We love visiting Arizona State Parks but have a good list of ones we haven’t been to yet! Lyman Lake State Park is in northeastern Arizona near the small town of St. John. Lyman Lake is actually one of the few bodies of water in northeastern Arizona with no size restrictions on boats so it is definitely a fun water sport spot. Between water play, camping, fishing, hiking and more – there is a LOT for families to do in this hidden gem. We partnered with AZ State Parks to spend a weekend at Lyman Lake and show you all the fun there is to do.Family fishing at Lyman Lake State Park

Ok, so what is there for families to do at Lyman Lake? Here are all the things we did over just one weekend.

  • Camping – whether you do it the “old fashioned” way by pitching a tent, have an RV OR try out one of their awesome camping cabins (like us) Lyman Lake has some AWESOME camping sites. Some right on the river! We loved the camping cabin because it provided comfortable sleeping for all of us while still giving us that full “camping” feel. Fireside chats, dinner cooked over a campfire, S’mores, games… I love camping!
  • Water play – Lyman Lake has some great day use water play areas even for families with younger kids! No wake zones and plenty of room to picnic.
  • Water sports – if water sports are your thing Lyman Lake is PERFECT for you. No size restrictions and plenty of room to zoom around.
  • Fishing – we did our fair share of fishing the weekend we were there. Unfortunately the day everyone wanted to fish was super windy so we didn’t have much luck (that’s why they call it fishing and not catching right). However, the West side of the lake is a no wake area for anglers who want to fish without being close to the speedboats so you have a chance to catch walleye, channel catfish and largemouth bass. Stop in the store on site to grab some bait and find out what people have been catching on lately!
  • Hiking – I love hiking and Lyman Lake State Park has some awesome trails right in the park! The Peninsula Petroglyph Trail was our favorite and it’s only 1/4 of a mile (or you can take any of the connecting trails to make it 2 miles which is what we did). 
  • Wildlife – you can definitely see some wildlife in the parks and the store even had a bird watching checklist that we could take with us!
  • Park Events – check out the Lyman Lake website to see what events they have coming up. From holidays to nighttime star parties, they seem to always have something fun to look forward to.
  • Become a Junior Ranger – if you have kids between the ages of 6-12 they can start even before your trip with printable activity sheets! Then, when you visit stop by the visitors center/store to continue the activities to become an official Junior Ranger.


Family hiking at Lyman Lake State ParkWe drove up Friday after the boys got out of school so we didn’t arrive until after dark. To access the cabin we were given instructions to use the last 4 digits of our invoice number to open the digital keypad. We unloaded quickly and were able to get started on dinner almost right away (which would have never happened if we needed to pitch our tent(s). 

The next morning we could finally see the lake and the area and set off to explore. We went fishing in several spots, saw the ruins of a compact village built and used by the ancestors of the modern day Pueblo Indian groups. 

For more of the story and more images, visit All For the Boys, a great blogging partner.

- Allison Waken

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