arizona bartlett lake
Arizona,  Central Arizona

Let’s go to the Lake: A Guide to Arizona’s Lakes

We don’t have ocean front property in Arizona, but we do have some amazing lakes. Arizona lakes provide a stunning backdrop for fishing, boating, swimming, tubing, knee boarding, and wake boarding.

Six of the nine lakes are located within an hour from metro Phoenix.

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9 Popular Arizona Lakes

Roosevelt Lake & Dam

Located within the Tonto National Forest, Roosevelt Lake is one of the largest lakes in Arizona and has over 20,000 acres of water.  Bass, channel catfish, sunfish and crappie are some of the fish can be found in this lake. There are several campgrounds to choose from.

Roosevelt Lake is the largest lake located entirely in the state of Arizona. It was created by the Theodore Roosevelt Dam on the Salt River. Located in the Tonto National Forest, Roosevelt Lake is about 80 miles from Phoenix. It is a very popular lake for boating, water sports, fishing and swimming.

With over 20,000 acres of water, there is plenty of space for fishing in the many coves. Have fun wake boarding, tubing, jet skiing, or knee boarding. Or just enjoy a beautiful day on the lake.

Roosevelt Lake is the perfect spot to spend the day on the water, with many coves to explore where you can find a less crowded spot. If you don’t have your own boat you can rent boats or jet ski from the Roosevelt Lake Marina.

Roosevelt Lake Park Entrance & Boat Launches

Even if there is no one at the entrance,  you are still expected to have a Tonto Pass in your car or they will ticket you.

There are three paved areas to launch a boat at Roosevelt Lake.

  • Windy Hill
  • Roosevelt Marina
  • Cholla

Hiking and Camping at Roosevelt Lake

Roosevelt lake has more than ten campgrounds at Roosevelt Lake nearby to stay at.

Lake Pleasant

With 10,000 acres of water, Lake Pleasant is the second largest lake in the metro Phoenix area Arizona. This local favorite offers camping, boat rentals, fishing, and hiking trails in northwest Peoria. There are two marinas and two restaurants at the lake. Pleasant Harbor Marina has a large waterslide and Scorpion Bay Marina has an inflatable park on the lake.

Saguaro Lake

Saguaro Lake  in Mesa is another popular lake for boating and to fish. Catfish, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Tilapia, and Yellow Perch call Saguaro Lake home.

Rent a pontoon boat or reserve a cruise on the Desert Belle at the Saguaro Lake Marina. In addition there is indoor and outdoor dining available at Shiprock Restaurant.

Bartlett Lake

Bartlett Lake is just over 2,000 acres and located 22 miles east of CarefreeIt is a popular fishing lake and is home to bass, crappie, sunfish, catfish, carp and crayfish. This beautiful lake is in the Tonto National Forest.

You can rent boats, jet skis, and paddle boards from the Bartlett Lake Marina. If you’re hungry grab some food at The Cove at Bartlett Lake.

Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake is one of the prettiest lakes in Arizona. Located along the Apache Trail, Canyon Lake  is about 50 miles east of Phoenix. The lake was formed by damming up the Salt River. 

At 900 acres it is one of Arizona’s smaller lakes, but it is in a very scenic area. and popular place to visit for hiking, boating and water sports. Go fishing or rent a boat at Canyon Lake Marina. Canyon Lake also offers tent camp and RV sites.

If you are looking to experience a little of Arizona’s old west history, Canyon Lake is only two miles from the very tiny town of Tortilla Flat which was a stagecoach stop along Apache Trail in the early 1900’s.

Apache Lake

It is an adventure just getting to Apache Lake. The lake is located about 16 miles from Tortilla Flat, ten of those miles are on an unpaved road and the drive takes about an hour.

Location: 16802 NE Highway 88, Tortilla Flat, AZ

Lake Mary

Lake Mary is about 30 miles from Flagstaff . The lower part of the lake is popular for fishing and kayaking. The upper part of Lake Mary is popular for water skiers.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is one of the largest water reservoirs in the United States. It was created by the Glen Canyon Dam. Both Arizona and Utah share this enormous lake. On the Arizona side it is in the city of Page.

The lake has several restaurants and retail shops. There are also tours you can take such as the rafting trips, dinner cruise, Rainbow Bridge and Navajo Canyon.

Due to the low water level not all services are open at Lake Powell.

Arizona’s Lake Havasu

A popular spring break destination, Lake Havasu is located on the border of Arizona and California. It is also home to the reconstructed London Bridge. The lake is the largest attraction in the city. The Lake Havasu Marina and Havasu Rivera Marina both have fuel docks and beach access.

It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, Arizona’s lakes are fun every season.