Road to the Slab-O-Rama: Lodge on the River in Bullhead City, Arizona

As a Kansas City Barbeque Society Certified Barbeque Judge (CBJ) and food/travel writer, I travel to different barbeque competitions where I: Judge and taste the best barbeque around; Collect signatures to become a Master Judge; Learn about the teams and their cook; And visit new places around our great country. On this trip, we were on our way to Bullhead City, AZ for the Slab-O-Rama Barbeque Challenge where I judged and the hubby followed the Shig Ninja BBQ Team during their cook.

We had a grueling 11-hour drive from Orange County to Bullhead City. It was one of the first of the storms that hit California and Nevada and caused a lot of road and highway closures including 177, 62, and 95. They were all closed due to flooding. As we got diverted into alfa fields, the hubby decided to stop to see how to get us northwest to Bullhead City. Not knowing that the gravel on the side of the road was actually silt and an uncharacteristically heavy rain just fell, the car sank into the “mud”. Thank goodness for AAA, but we still had to wait an hour for the tow truck to pull us out.
  • Travel tip: Even though we all have Google Maps, Waze, etc. on our smart phones, it is always good to know how to read a map. You may be stranded where there is no cell service and it is always handy to have state maps in your car when on a road trip. Printed materials like maps and guides are available for AAA Members at any branch.

When we finally arrived at our destination, Lodge on the River, in Bullhead City, AZ, they luckily had a clerk working overnight so we were able to check-in. Even at 1 a.m., the registration clerk was friendly and got us checked in quickly. We stayed in one of the River Front Suites. The suite is very spacious for a family of four or two couples traveling together (queen bed in the bedroom and pullout sofa in the living area). The bedrooms have either a balcony or patio and have fantastic views of the majestic Colorado River. Amenities include cable TV (Old school - tune to channel 3 on the TV and then use the remote), air conditioning in the living area and bedroom, table for 4, phone, microwave, coffee maker with Donut Shop Coffee, and mini fridge. We were beat so it was time for a shower (to wash off all the mud) and hit the hay. We had to get up in a few hours so I could check in for judging and the hubby could meet up with Shig Ninja BBQ.

We left the curtains open to make sure we woke up in time and enjoy our view a bit more. The room has a desert/Southwest theme from the furniture and décor. The hotel is a bit older and could use a little facelift with the furniture, bedding, and televisions. If you are staying here to enjoy the river, this hotel is just fine for resting and hanging out in between watersport activities (river rafting, boating, jet skiing, etc. with boat launch just a half mile away), hiking, or enjoying a BBQ competition. They also have a limited number of dog-friendly rooms if you travel with your fur-babies.

When we returned from the BBQ competition, our room had been serviced and looked just like we checked in. They don’t have an on-site restaurant, but if there are plenty of restaurants options from the Laughlin hotel buffets and restaurants to the north and lots of fast food and mom and pop places just south of the hotel.

If you’re looking for a quiet, no frills motel away from the casinos and right on the main highway, let Lodge on the River be your next resting stop.

For more information:
1717 Highway 95
Bullhead City, AZ 86442
Pet-Friendly: Yes (limited number of rooms)

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