Saturday, February 24, 2024

Top 8 Breathtaking Lakes in Arizona: Dive into Adventure & Beauty!

Arizona is home to some of the most beautiful and unique lakes in the United States. While the desert landscape dominates most of the state, there are still plenty of scenic lakes and reservoirs to explore. From massive man-made lakes to colorful crater lakes, Arizona’s lakes offer great fishing, boating, hiking, and camping opportunities.

Here are some of the top lakes in Arizona to visit on your next trip.

1. Lake Powell

Lake Powell

Covering over 160,000 acres, Lake Powell is one of the most popular recreational Arizona lakes in the Southwest. Located on the Colorado River along the Arizona-Utah border, Lake Powell was created after the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam.

With nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, Lake Powell provides incredible scenery with red rock cliffs, canyons, and sandstone formations rising up from the blue-green waters.

The lake is part of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, offering world-class fishing for striped bass, bass, walleye, and catfish. Houseboat rentals are popular on Lake Powell, allowing visitors to cruise the lake while camping and accessing remote areas.

Besides, Lake Powell is also famous for its beautiful hiking trails, like the Ribbon Falls Trail and the Toadstools Trail which takes you through unique hoodoo rock formations.

2. Lake Mead

Lake Mead

Lake Mead is the largest reservoir in the United States straddling the border of Arizona and Nevada. The massive lake was formed by the construction of the Hoover Dam along the Colorado River. At high water, Lake Mead is about 113 miles long with roughly 550 miles of shoreline.

One of the most popular activities at Lake Mead National Recreation Area is boating, especially around areas like Temple Basin and Boulder Canyon. Houseboating is also popular, allowing you to find secluded spots along the shore.

3. Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Nestled along the Colorado River on the border between Arizona and California, Lake Havasu is a popular man-made reservoir for water sports enthusiasts.

The lake was created in the 1930s with the construction of Parker Dam and is today one of Arizona’s top bass fishing spots.

In addition to fishing, visitors flock to Lake Havasu for boating, waterskiing, and jet skiing across the lake’s 45 miles of shoreline. The beautiful blue waters stand in stark contrast to the surrounding low desert and rocky cliffs.

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4. Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant

Just a short drive from Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is a 10,000-acre reservoir popular with local residents and visitors alike. Constructed along the Agua Fria River, the lake is surrounded by desert landscapes and towering rock formations, creating incredibly scenic views.

Lake Pleasant is one of central Arizona’s premier recreation spots, with fishing, power boating, kayaking, and sailboating as some of the most popular activities. The lake has beaches perfect for swimming, wading, and sunbathing during the warmer months.

There are also hiking and biking trails along the shoreline, like the Pipeline Canyon Trail and the Cottonwood Trail. As one of the sunniest lakes in Arizona, Lake Pleasant has optimal conditions for sunning on the beach.

5. Upper Lake Mary

Upper Lake Mary

Surrounded by the beautiful Coconino National Forest, Upper Lake Mary is a picturesque lake to visit in northern Arizona. As part of a chain of reservoirs on the upper Lake Mary Road southwest of Flagstaff, Upper Lake Mary is a stunning alpine lake with crystal clear waters that reflect the pine forest surroundings.

One of the most scenic trails around the lake is the Ashurst Lake Trail, winding through meadows and forests. This one of the beautiful Arizona lakes of Upper Lake Mary is accessible year-round but the ideal time to visit is summer when the roads are clear and you can fish and boat on the lake.

6. Fool Hollow Lake

Fool Hollow Lake

Nestled at the base of the White Mountains in eastern Arizona, Fool Hollow Lake is one of the beautiful forested lakes in Arizona, popular for fishing, boating, and camping.

Constructed in 1957, this 500-acre reservoir is stocked seasonally with rainbow trout, sunfish, bass, and catfish. Fool Hollow State Park provides excellent shoreline access for anglers around the lake.

There are also sandy beaches perfect for swimming and wading during the warmer months. Boat rentals are available if you want to get out on the water for fishing or cruising the lake.

7. Lake Patagonia

Lake Patagonia

Lake Patagonia is a picturesque reservoir located within Patagonia Lake State Park in southern Arizona, near the Mexico border. This protected marsh and wetland habitat is an important nesting and stopover site for over 300 species of birds along the migratory path between Mexico and the western United States.

Some of the most unique birds in the country can be spotted here. There are several hiking trails that wrap around the shore and into the hills surrounding the lake. Anglers will find an abundance of bass, sunfish, catfish, and crappie in the shallow waters.

8. Woodland Lake Park

Woodland Lake Park

Located in the heart of Pinetop-Lakeside, Woodland Lake Park is one of the lovely recreational lakes in Arizona surrounded by pine trees. This small 13-acre lake is located inside Woodland Lake Park and is continually stocked with rainbow trout, making it a popular fishing hole.

There are multiple access points around the lake with fishing docks and platforms. You’ll often see locals fishing for trout and bass from the shores using bait, lures, or flies. Beyond fishing, Woodland Lake Park offers a nice trail circling the lake that is great for taking a stroll or jogging.

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