Activities On the Water

Pre-conceived notions about Arizona may lead some to believe that this arid state is short on water related recreation activities. Quite the opposite is actually true! There are a vast number of ways that one can enjoy water recreation right here in this desert oasis! From Colorado River country out west to Lyman Lake in the east, (and everything in-between) we have great day trips, camping destinations, and fishin’ holes for the whole family! Swim, boat, hop on your stand-up paddle board, kayak…it doesn’t matter! With so many options available statewide, there’s always something to explore! 

West Coast River Parks

West Coast River Park Water Recreation Opportunities

Lake Havasu State Park

Lake Havasu State Park is a popular year-round destination right on Arizona’s west coast!  This lake is loaded with ways to enjoy water recreation including, ample boating opportunities, world-renowned bass fishing, wide-open spaces for adrenaline junkies, white sand beaches, and of course, those unforgettable western AZ views! Spend your days catching fish out on the lake, then if you decide to keep a couple, enjoy a fresh-caught dinner while relaxing on the beach. Or, you might prefer to rip around the lake in your boat skiing or taking in experience. Lake Havasu has some of the most spectacular sunsets we've seen anywhere! The way the orange glow reflects off of the lake’s surface is absolutely breathtaking! Spacious campgrounds and gorgeous lakeshore cabins are available to help you maximize your stay.  

Cattail Cove State Park

Test the water at the Colorado River's best-kept secret, Cattail Cove State Park! Fishing, boating, and camping are all available at this cozy, laid back park, plus a beach just for your dog! Take advantage of paddling the river at Cattail Cove, rent a paddle board or kayak, or try your luck catching the bass, catfish and big redear sunfish lurking below the water's surface. Take a swim in the designated areas along the shoreline, then head back to shore where you can cool off and kick back when you're done being active on the lake. It's so easy to relax by the water and experience the simple joy of a nice day with a gorgeous view. 

Buckskin Mountain State Park

Buckskin Mountain State Park is just north of Parker, and is well-known for expansive views and river-front campsites! Set up a tent right on the water to enjoy the ambiance of the cool Colorado River and let the water's steady flow take your cares downstream. There are so many incredible things to discover at this laid back park, so set up your RV or pitch a campsite...Then start having fun! After camp is set up, you'll have plenty of time for fishing, floating down the river, or boating along the amazing shoreline. Or, if you're into hiking, check out the expansive trail network at the park, then take a quick dip in the river to cool off before heading back to camp.

River Island State Park

Just one mile outside of Buckskin Mountain lies River Island State Park, a low profile campsite with quick access to the Colorado River. Keep your vacation laid back with the quality fishing and boating found here, or float an inner tube down the lazy Colorado. Dogs are welcome at River Island for both tent and RV camping, plus there's a fenced dog run so your pup can explore off-leash! Beachfront campsites are great for scenic views and easy access to the water for all your day's activities!  

Alamo Lake State Park

Alamo Lake State Park is one of the best places to fish for bass in Arizona, and it comes with a crystal clear lake surrounded by mountainous terrain. Launch your boat from the park and spend the day enjoying the water - whether or not you plan to fish. This quiet park is nestled in the Bill Williams River Valley, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The dark skies are the perfect canopy to your lakeside adventure, and with campsites and cool camping cabins, you'll want to unplug and stay for awhile.

Southern Arizona Lakes

Southern Arizona Lakes Water Recreation Opportunities

Patagonia Lake State Park

Patagonia Lake State Park is the gem of southern Arizona, and people love to swim, boat, canoe, kayak and play at this beautiful water destination. The campground overlooks the lake where anglers catch crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish, and trout. The park is popular for stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, camping, boating, and hiking. With camping cabins that overlook the water and feature the amazing sunsets, boat-in campsites, a white sand beach, and scenic desert views, the family will want to stay the whole summer.

Roper Lake/Dankworth Pond State Parks

Near Safford, these two lake parks offer summertime fun with plenty of choices. Cool off by boating or paddle-boarding, then bait your hook and catch your dinner. Roper Lake is home to outsized largemouth bass, eager schools of crappie, tons of bluegill, sunfish, and channel catfish. If fishing isn't your speed, kayak through the water, enjoying the view and the water fun. Though at 32 acres this lake is smaller than others in the state park system, much of the lake provides great habitat and ample opportunity to catch some nice fish during your visit. At Dankworth Pond, you can enjoy the fishing dock, and you can kayak or boat.

Northern Arizona Lakes and Rivers

Northern Arizona Lakes and Rivers Water Recreation Opportunities

Lyman Lake State Park

Lyman Lake is one of the few bodies of water in northeastern Arizona with no size restrictions on boats. The west end of the lake is buoyed off and restricted as a no wake area (5 mph). This allows the angler a chance at a variety of fish without the proximity of speedboats and water-skiers. The fishery consists of walleye, channel catfish and largemouth bass. The large remainder of the lake is open for all other types of water sports. Lyman Lake really comes into its own during the spring, summer, and fall. Summer days, with temperature highs in the 80s to low 90s, are perfect for fishing, swimming, leisure boating, water-skiing, hiking or just relaxing.

Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area

Show Low Creek flows into Fool Hollow Lake, providing a natural feeding ground for a variety of wildlife and a very diverse fishery. The cool northern lake is at 6,300 feet in elevation, and comfortably nestled within Arizona’s White Mountains. Large and smallmouth bass, walleye, pike, and trout are all swim the depths of this Arizona high-country gem. Visitors can also rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards from J&T's Wild-Life Outdoors, our concessionaire located near the east boat launch ramp. Get a whole new view of Fool Hollow Lake by renting a canoe or kayak and spending your summer days out on the water!

Slide Rock State Park

Just in time for summer, Slide Rock State Park has made the Travel Channel's list of "10 Top Swimming Holes in the United States." Sedona's red rocks form the "ultimate water slide." Slide Rock includes a 1/2 mile of Oak Creek that is open for swimming, wading and sliding. The world-famous slide that our park is named for is an 80 foot-long slippery chute that is worn into sandstone. Pack a picnic and explore the apple orchard and beautiful scenery after your swim, then head back in for seconds.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park and Verde River Greenway State Natural Area

Within north central Arizona’s Verde River Valley, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, and the associated section of the Verde River, give anglers a chance to catch a variety of sportfish. Largemouth bass, rainbow trout, channel catfish, bluegill, green sunfish, and an occasional crappie live within the cattail lined lagoons at the park. Plus, the lagoons are great for canoeing or kayaking, and access to the Verde River gives you even more chances to get out on the water to explore. You might even catch sight of birds or wildlife as you float down the river.

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