Deserts aren’t exactly known for their vast open water sources. Arizona may not be the Great Lake State of Michigan or the Land of 10,000 Lakes like Minnesota, but despite its dry atmosphere endless desert sand, the Grand Canyon state has a plethora of lakes to enjoy a nice day by the water. Whether you’re a local resident looking for a new place to explore or a tourist trying to find a nice spot to visit during your stay, these are the best lakes to visit in Arizona.
Theodore Roosevelt Lake
With a surface area spanning 8,600 hectares, this lake, named after the twenty-sixth president of the United States, is the largest lake in the state of Arizona. Home to the endangered willow flycatcher bird, this lake, along with its 205 km shoreline is one of the most serene places in the state to visit. Known for its great fishing the lake is also surrounded by the Arizona National Scenic Trail, providing gorgeous views to all who visit.
Located 24 kilometers away from Apache Trail, Canyon Lake is the smallest lake along the Salt River. The lake was created in 1925 through the damming of the Salt River and is situated alongside the Superstition Mountains. The lake makes a perfect spot for recreational sports such as hiking, boating, and camping. Visitors can enjoy the vast mountainous scenery, designated swimming areas, and picnic sites.
Lake Pleasant Regional Park
If you like boating then this lake, the largest in the Phoenix area is the spot for you. With a surface area of 12 square miles and a shoreline of 180 kilometers, making it a great place for boating and fishing. In addition to boating, thanks to the magnificent scenery around the area, it is also an excellent place for recreational activities like hiking, biking, and camping. For those who enjoy boating, the lake has two marinas that offer boat rentals and storage. Each marina also has a restaurant to enjoy a nice evening out by the lake.
This Verde River reservoir located just northeast of Phoenix is the perfect holiday get away spot. Great for boating, swimming, picnicking, and even skiing and camping, this is among the more versatile lakes in the state. It’s also a favorite spot among fishermen for its bass, catfish, crappie, and bluegill.
Right alongside the Tonto National Forest, Apache Lake rests as one of the four main reservoirs along the Verde River. Among the most popular activities to do at Apache Lake is fishing due to the supply of largemouth bass, channel catfish, walleye, and sunfish. The lake is located right near several trails, as well as 3 motels and an RV park.
Sitting at an altitude of 459 meters level, Saguaro Lake is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and scenery. Fishers love it for its population of yellow bass, rainbow trout, and tilapia, among others. Along the lake’s 35 kilometer shoreline is a marina with boat ramps, rentals, and a restaurant. Other activities that people enjoying doing at Saguaro lake include kayaking, water skiing, sailing, and jet skiing, making it one of the most picture-perfect lakes Arizona has to offer. All your idyllic visions of ‘life at the lake’ can be found at Saguaro lake.
Tempe Town Lake
As one can probably guess by its name, Tempe Town Lake is located right in the city of Tempe, providing a fantastic place to enjoy the water and offers great views. With an almost Venice-like atmosphere, visitors will find a large marketplace located along the southside of the lake with shopping, restaurants, a concert venue, and walkways for casual strolling. Condos and office towers are also situated along the lake, as is the Arizona Yacht Club.
Formed by the Alamo Dam in 1968 to control flooding, Alamo Lake provides a huge open space with wide views of the surrounding mountainsides. The area offers places for hiking and camping, as well as cabins to stay in for those who want the full effect. Visitors to Alamo Lake can enjoy fishing, swimming, boating, fishing, and other recreational activities. It is also a favorite spot among fishers due to its rich fish population.
Blue Ridge Reservoir
Easily the state’s most picturesque lakes, Blue Ridge Reservoir provides the most amazing scenery tuck inside the mountains and sits 2,000 meters above sea level. The lake rests within the Mogollon Rim area and is cared for by the Coconino National Forest Division. The Arizona Game and Fish Department keeps the river stocked with a great supply of trout, making it an excellent spot for fishing. Boats on the lake are limited to just 10hp, allowing for a quiet and tranquil space to take in the vast scenery as you drift peacefully through the waters.
This lake was the result of the damming of Bannon Creek. It’s located just south of the City of Prescott in the North Central part of the state is kept up the by City of Prescott Parks and Recreation. The Arizona Game and Fish Department keeps the lake well stocked with rainbow trout, as the lake is a popular spot for fishing. Like Blue Ridge, Goldwater Lake provides breathtaking scenery and amazing sunset views.
Despite Arizona being known as a desert, the state offers some of the most peaceful lakes in the country with great views and ample opportunity for recreational activities. Tourists can look forward to having picnics, hiking, swimming, watching the sunset, and more.