Wild Burros of the Colorado River – A Puppy’s View!

March 2018 – Continuing our theme this year of seeking out places where the southwestern deserts and waterways meet, we drove the scenic drive that follows the Colorado River from the town of Parker, Arizona, up to the Parker Dam. Starting in Parker, we went up the California side of the river to the dam and then we came back down the Arizona side to Parker.

Boating on the Colorado River California-min

The Colorado River is a favorite spot for boaters.

The Colorado River is a popular place for water sports and water play, and even though the river was cold and the air was springtime cool, there were still lots of boats out enjoying the water.

Boating on the Colorado River Arizona RV trip

The desert mountain backdrop is beautiful and RV parks line the shore for miles.

From power boats to party barges, there was plenty of boating action going on.

Party boat on Colorado River Parker Arizona RV trip-min

A party boat rides the current on the Colorado River

The Parker Dam Road on the California side of the river south of Parker Dam is a combination of wild and natural recreation areas and RV parks. One RV Resort ends and then the next one begins with a smattering of BLM managed Rec areas tucked in between.

As we rounded one bend on this road, we noticed some wild burros in the road ahead of us. How cool!

Wild Burros Parker Dam Road Colorado River California RV trip

We saw wild burros on the road in front of us.

We’d spent quite a bit of time with the wild burros in South Daktoa’s Custer State Park last summer, and we’d watched the wild horses of Arizona’s Salt River many times over the years, but it was still a great thrill to see these guys standing by the side of the road.

Wild Burros Parker Dam Road Colorado River California-min

Wild burros of the Colorado River.

We slowed down as we approached them, and another car coming the opposite way did too. The wild burros slowly crossed the road over to the other car and said hello to the folks inside.

Wild Burros Parker Dam Road Colorado River California RV trip

The burros crossed the road to say hi!

Then I noticed that there were more wild burros on our side of the road. They were standing around just hanging out.

Wild burros of the Colorado River Parker Dam Arizona-min

A wild burro’s life is pretty chill!

Wild burro Parker Dam Road California-min


Suddenly one of them walked up to our truck and poked his head in our truck window.

Wild burro looks into car at Colorado River Arizona RV trip


Buddy was fascinated and leaned way out of the truck window to have a closer look. The burro pulled his head back out. Buddy’s face was reflected in the mirror and it made a cool image.

Puppy leans out of car to see wild burro Parker Dam Arizona RV trip

Buddy leaned over for a closer look.

Then the burro poked his head in again. He seemed to be smiling. Buddy shied away a little.

Wild burro at car window with puppy Parker Arizona RV trip


Then Buddy stared up at the enormous muzzle in amazement.

Wild Burro and Puppy Colorado River Arizona-min


“What kind of breed are you?” He seemed to be asking.

Buddy braced himself on the window sill to get a different perspective.

Wild Burro and Puppy Colorado River AZ-min

The two got a good look at each other.

Then the burro and the puppy touched noses for a brief second.

Puppy meets a wild burro at the car window Parker Dam Road California RV trip


I reached out and petted the burro’s mane. He didn’t seem to mind at all. Then the burro slowly moved away, and I noticed a young colt standing off in the distance. He looked like a little stuffed animal!

Wild burro colt at Parker Dam Colorado River California-min


What a cutie.

Wild burro colt portrait Parker Dam Colorado River California RV trip


By then, Mark had climbed out of the truck and was taking Buddy over to meet some of the other burros.

Wild burros meet a puppy Parker Dam Road California RV trip

The burros were very calm and inquisitive too.

Everyone was relaxed and a bit curious as well.

Introducing puppy to wild burro Colorado River Arizona RV trip


What a neat animal encounter that was!

If you are traveling in the northwestern corner of Arizona near Parker and Lake Havasu, the drive on Parker Dam Road on the western side (California side) of the Colorado River makes for a nice excursion. There are thousands of RV campsites to suit any budget, and the lake is a great place for recreation of all kinds.

Hopefully, the wild burros will come say “hi” to you too!

Kayak on Colorado River Parker Arizona RV trip-min

A kayak on the Colorado River.

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22 thoughts on “Wild Burros of the Colorado River – A Puppy’s View!

  1. How cute! Buddy is the most charming dog ever, and the burros were adorable too. Touching noses between animals is a lovely sign of acceptance. What a great experience — thanks for sharing!

    • It really was special, Emily. I was very surprised by how calm the burros were and how calm Buddy was too. He’s been around horses, and they’ve seen lots of dogs, I’m sure, but the curiosity and interest in getting close was very cool!

  2. How cool, thanks for sharing. We did that same drive in 2015 and also saw the burros. Actually, I think we saw you guys too, walking the overpass across I-10 in Q, and stopped to chat briefly. Really enjoy your blog, photos, and articles.

    • OMG!! We still talk about that encounter over I-10 in Quartzsite. It is so fun when we meet people who have discovered our blog and appreciate it. Thank you for continuing to follow us. We’ve looked for you each time we’ve walked over that overpass since then!

  3. Oh how cute with Buddy and the burros! Your pictures made me smile this morning 🙂 And the landscape is pretty neat too…love the contrast of water and dessert and that palm tree!!

    • Buddy is a little extrovert and he loves everyone, whether furry or not. The burros were just another group of potential friends for him!! And the desert-and-water landscapes are truly exquisite. They are everywhere all over the southwest if you seek them out. We’ll be bringing a few more to you!!

    • You are welcome, Jeff. It’s a pretty area, and seeing how busy and popular it is these days has made us both wonder what it was like a few decades back. It must have been extremely quiet — a little known Arizona gem — in those days. What a cool place to grow up!

  4. I’m still enjoying your blog, and this delightful encounter brings to mind the many visits I have made to “The River.”

    In the eighties and the nineties, I use to organize canoeing trips on the Colorado River from Blythe, CA (actually it was from Walter’s Camp) to Imperial Dam, north of Yuma, AZ. These were not commercial trips, just fun-for-the-weekend float trips amongst friends and acquaintances. Getting away from city life for a few days of R&R in a semi-wilderness environment provided a much needed and relaxing change of pace, only three hours from home. Often, we would be awakened early in the morning by the braying of burros or the whinnying of wild horses, and as soon as someone would arise from his sleeping bag, the horses would leave. It sure beat the cacophony of car, truck, motorcycle and airplane noise heard from my bedroom at home!

    Best Wishes,
    Don Neilson

    • What great trips those must have been, Don. “The River” is still alive with boating activity, and I’m sure there are folks who canoe down it and camp along the way even today. Thank you for sharing your wonderfully vivid memories!

  5. So wonderful to read this post just as I was thinking of a day trip we could take today! We are set up in Yuma and Q is just a short hop from here. We’ve seen lots of wildlife but we always want to see more. Thanks for the idea.

    • You are welcome, Laurel. Parker is 120 miles from Yuma, but that’s not too bad with some good tunes and good company. Have fun on the scenic drive between Parker and Parker Dam, and say hello to the burros for us!

  6. Buddy lights up every post….”nose-to-nose” was delightful !! And the size of the RV camp grounds is amazing….

    • Buddy has been lighting up our lives ever since his arrival and is a wonderful addition to everything we do! The area between Parker and Lake Havasu has a ton of RV campgrounds and has been popular with RVers for ages. If you want to camp along a river, there are a gazillion options for places to stay!

  7. Hi guys! Love this post! Did you have a chance to check out the Desert Solar Bar we told you about when you were in the area?

  8. Every post ends up being my new “fav”. This is another great read and the pictures are so wonderful. Loved “Buddy and the Burros”. Kind-of sounds like a good name for a late sixties rock band! Truth be told…I’m still dancing in the moonlight. That one created a weeks long ear worm, one that continues to make me smile. I’ve revisited that one a couple of times…..at least. Love the blog. Keep ‘em coming!

    • That is so wonderful to hear, Jeff. Certain songs are so important and hold such lasting memories. Watching Buddy with the burros was really fun. We actually came across another burro since then and he was just as eager to get to know it. Maybe he’ll create that rock band. 🙂 !!!!

  9. Well Emily, I used to be so envious of you and Mark (still am a bit) but we are finally full timing and we saw the burro’s this winter. Went hiking all through the Parker/Havasu area. If you are there in season go to the Desert Bar, you won’t regret it. Anyway we have been spending the last week at Havasu and took a day trip to Oatman, AZ. The burros roam the streets of this little western style town and you really get up close and personal with them. We got there early in the morning (9 AM) and got to help feed them there nutritious food (compressed alfalfa and apple crackers). They are just adorable and you should go see them if you haven’t already.

    • How fun, Chuck, and congrats on launching your new adventurous lifestyle!! We’ve seen the Oatman burros in past lives but not since we’ve been out full-timing. I didn’t know you could help feed them in the early morning — what a blast that must be!! Thanks for the tip about the Desert Bar. We’ll check it out next time we’re in the area. Enjoy your full-time travels. It sounds like you’re already having a ball!!


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