Martinez Lake Resort was started in 1955 as a fishing camp and has expanded over the past 50+ years into a year-round destination that caters to winter visitors, sightseers, fishermen, rock hounds, photographers, boaters, hunters and water skiers. The Resort is a privately owned site that encompasses 135+/- acres. Commercial components include the Shepard Water Company, Martinez Lake Restaurant and Bar, Marina Store, Gas Dock, 100 Boat Dock Slips, 25 unit RV Park, 11 unit Water Front RV park, 4 Motel Units plus overnight trailer rentals, and the Bailey House Bungalows.
The Colorado River was a waterway of major commercial importance in the late 1800's and was plied by steam ships from the mouth of the river at the Sea of Cortez, all the way up to the Mojave area; a distance of over 250 miles! The river was for the most part navigable, but the level and flow fluctuated dramatically with the snow pack and snow melt and could be a raging current in the spring and a mere trickle in the winter. As the railroads developed and the river lost its importance as a waterway, the need for water for irrigation and the desire to control the river and eliminate flooding resulted in a series of dams that were completed in the 1930's. As a result, the Colorado River is the most utilized river in the world relative to irrigation, human consumption, and the creation of power. The river and its drainage basin encompass 8% of the total area of the United States. It is a magnificent body of water that includes Lake Powell, Lake Meade, the Grand Canyon, Lake Mojave, Lake Havasu, and the Imperial Reservoir.
When the Imperial Dam was completed in 1935, Martinez Lake was formed as part of the Imperial Reservoir and the Colorado River System. Martinez Lake is a lake 1/2 mile by 3/4 of a mile, immediately off of the Colorado River, located 8 miles above the Imperial Dam and 65 miles south of the Blythe diversion dam. A large portion of Martinez Lake was formed as a result of the Imperial Dam. The land on which Martinez Lake Resort now is developed was an original grazing lease parcel managed by the Martinez family, and patented in the 1920's. It was the only piece of fee land privately owned on the water between Ehrenberg, south of Blythe to the Imperial Dam and on the Arizona side.