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Tourism / Area Recreation

Home to the beautiful Colorado River offering sandy beaches & waterfront campgrounds. Four-wheeling and nature viewing opportunities, waterfront golf course; Tribal & Railroad history abound; murals throughout the city and Historic Route 66 runs through town. Proudly celebrating our Centennial October 2013 & reopening of the El Garces Train Depot May 2014. For more information please e-mail

For a list of Churches in Needles, click here.

For a list of local eateries, click here.

For a list of local hotels/motels, click here.

And for a list of local RV resorts and Cabins, click here.

Needles Economic Development Corporation is a member of the Southern California Inland Experience. For upcoming Entertainment in the Needles area, visit

Below are some links to find more information:

The Needles Rodeo website

Needles Rodeo/Colorado River Roundup Facebook page

The Needles Tourism Facebook page


Havasu National Wildlife Refuge

Some of the finest boating, water skiing, and personal water crafting are available on the Colorado River, which runs through Needles. For boats, tubes, knee boards and other water gear, the current of 4 to 8 miles an hour makes the wakes disappear rapidly leaving the smooth “glass” that all water skiers look for. Fishermen will enjoy the variety of catch available in the river: rainbow trout, catfish, crappie, largemouth bass and stripers are found here in the spring.

The River’s Edge Golf Course is a professional 18-hole course that overlooks the scenic Colorado River. It has a driving range, rental carts, pro shop and professional golf lessons at a reasonable rate. Go to website, or call (760) 326-3931.

Needles offers boat launching at Jack Smith Park. The newest vacation destination 4 miles South of Needles is the Pirates Cove Resort and Marina at Moabi Regional Park off the I-40.

Jerkwater Canoe Co.,Inc. has been providing canoeing equipment and running scenic river paddling trips on the class I flat waters of the Colorado River in the Arizona/California/Nevada region for over 40 years. They are the most experienced and widest equipped canoe livery west of the Mississippi River and provide the only full-service canoe rental on the Colorado River in the Tri-State, Route 66 area. They cover Hoover Dam to Imperial Dam and everything in between, click here

The Needles Municipal Aquatic Center was dedicated in 1990. It contains a 25-yard competition size swimming pool, a 2-story high corkscrew slide that empties into a 3 and one-half – foot separate pool, and a kiddy play area that features a wading pool. There is a park within the complex, complete with shade trees, picnic tables/benches and barbecue stands. The Needles Municipal Aquatic Center is attractive in spring, summer, and early fall. It is also the home of the Needles Sandsharks Swim Team. The Needles Municipal Aquatic Center is also available for private rentals: a fun alternative for birthday parties, athletic team functions, and family get-togethers. Call the pool for prices and available times. Call (760) 326-3866

Oatman, Arizona, a scenic 45 minute drive northeast from Needles, offers a wonderful day of diversion. Oatman merchants have been successful at keeping this famous gold mining center, as it was 90 years ago in its heyday. Step back in time, enjoy the burros that freely walk the streets, the mock old west gunfights, have a cold drink at an authentic western saloon, or find that perfect antique, or gift you have been searching for.

From desert bighorn sheep to the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher, birds and other animals at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge rely on the life-giving waters of the lower Colorado River. The refuge protects 30 river miles – 300 miles of shoreline – from Needles, California, to Lake Havasu City, Arizona. One of the last remaining natural stretches of the lower Colorado River flows through the 20-mile-long Topock Gorge.

A great river in a dry, hot land attracts wildlife and people like a powerful magnet. Today, many thousands of visitors annually flock to the refuge to boat through the spectacular Topock Gorge, watch waterbirds in Topock Marsh, or hike to the Havasu Wilderness Area.

Wildlife dwell in a precarious balance with the people who recreate here. Remember, we are guests in the home of the lower Colorado River animals and plants. Click here for Havasu National Wildlife Refuge.

Grapevine Canyon Petroglyph Site

The Grapevine Canyon Petroglyph site is normally accessible by passenger car. Grapevine Canyon Petroglyph site is accessed off of HWY 163. About 13 miles east of HWY 95 or 6 miles west of Laughlin, Nevada, is the entrance to Christmas Tree Pass. Turn north, drive about 2 miles and you will see the sign for the parking area. Once in the parking area it is approximately a 1/4 mile walk to the petroglyph site.

Here you will see Indian petroglyphs on sheer walls of the canyon. Streams run year round in this canyon. Spirit Mountain Grapevine Canyon Nevada

Visit the Mystic Maze, a National Wildlife Refuge Systems Archaeological Site that is located about 10 miles south of Needles on I-40. Precise arrangements of rocks laid down by Mohave Indians hundreds of years ago have led some people to believe that this was an ancient agricultural project, however experts in such matters have denied this assertion.

The Needles Regional Museum is located at 929 Front Street and contains memorabilia from throughout Needles’ colorful history. The all-volunteer staff will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Their winter hours are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Summer hours are the same with a break in August for vacation. Please contact the Museum by calling 760-326-5678.

The El Garces Hotel/Santa Fe Depot

The Needles train depot and Harvey House has been of great importance to area history. Construction of this building began about 1906 and soon after fire destroyed the original wooden building. Because of the tragic aspects of the fire, the new building was constructed of concrete. Mojave Indians were the main labor force, climbing tall ladders to pour cement into forms. The building was completed with landscaping in place in 1908. It was named “El Garces” in honor of Father Francisco Garces, a missionary who visited the area in 1776. The primary mission of the El Garces Hotel was to serve train passengers; hence the front and most ornate side of the building faced the railroad tracks. Community members also utilized the facilities for elegant private dinners, banquets and special occasions. It also sat on Old Trails Highway, and later Route 66.

The El Garces was part of the Fred Harvey chain of hotel restaurants that extended along the Santa Fe Railroad to provide meals and lodging. It was considered the “Crown Jewel” of the entire chain and was remembered for the real linen and silver, distinctive china and fresh flowers provided for its guests every day. Food was of the highest quality. Waitresses were cultured young ladies, some from foreign lands. They received special training in neatness, courtesy and excellent service. They were required to sign a contract not to marry for one year. Many eventually married railroad men. Harvey girls and management lived upstairs.

There were also rooms for paying guests. The facility included a laundry and a bakery. El Garces served lunch and dinner. The lunchroom had two horseshoe shaped counters and could serve many people.

Today, the El Garces is owned by the City of Needles. A $10.0 million dollar restoration project is funded by OmniTrans & the FTA.

Construction was underway again in the Spring of 2013 and ended with the completion of an El Garces Intermodal Facility which serves Needles Area Transit and Amtrak.

In the second phase, regional transit connections will be pursued with neighboring transit providers Laughlin Southern Nevada Transit Coalition (SNTC), Bullhead Area Transit System (BATS) and Lake Havasu City Transit Division. The facility will provide a much-needed regional hub for multiple transit providers to provide connected transportation services to major employers and tourist destinations within the Tri-State area as well as Southern California destinations such as Anaheim and Buena Park. The City will be soliciting tenants and potential private partners for the build-out phase of the remainder of the Depot. The Needles Chamber of Commerce will relocate in El Garces Depot and continue to serve as an unofficial information center, as it has historically done across the street.

El Garces Intermodal Facility is an architectural icon visible from Interstate 40, which promotes tourism and economic development for the region. 

Located right across the street from the El Garces Harvey House, the Needles Regional Museum displays many artifacts from the area in one large room. The museum operates a thrift store adjacent to the Museum.

The website can be found here.

The facebook page can be found here.

Or just ENJOY THE WATERS along the Beautiful COLORADO RIVER

  • 5 minutes from the scenic Colorado River Enjoy boating and fishing all year round!
  • 20 minutes from Casino’s and shopping
  • 10 minutes from PGA Golf Course
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