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Unlike Nevada’s other border towns, Laughlin offers more than casinos. The primary reason is that those casinos front on – or are across the street from – the Colorado River border with Arizona. Then too, experts say that the area was first inhabited as early as 8000 B.C., which makes it important historically. And there’s also Lake Mojave with its 150-mile shoreline, just two miles upriver. Downriver, Big Bend,a 2,342-acre park with a riverside bird sanctuary, provides hiking trails, a beachfront picnic area and fishing facilities that include a boat launching ramp. Just about any water toy or craft – jet skis, kayaks, fishing gear – can be ...

Unlike Nevada’s other border towns, Laughlin offers more than casinos. The primary reason is that those casinos front on – or are across the street from – the Colorado River border with Arizona. Then too, experts say that the area was first inhabited as early as 8000 B.C., which makes it important historically. And there’s also Lake Mojave with its 150-mile shoreline, just two miles upriver. Downriver, Big Bend,a 2,342-acre park with a riverside bird sanctuary, provides hiking trails, a beachfront picnic area and fishing facilities that include a boat launching ramp. Just about any water toy or craft – jet skis, kayaks, fishing gear – can be rented at the booths on various casinos’ docks. Sightseeing boats – from pontoon boats and a paddle-wheeler to jet boats and water taxis – ply the river, providing a cool change of pace on days when temperatures soar. The casinos themselves range from down-at-the-heels to quaint to 21st Century modern. Adding to Laughlin’s appeal are its annual events. The PRCA-sanctioned Laughlin Stampede Rodeo in early April takes place at the city’s 6,000-seat arena. Started in 1983, April’s Laughlin River Run has grown into one of the West’s largest motorcycle events. There’s also a “River of Lights Holiday Boat Parade” in December.

Connie Emerson
About the Expert

Connie Emerson is the author of more than a dozen books, including The Cheapskate's Guide to Branson, Missouri and Eyewitness Top Ten Travel Guide – Las Vegas.

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Connie Emerson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Any time of year; the retirement crowd is predominant in winter, families in summer. Free dry camping is allowed in some casino parking lots.