Best Boating Destinations in Arizona

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Whether you enjoy cruising on the water to take in the striking views or love to partake in fishing or water sports with your family, there are plenty of activities to do on the lakes in Arizona. From warm desert winds to cool, crystal blue waters, you can take your boat out nearly any time of year to bask in the sunny weather and wildlife sightings. 

You can even stay a few nights on the water to experience on-land activities like hiking, biking and grilling. Let's explore some of the best locations for boating in Arizona for you and your loved ones.

Lake Powell

Lake Powell is an excellent choice to start off your boating in Arizona. This lake sits on the border of northern Arizona and southern Utah and offers hundreds of miles of shoreline for endless boating activities such as fishing, swimming, wakeboarding, tubing and sunbathing. 

Lake Powell is a popular spot for those looking to spend a few days water to enjoy the scenic views and sunny weather. Lake Powell is a part of the Colorado River, so it provides the perfect opportunity for families to engage in several recreational activities for boating, including several historical sites. 

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu sits in Lake Havasu City, located in western Arizona. This lake offers miles of waterways and approximately 300 days of sunny weather every year. This makes Lake Havasu the ideal location for warm air and water for fishing and swimming, with plenty of decks and ramps to get your boat onto the lake. 

This lake also shares a location with the London Bridge. Built in the 1800s, this historical monument is a popular attraction for boaters and tourists to sail under as they cruise along the lake. Whether you have a pontoon or wakeboarding boat, you can enjoy the private beaches and coves of this no-speed-limit lake.

Tempe Town Lake

In central Arizona, near Phoenix, there is a city called Tempe, where Tempe Town Lake sits. This lake, located on the Salt River Bed, is a reservoir known to offer many different boating activities, such as fishing, cruising and hosting regattas throughout the year. Tempe Town Lake is also home to its own beach park and marketplace along the southern shores. This is where boaters and families can enjoy stopping for:

  • Dining.
  • Shopping.
  • Live music.
  • Walking or cycling along the shore.

Tempe Town Lake also holds many of its own exciting activities and events for guests both on water and on land. 

Saguaro Lake Marina

Within the Tonto National Forest, a short drive from Marana, Arizona, lies Saguaro Lake Marina. This lake offers spectacular mountain views and crystal blue waters, making it ideal for boaters. Saguaro Lake, like Tempe Town Lake, is another reservoir along the Salt River Bed.

As a popular boating lake in Arizona, Saguaro Lake offers a great opportunity for fishing, with trout, bass, catfish, tilapia and many other kinds of fish in the lake. Other boating activities include sailing, jetting, water skiing and swimming. Visitors can also enjoy picnics on the shoreline or visit the restaurant on the marina.

Roper Lake

Roper Lake - Sprawling over about 32 acres, it's an excellent summer location, particularly for fishing. 

Roper Lake lies with Roper Lake State Park in southern Arizona, which offers hot springs, picnic areas, cabins, swimming beaches and a well-stocked lake for fishing and boating. Though this lake is smaller than others in Arizona, sprawling over about 32 acres, it's an excellent summer location, particularly for fishing. 

Roper Lake is home to a wide variety of fish, such as channel catfish, bluegill, sunfish and largemouth bass. In addition to fishing, you and your family can also enjoy paddling through the water at numerous stops around the park. Gas motors are not allowed on Roper Lake. 

Patagonia Lake

Patagonia Lake, located in Santa Cruz County, is another reservoir in southwest Arizona. Patagonia Lake is also part of the Patagonia Lake State Park, with over 260 acres of water for plenty of recreational activities. This lake is perfect for solo visitors or families who want to enjoy swimming in the cool waters. 

This spot is one of the most popular lakes in Arizona for sport fishing, water skiing, camping and picnicking. However, Patagonia Lake fills up fairly quickly with crowds of boaters, so water skiing is only allowed on certain dates throughout the year to ensure there's no congestion on the water. 

Motorized and non-motorized boats are welcome at this park, with plenty of boat ramps for easy access along the two-and-a-half-mile shoreline. Pontoon boats are very common for cruising on the east end of the lake due to the no-wake speed zones. 

Lake Pleasant

Lake Pleasant is one of the biggest lakes in Arizona for boating, stretching about 14 miles long. This lake is every boater's dream — perfect for overnight boating, sailing and kayaking on the water. With beautiful scenery and a mountainous desert landscape, this lake serves as a large recreation hub for the Phoenix area. 

Visitors can enjoy gliding along the water with warm desert winds or docking on the shore to engage in shopping and dining. Lake Pleasant tends to be a busy spot for jet skiing and power boating, but for those who love to fish, there are plenty of quiet spots further from the shoreline with tilapia, sunfish and white bass to catch. 

Apache Lake

Located within the Tonto National Forest along the Salt River, Apache Lake is another popular boating lake in Arizona. This secluded, quiet spot allows visitors to explore natural cliffs, caves, mountains, waterfalls and coves while sailing through the waters. One of the most significant attractions at Apache Lake is the wildlife and natural habitat. 

Because this lake is further away from nosy cities than others in Arizona, visitors will see plenty of animals, such as bald eagles and bighorn sheep, flora and fauna, in addition to many species of fish. Visitors will also benefit from fewer crowds in Apache Lake, so some boaters may get an entire day on the water to themselves.

Prescott Lakes

The most popular Prescott Lakes

The historical central city of Prescott is home to many different lakes for boating in Arizona. The most popular ones include:

  • Watson Lake.
  • Lynx Lake.
  • Goldwater Lake.
  • Granite Basin Lake.
  • Willow Lake.

Prescott Lakes are extremely popular with visitors and locals. While visitors cannot swim in most of these lakes, they make up for it with their amenities and recreation activities. From campgrounds to hiking trails to rock climbing, these lakes have plenty to offer individuals and families alike. 

These lakes are home to hundreds of fish, birds and other animal species, such as osprey and mule deer. These lakes allow visitors to enjoy views of granite boulder formations, pine trees, waterfalls and plenty of sunshine year-round. 

Theodore Roosevelt Lake

This lake, named after the former president, is Arizona's largest lake. Theodore Roosevelt Lake is a popular destination for boaters due to its vast surface area and shoreline. Visitors can experience several campgrounds and marinas for plenty of activities along the southern shore, in addition to fishing and taking in scenic views from the wide desert area. 

Visitors can also take advantage of the Arizona National Scenic Trail, Bachelor Cove and Cholla Bay areas to experience more nature. Theodore Roosevelt Lake is also home to an endangered bird, the Willow Flycatcher, that animal lovers can keep an eye out for. 

Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake is the smallest lake along the Salt River Bed but offers breathtaking views from the Superstition Mountains and the Apache Trail. This wilderness area is perfect for families who enjoy scuba diving and tubing or individuals who enjoy cruising on the clear water while taking in the view from the red rock cliffs.

While this lake is a popular spot for powerboats and fills up quickly, there are quieter spots near the eastern shoreline for those who desire a more secluded cove. These areas are perfect for docking your boat and taking scenic walks along the shore to get a closer look at the steep canyon walls. 

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Bartlett Lake

If you enjoy sport fishing, Bartlett Lake is another great choice due to its many different fish species, including:

  • Flathead catfish.
  • Small and largemouth bass.
  • Sunfish.
  • Crayfish.

You and your family will be surrounded by rolling hills and wildflowers while sailing through this lake, situated within the Tonto National Forest. With over 2,800 acres of boatable surface area to see, Bartlett Lake is full of recreational opportunities and pristine waters. In the natural desert terrain, you may spot many indigenous plants and animals from the water, such as mesquite trees and coyotes.

Alamo Lake

Within Alamo State Park sits Alamo Lake, an excellent recreational spot and one of the top fishing locations in all of Arizona. Many fishing tournaments are held here throughout the year, where many of the state's fishing records occur. 

However, cruising and swimming are also common activities here, and visitors can rent cabins on the water to enjoy biking and camping on land before taking their boat to the next picturesque spot. As long as your boat meets Arizona state regulations for watercraft, you and your family are welcome to participate in any of these activities. 

From the crystal clear waters to the mountainous terrain, you'll have plenty of wildlife viewing opportunities from the water and may even spot an eagle or two. Alamo Lake is also particularly known for its nighttime views. As it sits about 40 miles away from the nearest city, this lake offers breathtaking views of the night sky — perfect for stargazers. 

Lake Mary

Lake Mary consists of two lakes in northern Arizona within the Coconino National Forest. The upper and lower lakes are used for many recreational activities for boaters, such as windsurfing, and have no limit on boat motor size. 

Lower Lake Mary is smaller and tends to dry up in the summer, but Upper Lake Mary stays consistent year-round. Lake Mary is an excellent spot for animal lovers during the summer and winter months when all types of wildlife are easy to spot from your boat on the water, including:

  • Bald eagles.
  • Herons.
  • Elk.
  • Deer.
  • Waterfowl.
  • Red-tailed hawks.
  • Cliff chipmunks.

Lake Mead

Lake Mead - With nearly 800 miles of shoreline, there are plenty of spots to take your boat for a weekend to enjoy turquoise waters and blue skies. 

Formed by the Hoover Dam on the border of Arizona and Utah, Lake Mead is one of the most well-known lakes in all of the state. With nearly 800 miles of shoreline, there are plenty of spots to take your boat for a weekend to enjoy turquoise waters and blue skies. 

You can easily explore this lake's narrow canyons, secret fishing holes, secluded beaches and sandstone arches from many different types of boats. Anchoring your boat in Lake Mead will also allow you to participate in historic scuba diving, where you and your family can get up close with an underwater plane wreck, wall dives and other geological structures. 

Lake Mohave

Near Laughlin, Arizona, Lake Mohave sits along the state's western edge. Lake Mohave was built in 1951 and extends along the valley from Hoover Dam to Davis Dam. This lake is ideal for adventurous explorers who enjoy spending time in nature with over 250 miles of rugged shorelines. 

Surrounded by canyons, mountains, rocks and cliff walls, this lake is a great spot to view historical petroglyphs left behind by the Mohave American Indians nearly 3,000 years ago. If you love to be on the water but don't want to deal with boating crowds, Lake Mohave has plenty of narrow, secluded spots to enjoy peace and quiet. Visitors will see a wide variety of wildlife, game fish, plants and coves along this lake. 

Woods Canyon Lake

Woods Canyon Lake, located in northern Arizona, is a small, deep lake predominately used for recreational use. The deep lake makes this spot perfect for fishing for all types of trout out on the water because there's not enough oxygen for fish at the bottom, causing them to stay close to the surface. 

While this lake is open year-round, access can be limited between December and April, so it's best to go in the summer or early fall. From your boat, you and your loved ones may also spot bears, deer and elk among the fir and oak trees.

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Whether you're looking to cruise through these lakes for a relaxing vacation or bring your friends to enjoy some summer water sports, Arizona has plenty of spots for you to bring your boat. Once you're out on the water, your adventure begins. 

At My Financing USA, we can help you get the financing you need for a boat that meets your needs — for a solo or family trip. We will help you find the best financing options that match your budget and credit score, whether good or bad. Some of the boats we finance include:

  • Cruisers.
  • Bowriders.
  • Deck boats.
  • Jet boats.
  • Pontoons.
  • Ski and wakeboard boats.
  • Sailboats.

Start your adventure today by taking five minutes to fill out an application online, or contact us to discuss our financing options.

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