Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge Auto Tour

The refuge was established in 1944 to protect stands of cottonwood and willow trees which provide a breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Unfortunately, a lightning strike in the summer of 2021 started a fire that burnt most of the trees and there hasn't been much of a recovery.
The auto tour is about six miles total out and back. It winds up and down around the rocky outcrops before dead ending at turnaround where the road is gated off but open for hiking. Several very short trails can be found along the auto tour road.
Nothing is accessible along the auto tour road. It's a nice short drive but Highway 95 is pretty spectacular so the tour can be skipped especially since the trees are gone. Stop at the visitor center on Highway 95 which has good exhibits and a short but accessible trail on a peninsula that extends out into Lake Havasu.
The road is bumpy but maintained and suitable for shorter RVs. Refuge  Tour Map


  1. What a shame about the trees. Maybe new ones will sprout up, but it'll take a while to grow big enough for migrating birds! Is Hwy 95 a busy road, do you know?

    1. It's busy when Quartzsite is busy with winter snowbirds. Calms down when people start heading home so it wasn't bad in March.