Everything you need to boat, paddle and fish in The Valley of the Sun

Get off the beaten (desert) path and into the water in Phoenix!

Arizona is home to many magnificent lakes and rivers that are perfect for boating, canoeing, kayaking, and enjoying the legendary sunshine.

Known for its warm, desert climate and variety of aloes, saguaros, and prickly pears, water may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Valley of the Sun.  Although the cacti and glorious desert backdrop are inarguably stunning, we can assure you the landscape has a lot more to offer! Plan your getaway with a free Official Phoenix Travel Guide, and be sure to check the Phoenix Calendar of Events for a complete listing of upcoming shows and concerts.

Scenic River Waterways

Verde River

The Verde River is a 200-mile unique resource, and one of the last free flowing rivers in the Southwest. The Verde River derives its name from the Spanish word “verde,” meaning “green.” With its varied landscape, diverse terrain, and distinctive features, the Verde River provides excellent recreational opportunities for boating, fishing, birding, photography and wildlife viewing.  Canoers and kayakers will also enjoy paddling along the Verde River Paddle Trail.  

Salt River

Summer in Phoenix means tubing down Salt River, and there is no better way to escape the summer heat!  Just a short drive from Phoenix, Salt River is a recreational paradise of refreshing mountain-stream waters and spectacular vistas.

The river provides the perfect vantage point to admire the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. Wildlife sightings are also common, so keep your eyes peeled for deer, wild horses, great blue herons, and bald eagles. The calm Lower Salt River offers stunning views and calmer waters, while the Upper Salt River offers whitewater thrills and rapids. Whether you choose to tube, kayak, canoe, fish, or raft, you’re in for the time of your life!

Lakes in the Phoenix Area

With crystal clear waters served by the area’s rivers, the Greater Phoenix Area lakes offer an abundance of opportunity for water activities, including power boating, water skiing and fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.

Spend a day out on the lake and enjoy picturesque desert and mountain views, tree-like stands of Saguaro Cactus, and stunning wildflowers. Don’t miss the beautiful painted canyon walls of Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, and Apache Lake. Keep an eye out for the wild roaming burros at Lake Pleasant, while majestic mountain sheep and soaring eagles are common sights at Apache Lake.

If you are an avid fisherman, get ready to experience some of the best bass fishing in the country. Largemouth, small mouth and white bass are abundant in the lakes, and trophy catches are not uncommon.

  • Lake Pleasant

Enjoy the scenic 45 minute drive from downtown Phoenix to Lake Pleasant, the second largest of the Phoenix area lakes with over 10,000 acres of fresh blue water.  Lake Pleasant features stunning views of the canyon walls, and is a popular hotspot for power boating, water skiing and fishing.

  • Saguaro Lake

Located 40 miles northeast of Phoenix, Saguaro Lake offers incredible views and exceptional boating fun. Amenities include boat mooring and rentals, as well as a restaurant and picnic facilities.

  • Canyon Lake

You won’t want to miss the amazing views at Canyon Lake. Located just northeast of Mesa and Apache Junction, Canyon Lake offers beautiful vistas and the most magnificent canyon walls.

  • Apache Lake

From Canyon Lake, enjoy the scenic drive up Apache Trail. Surrounded by the Superstition Wilderness and home to the Legend of The Lost Dutchman’s gold mine, Apache Lake is known for its high canyon walls and deep mountain valleys.  Be sure to bring your camera to capture stunning views along the water of this magnificent landscape.

  • Roosevelt Lake

Further up the Apache Trail lies Roosevelt Lake, the farthest from the Phoenix area. At over 17 miles in length, Roosevelt Lake is the largest of the lakes within a 1½ hour driving distance of Phoenix.   Amenities include marina features, campgrounds and RV parks.

  • Bartlett Lake

Popular among water recreation enthusiasts, Bartlett Lake is known for its magnificent desert-mountain views and Saguaro-studded foothills, as well as the blooming cacti and wildflowers that paint the landscape in spring. Outdoor enthusiasts frequent Bartlett Lake for a variety of recreational opportunities, including boating, water skiing and jet skiing.

Reserve your Phoenix boating adventure today!

Boatsetter has fleets of boats, including pontoon boats, speed boats, ski boats, yachts, and personal watercrafts available to help you embark on your Phoenix waterway adventure.  Whether you’re looking for a power boating adventure on Lake Pleasant, or to spend a day cruising Bartlett Lake on a personal watercraft, Boatsetter has everything you need to enjoy your Phoenix getaway. Reserve today, then pack your sunscreen and get ready to experience the majestic waterways of the Valley of the Sun!

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