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Weekend Getaways

The 20 Greatest Lakes in Arizona for Fishing, Boating, Tenting, and Extra!

Arizona is understood for its sizzling dry climate and half of it’s desert so if you’re desirous about heading to the lake Arizona is probably not the primary state that involves thoughts. However there are numerous lovely lakes for fishing, boating, swimming and extra! A few of these lakes chances are you’ll be acquainted and some are hidden gems. Let’s have a look at the 20 greatest lakes in Arizona!

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Greatest Lakes in Arizona for Fishing

Arizona is residence to numerous lakes which are well-known for fish starting from catfish, to bass, to trout and past. Let’s dive into a number of of the very best lakes for fishing in Arizona.

1) Bartlett Lake, Rio Verde, 50 miles NE of Phoenix

Bartlett Lake is among the greatest lakes in Arizona for catching catfish!

Rostislav Stefanek/

Bartlett lake is understood for its record-breaking catfish. Anglers can get pleasure from each leisure and event fishing. Moreover glorious catfish fishing yow will discover largemouth bass and bluegills. Bartlett lake is 12 miles lengthy and over 2,830 acres. The biggest flathead catfish was caught right here in 2013 by Eddie Wilcoxson.  Are you able to think about a catfish that’s 76 lbs and 53 inches lengthy! That’s huge fish!

The biggest carp in Arizona was additionally caught in Bartlett Lake, by Jonathan Gardner, it weighed 37 lbs and was 40 inches lengthy.

2) Huge Lake, Springerville, about 200 miles E of Phoenix

Big Lake Arizona

Bruce Grubbs/

Huge Lake definitely doesn’t get the award for many inventive identify however it’s a huge lake. It’s within the White Mountains and is taken into account a fishing lake. It is named among the greatest trout fishing together with rainbow trout, brook trout, and cutthroat trout.

3) Lake Mead, Border of Arizona and Nevada 24 miles E of Las Vegas

11 Amazing Lakes in Arizona Two Are Under the Radar - August 9, 2022
Lake Mead is a well-liked spot for Bass fishing. Pavone

If you’re on the lookout for among the greatest bass fishing Lake Mead is the place. It’s the largest reservoir in america and is fashioned by the Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. The primary-ever B.A.S.S Bassmaster Basic was hosted at Lake Mead in 1971. Boating and swimming are additionally in style actions at Lake Mead Nationwide Recreation Space.

4) Lake Mohave, Border of Arizona and Nevada, about 100 miles SE of Las Vegas

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Luxurious Lake Mohave. Improbable fishing and year-round glamping for everybody!

Norm Lane/

Lake Mohave is stocked with bass and trout so the very best of each worlds. It’s stocked with bass and trout and is heat many of the 12 months. Guests additionally get pleasure from swimming and when you love the outside however don’t wish to rough-it, check out the full-service Glamping onsite.

5) Theodore Roosevelt Lake, Roosevelt, 2 hour drive NE of Phoenix

smallmouth vs largemouth bass
Roosevelt Lake is a superb fishing spot for largemouth and smallmouth bass.

Theodore Roosevelt Lake is among the largest man-made lakes on this planet. It’s 21,491 acres alongside the Salt River. Due to its recognition, many record-breaking fish have been caught in its waters like the largest smallmouth bass (7lb .96 oz, 22.75 inches), bigmouth buffalo fish (36lb 6 oz, 38.5 inches), and flathead catfish (catch and launch, 53 inches!).

6) Martinez Lake, Yuma, 3 hour drive SE of Phoenix

Martinez Lake Arizona
Martinez Lake is a gem situated close to Yuma, Arizona.


One of many hidden gems for fishing is Martinez Lake within the SE nook of Arizona. For a day of fishing away from the crowds it is a nice possibility. Anglers can discover a wide range of fish like largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel cats, and crappie.

Greatest Lakes in Arizona for Canoeing and Kayaking

For those who’re on the lookout for an energetic day of canoeing or kayaking in Arizona, there are many choices that vary throughout the state.

7) Lake Nice, Morristown, 45 miles NW or Phoenix

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Lake Nice is a phenomenal spot for canoeing and kayaking.

An awesome place to canoe or kayak within the canyon with towering cliffs and dotted islands. Lake Nice is a six-mile lake. (It’s also an awesome place for fishing!)

8) Watson Lake, Prescott, 2 hours N of Phoenix

Watson Lake Arizona
Watson lake affords gorgeous views of distinctive rocket formations.

Nick Fox/

Kayaking in Watson Lake offers up-close views of the Granite Dells. These rippled boulders that appear to rise out of the water are all alongside the shoreline. You’ll be able to see the stripes and coloration modifications within the boulders from hundreds of years in the past. There’s a kayak/canoe rental retailer proper in Prescott.

9) Saguaro Lake, Mesa, 40 minute drive E of Phoenix

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Take a cruise on the Desert Belle at Saguaro Lake or land a trophy-winning bass! Lara

Simple to get to Saguaro Lake is a superb place to canoe and kayak. It’s a 1,264-acre lake that follows the Sale River. For those who make your manner down the river you may be fortunate sufficient to see wild horses!

10) Idiot Hole Lake, Present Low, 3 hours NE of Phoenix

Fool Hollow Lake Arizona

Dennis Swena/

Idiot Hole Lake is a 150-acre lake within the Apache-Sitgreaves Nationwide Forest. Canoers and kayakers can benefit from the peacefulness of this lake as a result of there aren’t any wake boats allowed. That is excellent place to flee the Arizona warmth too, for the reason that common daytime temperatures keep across the mid-80’s.

11) Canyon Lake, Mesa, 50 miles E of Phoenix

Canyon Lake Arizona
Canyon Lake is situated in Toto Nationwide Forest.

Dean Pennala/

Canyon Lake is a phenomenal lake that has a number of secluded coves on the east aspect for exploring. Positioned in Toto Nationwide Forest you’ll get to see an abundance of red-rocks, and cactus and chances are you’ll even see a bighorn sheep, so preserve your eyes peeled.

12) Lake Powell, Web page, 200 miles N of Flagstaff, Utah Border

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Lake Powell is among the greatest Lakes in Arizona for almost each leisure exercise however it’s particularly good for canoeing and kayaking.


If you wish to see among the greatest canyons then canoeing or kayaking in Lake Powell is the very best place. A number of the hottest locations are Antelope Canyon, Lone Star Canyon and Labrynth Canyon. Lake Powell is a big recreation space so pay attention to bigger boats and keep near the shoreline to keep away from uneven water.

Additionally try these already talked about lakes for canoeing and kayaking:

Learn concerning the Lake Powell water disaster, and the seven states most threatened.

Greatest Lakes in Arizona for Paddle Boarding (SUP’s)

With calm lakes and beautiful surroundings, Arizona is among the greatest places for paddle boarding on this planet. A number of the greatest paddle boarding lakes in Arizona embrace:

13) Tempe City Lake, Tempe, simply south of Scottsdale

Tempe Town Lake Arizona

Gregory E. Clifford/

There’s an space in Tempe City lake put aside for racing! A 2 mile inlet off the Salt River can be utilized for coaching and racing for paddle boards, canoers, and row groups. If you wish to check your pace that is the place for you!

14) Lake Havasu, Lake Havasu Metropolis, 200 miles NW of Phoenix

Lake Havasu
The crystal blue waters of Lake Havasu attracts many vacationers, it’s a festive place to paddle board.

Pamela Au/

The attractive blue waters of Lake Havasu are a well-liked vacation spot for all types of water sports activities and boating. For a festive vibe and social time, that is the scene for you. You’ll be able to discover among the islands or cease on the London Bridge (a bridge really purchased from London in 1968 and reconstructed in Lake Havasu Metropolis!).

Additionally try these already talked about lakes for Paddle boarding:

Greatest Lakes in Arizona for Boating (Pontoon, Speedboat, motorized boating)

Man on Boat in Arizona
Arizona is a sizzling mattress for boating.


The very best lakes for boating have already been talked about above and embrace:

Theodore Roosevelt Lake

Lake Mead

Lake Powell

Greatest Lakes in Arizona for Tenting

Various Arizona lakes have campsites subsequent to them the place you may camp and launch boats.

15) Apache Lake, Roosevelt, 2 hours NE of Phoenix

Apache Lake Landscapes in Arizona
Apache Lake is a smaller physique of water with no scarcity of lovely pure points of interest and nice fishing.

Jon Manjeot/

Apache Lake is a transparent lake that claims to be a hidden gem. It has a small resort on it in addition to an RV park and tent tenting. There are even some websites proper on the shoreline. You can even boat or jet ski whilst you go to.

16) Patagonia Lake, Patagonia, 75 miles S of Tucson, close to the border of Mexico

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Journey to Patagonia Lake to get away from all of it. They’ve boat-in solely campsites so you may count on a quiet weekend away.

Gabriel Walter Farmer 1/

For a novel tenting expertise go to Patagonia Lake. There are a number of boat-in-only campsites, so load up your canoe or kayak to essentially get away from all of it.

Different nice tenting websites are at these already talked about lakes:

  • Huge Lake
  • Lake Mead
  • Saguaro Lake
  • Lake Havasu State Park
  • Patagonia Lake

Greatest Lakes in Arizona for Glamping

Glamping in Desert
Glamping is tenting in luxurious.

Jam Travels/

For those who like the concept of tenting however aren’t so certain concerning the rustic life, attempt glamping, it’s just like tenting however with upscale facilities. There are outfitters like Arizona Luxurious Expeditions, LLC that can deliver the Glamping expertise to you. So you could possibly select any of the lakes on the tenting checklist and have them arrange a luxurious tent to your comfort. Name forward to the campground to see if these lodging are allowed.

Lake Mohave (talked about above): Full service glamping obtainable

Greatest Lakes in Arizona for Swimming

17) Lyman Lake State Park, Springerville, about 200 miles E of Phoenix

Lyman Lake is a 1,500 acre reservoir fed by the snowmelt from Mount Baldy and Escudilla Mountain. So that you may suppose it could have frigid water, however in the summertime the climate will get as much as 80 -90 ° is a well-liked place for swimming, boating and fishing.

18) Havasu Falls, Lake Havasu Metropolis, 200 miles NW of Phoenix

Havasu Falls Arizona
Havasu Falls has lovely turquoise waters.

iacomino FRiMAGES/

For the final word swimming gap, you must hike the 10-mile path to the gorgeous turquoise waters of Havasu Falls. It’s a must to have a allow and reservations to both the campground or the lodge earlier than you may hike in. Plan forward for this in a single day journey, the web site reminds folks this isn’t a day journey and does require a allow and reservations. Learn how to get a allow right here. Those that have been there’ll let you know it’s well worth the journey!

Already talked about lakes which are additionally nice for swimming:

  • Patagonia Lake State Park: roped off swim space at Boulder Seaside with white sand seashore
  • Lake Mohave: year-round swimming as a result of it’s so heat

Greatest Lakes in Arizona for Scuba Diving

19) Canyon Lake, Apache Junction, 45 minutes E of Phoenix

It is a lesser-known dive website however Canyon Lake is 900-acre lake simply east of Phoenix that could be a wonderful spot for scuba diving. It’s rumored that there are a whole lot of misplaced objects on the backside of this lake so divers have time discovering fascinating finds. You may additionally come nose to nose with a largemouth bass!

Extra in style dive spots are at lakes already talked about on our checklist:

  • Lake Nice: used as a dive coaching website, try the dam, Tech Island and wreck websites
  • Lake Mohave: visibility could be very clear within the winter, search for the sunken faculty bus!

Greatest Lakes in Arizona to Stay on

Lakeside Sunset

Mike Milton/

Many of the lakes in Arizona don’t have personal land obtainable for residential areas. So in case your dream is to stroll out your again door to a lakefront property chances are you’ll wish to look in a distinct state. There are lakes that enable folks to personal houseboats on so which may be one of the best ways to get pleasure from a few of your favourite lakes year-round. Rainbow Lake does have a small neighborhood of lakeside properties:

20) Rainbow Lake, Pine-top Lakeside, 3 Hours NE of Phoenix

Rainbow lake is a man-made lake up within the White Mountains. It’s a small 116-acre lake with the land round it being privately owned. On the time of print, there’s a good 3 mattress 3 bathtub for a cool 1.35 million obtainable. For those who can’t determine when you’d relatively reside on the lake or within the mountains this can be the very best compromise!

Additionally try these already talked about lakes to reside on:

  • Lake Havasu
  • Artifical Lake Communities like Dobson Ranch in Mesa, or Lakes Neighborhood in Tempe
  • Houseboat on Lake Mead
  • Houseboat on Lake Powell

#Lakes #Arizona #Fishing #Boating #Tenting

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