Top Lakes to visit near Phoenix, Arizona

There’s no shortage of things to do in Arizona – the state seems created for recreation and relaxation. Whether you are visiting Phoenix on vacation or are considering relocating to the Grand Canyon State, you are never too far from some of the area’s top lakes.

Best lake for fishing

One of the largest lakes in Arizona happens to be convenient to Phoenix. Lake Pleasant, situated in the Lake Pleasant Regional Park, is open year-round for boating, jet-skiing, fishing and more. Two marinas at the lake accommodate your boat and RV with plenty of electrical hook-ups, shade, convenience stores, laundry facilities and more. Anglers will find plenty of bass, catfish and tilapia populating Lake Pleasant; the hottest fishing spots include Humbug Creek, Castle Creek and Cole’s Wash, all of which feed into the lake.

Best lake for beating the heat

Saguaro Lake is part of Saguaro Lake Ranch in Mesa, a top vacation destination that’s also a short drive from Phoenix. Majestic mountains overlook this deep blue lake, whose cool water promises an escape from Arizona’s summer heat. Favorite summer activities including kayaking and tubing; during the cooler spring and winter months you can enjoy a trail ride through the Sonoran Desert in the company of experienced horses and wranglers.

Best lake for watching wildlife

About 65 miles north of Phoenix, Apache Lake sits alongside the Apache Trail, one of Arizona’s most scenic drives. This 17-mile-long lake offers boating, fishing and camping access, but the big attraction is the local color. Beautiful painted canyon walls provide a backdrop to view the resident bighorn sheep, deer and javelina (wild pig).

Best lake for taking pictures

Even among the natural wonders of Phoenix area lakes, Canyon Lake stands apart. Created by dams erected alongside other lakes, Canyon Lake has an intimate appeal and an amazing proximity to some of the most picturesque vistas in the desert. Unique rock formations, red-rock canyon walls and some area-specific foliage make for some postcard-perfect shots any time of year.