How Deep Is Lake Havasu?

Written by Colby Maxwell
Updated: July 20, 2023
© Pamela Au/
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Key Points:

  • Lake Havasu is a gorgeous manmade reservoir on the border of Arizona and California.
  • It was constructed between 1934 and 1938 by controlling the flow of the Colorado River with the Parker Dam.
  • Named after the Mojave word for blue, this desert oasis attracts over 750,000 visitors to its waters each year.

The United States is home to some of the most amazing lakes in the world, each one incredibly unique. Whether it’s a mountaintop lake caused by a collapsing volcano or one of the world’s largest freshwater bodies, you never know what you are going to get!

In the southwestern portion of the United States, lakes aren’t as common as in the rest of the country. Still, there are some truly amazing places that have become tourist destinations and must-see locations. Lake Havasu is one such location.

This article will discuss how deep Lake Havasu is and other facts about this great tourist destination. Let’s dive in!

How Deep Is Lake Havasu?

How Deep is Lake Havasu?
The average depth of Lake Havasu is 35 feet and the deepest point is 90 feet.

©Pamela Au/

Lake Havasu is a large reservoir that has become a popular recreational area since it has been around. The entire capacity of the lake is 619,400 acre-feet or nearly 764,000,000 square meters. The average depth of the lake sits around 35 feet, although it can get deeper in some spots. The deepest recorded portion of Lake Havasu is around 90 feet, making this reservoir shallower than other lakes in the country but significantly larger than a pond! This lake stretches over 26 miles long and measures 2.85 miles across at its widest point.

Lake Havasu was originally formed when the concrete arch Parker Dam was built across the Colorado River.

Where Is Lake Havasu Located on a Map?

Lake Havasu lies on the border between San Bernadino County, California, and Mohave County, Arizona. On the eastern shores of the lake rests Lake Havasu City, fully placing the city within the border of Arizona. A smaller town, Havasu Lake, is directly across the water from Lake Havasu City and is part of California. For reference on a map, Lake Havasu is on the far eastern border of California, due south of the southern point of Nevada.

How Did Lake Havasu Form?

The construction of the Parker Dam across the Colorado River created Lake Havasu.


Like many lakes in the southern portion of the U.S., Lake Havasu was formed as the result of damming. The lake is designed to act as a reservoir to store water for two aqueducts: the Central Arizona Project Aqueduct and the Colorado River Aqueduct. There are multiple pumping plants that send the water down along the two aqueducts as needed.

The lake was originally formed when the concrete arch Parker Dam was built across the Colorado River. Before the creation of the lake, Mojave people lived in the area, and the Mojave word for blue (Havasu) was bestowed on the lake in 1939. Before the construction of the dam, the region was frequented by Mojave people and Spaniards hoping to mine the regions around the river.

What Is Lake Havasu Known for?

The London Bridge was moved from London, England, to Lake Havasu City in the 1960s.

© Hoppe

Despite being in the middle of the desert, Lake Havasu is well known for its world-class fishing. Each year, nearly 750,000 people gather for various fishing tournaments around the lake, with bass being the primary catch. The lake is stocked with tons of fish, with the primary sport species being largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, carp, channel catfish, flathead catfish, crappie, razorback sucker, red-ear sunfish, and sunfish.

Aside from fish, the town of Lake Havasu sports the original London Bridge that once spanned the Thames River in London, England. The bridge was built in the 1830s, but it was moved to Lake Havasu in 1968. The bridge now connects an island in the Colorado River with Lake Havasu City.

Animals Around Lake Havasu

Surrounding the banks of Lake Havasu in areas not commonly traversed by tourists, you are likely to find a great variety of wildlife. Some of these creatures include iconic staples of the desert biome such as foxes, coyotes, and roadrunners. Animals more unique to the greater Havasu region include bighorn sheep, peregrine falcon, and the incredibly rare Southwestern willow flycatcher.

The Southwestern willow flycatcher makes for an incredibly exciting sight to Havasu birdwatchers.

©Pacific Southwest Region USFWS from Sacramento, US / CC BY 2.0 – License

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About the Author

Colby is a freelance writer from Charlotte, North Carolina. When he isn't distracted by his backyard birdfeeder, you can find him camping, exploring, and telling everyone around him about what he's recently learned. There's a whole world to learn about and Colby is content to spend his life learning as much as he can about it!

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