a Joshua Tree.
South of the Interstate
Heading into the more remote areas of the desert, a 90-minute drive can take you to one of three desert destinations. Explore Kofa National Wildlife Refuge, an undisturbed wilderness perfect for spotting big cats and native plants. You’ll find the ghost town of Castle Dome, creaky boardwalks and gun-toting saloons intact, just along the Colorado Riverbed. And then there’s the historic border town of Yuma. Try out a creepy cell at the Territorial Prison State Park, or get into the indie spirit of the town at the Yuma Camel Farm or the Peanut Patch.
Bring your passport along and cross into Mexico to spend a day in the stunning Bioreserve of the Upper Gulf of California. The beautiful turquoise waters and hundreds of marine mammals seen on the reserve have given the area its UNESCO World Heritage Site distinction. Continue on into the town of El Golfo de Santa Clara with your RV and make a stunning seaside night of it. You can reach the reserve in three hours, and El Golfo in three and a half.
Activities & Local Destinations
With a quarter-mile of beach access to the Colorado River, the adventure starts here.