Topock Marsh - North Dike

A self-supported trip created by Pertribe135

Trip Overview

Launched at North Dike into Topock Marsh at Havasu National Wildlife Refuge. Adjacent to the Colorado River across from Needles, California. Saw a number of Western and Clark's Grebes. Really cool ghost forest of trees that died when the marsh was created. The North Dike marks the northern boundary of the marsh where water diverted from the Colorado River enters the marsh.

Historically, the Lower Colorado River wound its way through desert valleys and canyons surrounded by dense riparian forest. Periodic flooding rejuvenated the landscape into a mosaic of willow and cottonwood trees and brought the dry desert to life. Wildlife thrived in the backwaters and forested habitat supported by the mighty river. However, with the construction of the Hoover Dam in 1936 and several other dams along the lower Colorado River, the natural restoration of the desert riparian habitat ceased. The river was channelized for boat passage. The water level in the former riparian habitat dropped below ground level. Also, the Colorado River used to be home for a lot of cottonwood trees. It was a forest, and most of it died out, leaving the ghost forest. To maintain the restored habitat, the US Fish and Wildlife Service pump water out of the river channel into the Marsh.

Trip Details

  • Trip Dates: 10/24/2018
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location