Girl in a Boat

Arizona may be best known for its scenic deserts, rock formations, and canyons, but it’s also a prime place for boating! 

That’s right! Not only does Arizona have a number of impressive lakes, but the state also boasts year-round, ideal water weather, boating festivals, and regattas, plus a wide range of water activities- from adrenaline-pumping water sports to relaxing fishing or fun family floats.

Here are some of our favorite boating destinations in Arizona: 

1 Lake Powell

Lake Powell, in the Glen Canyon Recreational Area in Northern Arizona, stretches almost 190 miles long. That’s a lot of water to explore! This man-made reservoir in a towering red rock canyon is a breathtaking destination for boating on speed boats and houseboats, fishing, water skiing, and more! Get a room at one of the hotels, or camp right on the beach.

Bonus: Cruise up Lake Powell into Utah and see the awe-inspiring Rainbow Bridge National Monument, a 290-foot-high natural arch regarded as a sacred place by the area’s indigenous people. According to the National Park Service, “Rainbow Bridge is only accessible by boat on Lake Powell or by land over a 14+ mile trail from the Navajo Nation.”

2 Lake Mead

The largest reservoir in the United States, Lake Mead, sits on the Arizona-Nevada border in the Lake Mead Recreational Area. This lake is known for its excellent bass fishing, and it has plenty of space for wild water sports as well. If you need a break from the water, take a hike and view the wildlife along the trails surrounding the lake. 

Bonus: Lake Mead is also known as one of the best U.S. lakes for scuba diving and has a few submerged diving sites, including a WWII B-29 Bomber!

3 Lake Havasu

The lake community of Lake Havasu City in Western Arizona is a host of attractions in and out of the water. Its 30 square miles of water has space for everything from speedboats and water sports to meandering houseboats, sightseeing, and birdwatching. Lake Havasu is also home to the relocated London Bridge, 28 scaled-down replicas of coastal lighthouses, and the Museum of History.

Bonus: Check out this list of water-front restaurants to dock at for an easy boat-to-dining experience!

4 Saguaro Lake

Scenic Saguaro Lake in the Tonto National Forest of Southern Arizona is surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, canyon walls, and of course, the famous Saguaro cactus. This lake is great for exploring, fun, and fishing! Water skiing and tubing are great ways to enjoy the water in its designated space. Boating through the canyon provides more great views and opportunities for cliff-jumping, as well as picnicking and camping on the beaches. There are large bass, carp, and several other species stocked in Saguaro Lake, making it a popular fishing spot.

Bonus: Catch a beautiful glimpse (at a distance, please) of the herd of wild horses coming up to the water to drink!

Happy Boating!

There are many fantastic lakes in Arizona. Be sure to visit them to make your next adventure to the Grand Canyon State as much fun on the water as it is in the deserts and canyons. 

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