This extraordinary 3-mile trail extends along the Nevada shore of the Colorado River from Laughlin to Davis Dam and at a leisurely pace take more than an hour to traverse, not counting pauses in the casinos along the way for nourishment or diversion. It’s one of the world’s most pleasant strolls, and in town most people use it casually just to get from one casino hotel to another.
Its southern end is at the Laughlin River Lodge — the trail doesn’t extend up the bluff to Harrah’s — you’ll enjoy the river views with bustling Bullhead City across the way on the Arizona side as you stroll northward toward the Golden Nugget — there’s a Starbucks inside — and the Pioneer, where River Rick does his neon best to welcome everyone to Laughlin.
You can walk from the towering Aquarius, a little beyond River Rick, to the Colorado Belle in just a few minutes, so the baking heat of August is just a temporary inconvenience. But walking the whole way under a blazing sun can be a serious ordeal— summer temperatures of 100°+ are routine.
Walking it at night though, or in the early morning, is quite pleasant, and especially in the mornings when you have most of the route to yourself (except for an occasional stand-offish raccoon or placid skunk). Nor do you need to worry about the other humans you meet along the way — everyone here is either dispensing fun or consuming it and the vibe reflects this faithfully.
At the Colorado Belle the trail peters out altogether at the parking lot. You proceed by walking across the lot into the hotel, continuing the length of the casino floor, and back outside again by the stage at the north end.
As we peregrinate northward to the Edgewater it is apparent that the RiverWalk is an afterthought — a brilliant one — passing along the backsides of the grand hotels built to attract customers from the front. Here we can take the stairs down to the river level again or we can enter the hotel and take the escalator down. This is why it’s a Walk and not a Hike.
It continues past the Aquarius to the Riverside, where again you have a choice. You can follow the trail into the hotel, take the elevator up a level, and walk across the Skywalk over Casino Drive into the building across the way, where you keep on walking right on out the back door and across the parking lot to the Bridge Trailhead.
OR, you can simply walk on past the Riverside to the Casino Drive-Highway 163 intersection, walk west with the traffic light and continue on up to the bridge.
This is a convenient point at which to park a car and access the trail, which crosses the pedestrian bridge over Highway 163. There is another Trailhead on the other side of the bridge, a third one on the way to Davis Dam and a 4th one at the Dam itself, about an easy mile and a half farther north on the nearly level ground beside the river.
Along the way fishing pods have been built out over the water to preserve the fragile river bank and allow easy access to advantageous fishing for striped bass, largemouth bass, and rainbow trout. The state record blue gill was caught here. A day use area below the dam has shaded picnic tables with barbecues plus a big lawn and a splash pad for kids.