Have you ever been to La Paz County, Arizona? If you have, then you already know how special this place is. On the other hand, perhaps there is a chance that you've never visited before in your life, in which case you really don't know what you're missing. More specifically, you might be interested to know about things that you can do in the county seat, Parker. As it turns out, there's quite a bit to do in Parker, Arizona. Below is a list of 20 of the best things you can do in and around the area. Chances are, you'll be surprised by more than a few of them.
20. Buckskin Mountain State Park
If you love everything the great outdoors has to offer, it's hard to beat this particular option. There are plenty of things to do, not the least of which include hiking and even camping. Of course, it's imperative that you follow local rules and that you always let someone else know where you're going and when you're expected to return, as the area is quite rugged in nature. That said, even someone that's relatively new to camping or hiking can find areas that are more than enjoyable. The best time to go is during the spring or autumn, as it can become quite hot during the summer.
19. Parker Dam
This is interesting because you can't get close enough to the dam itself to actually walk along it or even get to the reservoir, at least not at the current time. That said, it's more than large enough to allow you some excellent photo opportunities, even from a fairly significant distance. In addition, there are a lot of wild donkeys in the area, so you might have an opportunity to photograph some wildlife while you're there.
18. Bluewater Casino
This is an excellent opportunity to get out of the heat on those hot summer afternoons. Bluewater Casino is everything that you would expect any good casino to be, but it has so much more to it as well. It's also one of the top resorts in the entire state of Arizona. If you're looking for a place where you can cool off and enjoy all kinds of card games, slot machines and even some excellent shows, this place is hard to beat. It's also a great place to stay for a few nights so you can enjoy everything that Parker has to offer without having to drive long distances in order to get there.
17. La Paz County Park
It's not very often that a park operated by the county provides you with so many opportunities for things to do. Here, you can actually go camping in the park itself. There's also a beautiful little lake where you can enjoy picnics and even take a paddle boat across the lake. On Saturday mornings, there is a full-scale Farmers Market & swap meet. It's very rare that so many different things take place in the same location so if you're in the area, you'd be doing yourself a huge disservice not to take advantage of it at least once.
16. Swansea Ghost Town
Granted, you have to drive a short distance out of the actual town of Parker in order to get to this location, but it's well worth it. At one time, it was a thriving copper mine but it was shut down long ago. Since then, it has become one of the top ghost towns in the entire state. As a matter of fact, some people say that you can actually find a ghost or two, if only you're willing to look hard enough. If you're more of the adventurous type, there are ATV and 4 x 4 rentals in the area so you can make the most of your day exploring.
15. Colorado River Indian Tribes Museum
This is the perfect place to visit in order to get an education about the area around you and to get out of the summer heat. If you're looking for an opportunity to do both, this is an avenue that's hard to beat. It has plenty of information about the people who settled in the area and there is no doubt that you will come away with a greater appreciation for those individuals than you likely had when you first stepped foot inside.
14. Ahakhav Tribal Preserve
If you love the idea of swimming in something other than a chlorine-filled pool, this is the perfect opportunity to cool off and enjoy the springs that are in the area. You might not think that a place as typically hot and dry as Arizona would have a lot to offer in the way of a pristine natural swimming hole, but that is exactly what you'll find here. As a matter of fact, you have the opportunity to enjoy an afternoon cooling off in the clear waters and enjoying the wildlife while on a hike or two in the area. It really doesn't get much better than that.
13. Nellie E Saloon
This saloon is everything that most people think Arizona is all about. It's on the outskirts of town in what most people would fully consider one of the most rugged areas of the state. There's no doubt about it, it can get very hot and dry but that's exactly why the saloon works so well in this particular location. If you want to go inside and enjoy the air conditioning and have a drink while enjoying some of the best dessert in the state, there's nowhere else to go but here.
12. Emerald Canyon Golf Course
Maybe you love playing a few rounds of golf. If you do, this golf course is hard to beat. It's beautiful and it has some of the most challenging holes in the entire state of Arizona. If you're looking for something that will test your prowess with a golf club while simultaneously allowing you to enjoy an afternoon in some of the state's most beautiful surroundings, this is an absolute must.
11. Club Roadrunner Bar
Anyone who loves to enjoy a few drinks is going to enjoy this place. The drinks there are excellent, but this place also kicks things up a notch or two by allowing you to enjoy those drinks while you're floating down the river. Don't worry, there's someone else in charge of the boat so you can enjoy all the drinks you want without having to worry about being unsafe.
10. Wet and Wyld Watersports
Provided that you really enjoy spending time on the water, this is an excellent place to enjoy these types of activities. Here, you can rent boats and jet skis so that you can enjoy an entire afternoon on the water. What if you enjoy the water but you're not particularly well-versed in operating these types of things? There's no need to worry. If that's the case, you can get instruction on the spot or even go out with a guide that knows exactly what to do so that you can simply spend the day enjoying your time there.
9. Wanderlust Balloons
What if you have a truly adventurous spirit and you have an inclination to do something that gets your feet off the ground in a major way? If that's the case, there's something for you to enjoy, too. As a matter of fact, you can go to this location and take a hot air balloon ride that gives you a bird's-eye view of the entire city and the whole surrounding area. It's not exactly for the faint of heart, especially if you're afraid of heights. That said, it is definitely the hot ticket for someone who enjoys doing something that gives them a bit of an adrenaline rush, especially if you get tired of doing the typical activities that most places have to offer.
8. Wakeboard Island
Perhaps you want to combine your love for the water with your love for keeping your feet off the ground. If that's the case, then this is the place for you. You can book all kinds of different adventures online with this particular resort. Two of their most popular activities include wakeboarding, which more or less involves attaching a large board to a parachute and allowing it to jerk you out of the water as you skim the surface. If that doesn't sound particularly exciting, then you might want to zipline across the water. Either way, the activities there will keep you interested and get your heart rate up at the same time.
7. La Piazza
Who doesn't love a good pizza? Where are you supposed to go when you've completed all of your adventures for the day and you're absolutely starving? Fortunately, this place has you covered. All you have to do is pull up, order your favorite pizza and enjoy. Chances are, you’ll end up coming back again and again.
6. Pirate’s Den Resort and Restaurant
This place seems to have practically everything you could ever want. There's an excellent seafood restaurant there that's good for the whole family. There's also water-based activities, a chance to relax on the beach and plenty of watercraft rentals right there on the spot. Of course, you can either stay in one of their bungalows or bring an RV and hook it up in their RV camp. If you want to take the entire family somewhere and you don't want to be driving back and forth to different locations every day, this is the perfect place to stay in one spot while still enjoying something different each and every day.
5. Fox’s RV Park Resort
If you think this is just an RV park, think again. There are all kinds of things that you can do here, not the least of which includes enjoying a few drinks on a floating bar or taking an ATV and exploring some of the more remote areas. Of course, there's plenty of hiking, fishing and swimming that can be enjoyed in the area as well.
4. Bluewater Marina Park
Here, you can enjoy all kinds of water-based activities. Of course, it's also a family-friendly environment so there's an arcade for the kids along with a movie theater and plenty of different restaurants from which to choose. There really is something for everyone, but it's important to book ahead as opposed to merely showing up and hoping that they have space available.
3. Headgate Rock Dam
This is one of the most majestic engineering feats in the entire state. It has no less than 24 different gates, all of them more than 30 feet tall. Many people enjoy visiting the area because of its great photo opportunities. If you love spending time outdoors, this is a good place to start your adventures.
2. Moovalya Lake
This is a near-perfect place to go if you love spending time on the water. It’s also a great place to go fishing, whether you’re on a boat or you stay by the shore. Either way, this is a beautiful location that you’ll be sure to love.
1. Osborne Wash
Here, you can enjoy a number of challenging off-road adventures. Rent an ATV or another 4X4 vehicle and explore to your heart’s content. This is a great place to get away from it all and reconnect with yourself and those around you.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn