Arizona Lakes


arizona lakes


Arizona lakes, more specifically warm water desert lakes are the focus of this page. Follow this link to a page for Arizona's cold water, high country lakes and streams... they are My Favorite Arizona Fishing Waters.

Arizona lakes are important to the people and wildlife of our state. Water storage, flood control, and recreation are primary purposes of these scenic bodies of water.

Alamo Lake is located in west-central Arizona. The Big Sandy Wash and the Santa Maria River join to form the Bill Williams River. Alamo Dam is located a few miles below the confluence and forms the lake. Alamo Lake is usually the first desert lake to offer late winter bass and crappie fishing.




Arizona Lakes News and Information

~~~~~ ~~~~~

September 13, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


I-15 Reopened, Lake Mead Entrance Fees to Resume Sunday


BOULDER CITY, Nevada –The Nevada Department of Transportation reopened a northbound and southbound lane of Interstate 15 Sept. 12;therefore, Lake Mead National Recreation Area entrance fees will resume Sept. 14.

The National Park Service waived fees for passenger vehicles and select commercial vehicles to allow drivers to detour the interstate closure after it was washed out by flooding.

Friday, NDOT alerted Lake Mead officials that the road was open. All passenger traffic can now travel on I-15. Some restrictions still apply for commercial vehicles. Details can be found at

Vehicle passes at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which will be required starting Sunday, are $10 for 1-7 days or $30 for the remaining calendar year. Seniors (62 and older) may purchase a lifetime pass for $10. Active duty military may obtain a free annual pass. Those who are permanently disabled may receive a free lifetime pass.

Sept. 14, a few hundred triathletes will race through Lake Mead National Recreation Area during the Mountain Man Las Vegas Triathlon. The swim portion of the race takes place at Boulder Beach. Then, athletes will bike along Lakeshore and Northshore roads. Drivers should use caution when passing cyclists. Cyclists are reminded that they must bike in single file on the roadways. For more information on this permitted event, visit



~~~~~ ~~~~~

September 7, 2014

Western Outdoor Times


App-Controlled LED Lights Bring Boats To Life



Until recently, boat accent lighting was limited to static colors. Seamaster Marine Products now enables owners to transform their vessels into dynamic, animated works of art. Its new LED RGB Multi-Color Accent Lighting kit, controlled by a free app, enables tailored illumination limited only by the owner's imagination.

Each kit includes four 20" LED strips, 30' of four-conductor wire, and a WiFi receiver. Users download Seamaster's free RGB LED app on any Apple or Android device to control and personalize light colors effortlessly. Seamaster's 120º wide-angle LEDs in red, blue and green can blend to hundreds of thousands of hues

Read more



~~~~~ ~~~~~

September 4, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


LMI Offering Free 2-Credit Hour Teacher Workshop


BOULDER CITY, Nev. – Lake Mead National Recreation will become a living classroom in September through the Lake Mead Institute’s Professional Development Series teacher workshop, Climate Change in the Desert Southwest. The workshop is offered as a two-credit graduate course through the Regional Professional Development Program.

The National Park Service, Great Basin Institute, RPDP and Desert Research Institute are partnering to provide educators with grade level appropriate climate change lesson plans, an awareness of climate change impacts on Southern Nevada, implementation ideas for fieldtrip and service projects and plans for the 2014-2015 school year, and motivation to lead and teach action projects on climate change.

The participating teacher will also be provided with stipends which are provided by a grant from the National Park Foundation.

“These teachers will have the opportunity to participate in class face-to-face times with natural resource specialists, participate in hands-on learning, tour resource management facilities such as the Song Dog Native Plant Nursery at Lake Mead, and the DRI Soil Lysimeter,” said Amanda Rowland, education specialist, Lake Mead NRA. “They will also be able to meet scientists and discuss real-time science projects that connect their students to science, technology, engineering and math.”

The workshop is 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 13, 4 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 20 and 4 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23.

As part of the program, the public is invited to attend a lecture on “Soil: More Than Just Dirt?” presented by Dr. Markus Berli at 5 p.m. Sept. 16 at the Rogers Auditorium located in the National Atomic Testing Museum. Berli is an associate research professor for Environmental Hydrogeophysics at the Desert Research Institute in Las Vegas. He has 17 years of experience in basic and applied research related to the physics, mechanics and hydraulics of soils and soft rocks.

Educators interested in participating in the workshop should contact Amanda Rowland at 702-277-2770 or Space is limited.

The Parks Climate Challenge lesson plans and instructional videos are available online to educators everywhere. Educators can use the free online resources to train themselves and replicate the Parks Climate Challenge model in their own communities across the nation. Learn more at



~~~~~ ~~~~~

August 24, 2014



Game and Fish seeks information in death of bighorn sheep


The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking any information the public might have about the death of a bighorn sheep that was found floating in Lake Mead earlier this week near the Sandy Point Beach.

The Department received a call from an angler on the evening of Sunday, Aug. 17, reporting that the dead bighorn was floating in the water. It was reportedly intact at that time. Department officers responded to the scene the next morning and noticed that the front quarter had been removed from the animal.

There was no superficial evidence of a gunshot wound in the remaining carcass, and Department officers continue to investigate the cause of death. The Department is seeking any information the public may have about this incident.

If you have information, please contact the Operation Game Thief Hotline at 1-800-352-0700 or use the online form at



~~~~~ ~~~~~

August 21, 2014

Coconino National Forest


C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir and FR751 closed starting Friday


Clints Well, Ariz. – Starting tomorrow (Friday, August 22), the entire C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir as well as Forest Road 751 will be closed. Rock Crossing Campground nearby will remain open for the season.

The closure will encompass the entire reservoir – not just the boat ramp – for public safety due to low water levels, loose rock falling on and around the boat ramp, as well as improvement work throughout the area. Forest managers on the Mogollon Rim Ranger District plan to reopen the reservoir in the spring.

For additional information and suggestions for other recreational opportunities in the area, visit our website at or contact the Mogollon Rim Ranger District at 928-477-2255.



~~~~~ ~~~~~

August 20, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Road Closed, Trespassers Cited


BOULDER CITY, Nevada – The National Park Service closed Eldorado Canyon Road Aug. 4 due to major storm damage. Visitors who choose to violate the closure, may be cited, fined and could face up to six months in jail.

Capital Mine Road Damage

Aug. 4, a storm washed out half of Eldorado Canyon Road, which is the paved road within Lake Mead National Recreation Area that leads to Nelson’s Landing. Road crews reviewed the damage and are concerned about the stability of the remaining half of the road.


Initially, temporary barricades were used to close the area, but visitors moved the barricades and cut the locks and chains.


Aug. 15, cement barricades were put in place to block the hazardous road. When rangers patrolled the area Aug. 16, they found that someone had moved those barricades, as well.

This closure is in place to protect the public from driving across a road that could possibly collapse, which could cause major injuries or death, as well as damage to personal property.

Anyone caught violating the closure may be cited and could face up to $5,000 in fines and six months in jail. Aug. 17, rangers encountered more than 30 people violating the closure who were traveling along the damaged road from the lake back toward the city. Many received citations.

At this time, access to Nelson Landing and Placer Cove is only available from the water or via Aztec Wash Road, an unpaved approved road that starts near the town of Nelson, Nevada. Four-wheel drive, high-clearance vehicles are recommended for those who travel down the backcountry road. Travel through the wash should be avoided when it’s raining or when rain is in the forecast.

Visitors should not park at the closure and attempt to walk to the lake. In addition to the road being closed, the lake is 4.5 miles from the barricades. One person has already been rescued trying to attempt this trek.

A road crew from the Federal Highway Administration observed the damage and has estimated that the road repairs will take two to three months.

Outside the park, Nevada State Road 165 is still open, providing access to the Eldorado Canyon Mine and Aztec Wash Road.



~~~~~ ~~~~~

August 17, 2014

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office


Woods Canyon Lake Lightening Strike



Forest Lakes, AZ; On Saturday, August 10, 2014 at about 4:00 pm a Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputy assigned to the Forest Lakes Community and the Forest Lakes Fire Department were dispatched to the area of Spillway Campground at Woods Canyon Lake for a report of an adult male who was struck by lightning.  Once the emergency first responders arrived, they found a
41 year old man of Queen Creek, AZ had been struck by a bolt of lightning on his upper torso in the area of his right shoulder.  On scene observation revealed the lightning exited the victim’s body through his big toes.  Medical personnel immediately began life saving efforts on the victim who appeared to be seriously injured.

Due to the inclement weather, including heavy rain and hail, responders determined that air evacuation of the victim was not a safe option.  He was taken to the Payson Regional Hospital by ground ambulance and was subsequently transported to the Maricopa Burn Center. The investigation has revealed the victim, his wife and two children were at Woods Canyon Lake for a day of fishing when a large storm front moved over the Woods Canyon Lake area.  According to witnesses the victim lifted a metal framed camp chair over his head for cover at which time a bolt of lightning struck him and a tree located in close proximity to the victim’s location.  The last report received by the Sheriff’s Office listed the victim good condition.

You should be aware of the dangers that may come with monsoons.  The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and the US Forest Service want visitors to enjoy their time on the forests and encourage visitors planning a trip to the area to “Know Before You Go


Lightning: What You Need to Know

· NO PLACE outside is safe when thunderstorms are in the area

· If you hear thunder, lightning is close enough to strike you

· When you hear thunder, immediately move to safe shelter: a substantial building with electricity or plumbing or an enclosed, metal-topped vehicle with windows up

· Stay in safe shelter at least 30 minutes after you hear the last sound of thunder

Last Resort Outdoor Risk Reduction Tips

If you are caught outside with no safe shelter anywhere nearby the following actions may reduce your risk:

· Immediately get off elevated areas such as hills, mountain ridges or peaks

· Never lie flat on the ground

· Never shelter under an isolated tree

· Never use a cliff or rocky overhang for shelter

· Immediately get out and away from ponds, lakes and other bodies of water

· Stay away from objects that conduct electricity (barbed wire fences, power lines, windmills, etc.)

Forecast weather conditions can be found at the National Weather Service webpage



~~~~~ ~~~~~

August 14, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Upcoming Events at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Aug 13 – Nov 11


BOULDER CITY, NEV. – The following events are happening at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Aug. 13 through Nov. 11.

Meteor Shower Walk, Aug 13

Rangers will take guests on an easy 2.5-mile hike down the Historic Railroad Trail as they view the Perseid Meteor Shower Aug. 13. Water, flashlights and reservations required. Presented by the Lake Mead Institute and Outside Las Vegas Foundation. For questions and reservations, call 702-293-8990.

Ranger Program: The Colorado River, Aug 16

Stop by the Alan Bible Visitor Center at 2 p.m. Aug. 16 to learn about the Colorado River: A Story of Progress and Struggle. A park ranger will take guests on an educational exploration of the development and cultural significance of water in the west. Presented by the Lake Mead Institute. Call 702-293-8990 for more information.

Ranger Program: Desert Tortoise, Aug 17

Stop by the Alan Bible Visitor Center at 2 p.m. Aug. 17 to learn about the desert tortoise, one of the Mojave Desert’s most enigmatic reptile species. Presented by the Lake Mead Institute. Call 702-293-8990 for more information.

Ranger Program: Weather Monsoons, Aug. 23

Stop by the Alan Bible Visitor Center at 2 p.m. Aug. 23 to learn about the effects of the monsoon season in shaping the landscape, particularly in desert washes. Presented by the Lake Mead Institute. Call 702-293-8990 for more information.

Ranger Program: Where did my water go? Aug. 24

Stop by the Alan Bible Visitor Center at 2 p.m. Aug. 24 to discover where water comes from, how it is used and sustainable management practices. Presented by the Lake Mead Institute. Call 702-293-8990 for more information.

Fee-free day, Aug 25

Entrance fees will be waived at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Aug. 25 in celebration of the National Park Service’s birthday. Fees for camping, lake use or use of concessions still apply.

Ranger Program: National Park Jeopardy, Aug 30

Stop by the Alan Bible Visitor Center at 2 p.m. Aug. 30 to test your knowledge of the national parks. Presented by the Lake Mead Institute. Call 702-293-8990 for more information.

Ranger Program: Underwater Treasures, Aug. 31

Stop by the Alan Bible Visitor Center at 2 p.m. Aug. 31 to learn about the underwater resting place of the B-29 Superfortress that crashed in Lake Mead in 1948. Presented by the Lake Mead Institute. Call 702-293-8990 for more information.

Ranger Program: Geology of Lake Mead, Sept. 1

Stop by the Alan Bible Visitor Center at 2 p.m. Sept. 1 to explore Lake Mead National Recreation Area’s geologic wonders and the history of the landscape over millions of years. Presented by the Lake Mead Institute. Call 702-293-8990 for more information.

Introduction to Night Photography, Sept 13

Join the Lake Mead Institute and the Outside Las Vegas Foundation for an introduction to Night Photography course, followed by a chance to practice your new skills in the field. Participants must have an SLR Camera with manual settings and a tripod to participate. Water, flashlights and reservations required. For questions and reservations, call 702-293-8990.

Fee-free day, Sept 27

Entrance fees will be waived at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Sept. 27 for National Public Lands Day. Fees for camping, lake use or use of concessions still apply.

Lake Mead 50th Anniversary Celebration, Oct 11

Mark your calendar, Lake Mead National Recreation Area will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on Oct. 11 at Cottonwood Cove. There will be food, fun and festivities. Details coming soon.

Fee-free day, Nov 11

Entrance fees will be waived at Lake Mead National Recreation Area Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day. Fees for camping, lake use or use of concessions still apply.



~~~~~ ~~~~~

August 13, 2014

Bureau of Reclamation


2015 Lake Powell Water Release to Lake Mead Will Increase



~~~~~ ~~~~~

August 11, 2014

Coconino National Forest


Projects at C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) reservoir will affect access and also lower level of water


Clints Well, Ariz. – The water level at C.C. Cragin Reservoir, formerly named Blue Ridge Reservoir, will slowly drop during the month of August as inspections and construction projects get underway.

            Salt River Project (SRP), which operates and manages the reservoir and C.C. Cragin Dam on behalf of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, will be performing an inspection of the tunnel inlet that transfers water to the East Verde River.  In order for the inspection to commence, the reservoir level will drop approximately 26 feet from its current level. The reservoir is expected to reach this lower level about Aug. 18.

            Even though the boat ramp will be open during this time, large boulders near the end of the boat ramp will be exposed and launching a boat will be challenging, and sometimes not possible. Additionally, heavy trucks transporting material to the work site may restrict access to the reservoir and boat ramp for short periods during the day. SRP’s inspection of the tunnel inlet is expected to be completed by Aug. 20.

            Additional projects planned for the immediate future which will affect access to the reservoir include the following:

· Stabilize hillside adjacent to the dam spillway: The hillside adjacent to the spillway is subject to rainwater running off the canyon above.  Due to the steep grade and loose soil, a concrete retaining wall will be constructed in the hillside near the spillway to prevent erosion and reduce the potential for a rock slide.  Gabion walls will also be constructed above the retaining wall as an additional means of mitigating erosion.  Contractors will begin moving in equipment and materials to the parking lot above the spillway approximately Aug. 15 and begin excavation and construction from mid-August until mid-September. The public is advised to take extra caution during this time, as heavy trucks and equipment will be using the roads back and forth to the reservoir, which can be narrow in many places. Access to the reservoir may be restricted during the day for short periods as these trucks transport materials to the work site.


· Reservoir boat ramp improvement: In order to facilitate safer and more efficient access to the reservoir, the U.S. Forest Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department will work together to build a retaining wall and make improvements to the road used as the boat ramp, beginning Sep. 19. Vehicle access to the reservoir will be closed beginning Sep. 19 at the Rock Crossing campground. This means no vehicles will be able to access the reservoir after Sep. 19, as construction continues and seasonal road closures may take effect. Vehicle access to the reservoir is anticipated to open after the seasonal road closure, approximately April 2015. Check with the Mogollon Rim Ranger District on access status.

For more information about the reservoir status and Mogollon Rim Ranger District, please contact the district ranger station at 928-477-2255. In addition, recent information about C.C. Cragin water releases and status can be found on SRP’s website at



~~~~~ ~~~~~

August 1, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Goldstrike Canyon, Arizona Hot Spring Trails Temporarily Closed


BOULDER CITY, Nevada – A temporary emergency closure is in place for Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Spring trails within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, effective Aug. 1. This closure includes National Park Service and Bureau of Reclamation lands.

A temporary emergency closure is in place for Goldstrike Canyon and Arizona Hot Spring trails within Lake Mead National Recreation Area, beginning Aug. 1.

Public safety incidents in these canyons have doubled from 2013 to 2014. In 2013, there were 17 incidents, which resulted in one fatality, 31 patients and five medical transports. In the first seven months of 2014, there have been 37 incidents, resulting in three fatalities, 35 patients and 13 medical transports.

"We have added signs to discourage summer hiking in these remote areas. Unfortunately, these signs are not having the desired effect," said Patrick Gubbins, deputy superintendent, Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

July 27, rangers were called out to Goldstrike Canyon and hiked a mile down to carry-out an adult who was suffering from severe cramps. July 29, rangers were called out to rescue two adults on Goldstrike Canyon who were dehydrated. Along the way, they encountered seven other hikers who were out of water. July 30, two adults and three juveniles hiked to the Arizona Hot Spring without enough water to make the hike back up. Another visitor transported them by boat to safety.

"People are miscalculating their ability to hike these strenuous trails in the summer, and it's not only endangering their lives, it's endangering the lives of other visitors and rescue crews," said Gubbins.

This summer at Goldstrike and Arizona Hot Spring trails, there have been 21 incidents on days that topped 100 degrees, and each incident lasts an average of three hours.

The closure is in place on National Park Service managed lands until Aug. 30. Park managers will analyze incidents and weather data to determine if the closure will be extended. The closure on Bureau of Reclamation managed lands is in place for 45 days, but may be terminated earlier upon a joint determination by the National Park Service.

"Hiking is very popular in the fall, and we plan to re-open the areas when temperatures are cooler," said Gubbins. "During the closure, visitors can still access the popular hot springs via the much cooler route along the Colorado River."

The area known as White Rock Canyon has multiple trails leading to the Arizona Hot Spring, Liberty Bell Arch and the Colorado River. Goldstrike Canyon is a strenuous hike requiring bouldering and climbing. It leads to Goldstrike and Nevada hot springs and the Colorado River.

The River Mountains Loop Trail and Historic Railroad Trail remain open. Hiking is discouraged during the summer months. Those who choose to hike are encouraged to follow summer safety tips found online at



~~~~~ ~~~~~

July 28 2014



Pull the plug and “Clean, Drain and Dry” your boat


Obey the law and stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species, or get a citation


The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reminds boaters to do their part in preventing the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in Arizona waters and preventing damage to their own watercraft. To protect Arizona lakes, rivers and streams from the devastating effects of invasive species, Arizona laws require boaters and anglers to clean, drain and dry their boats and pull the boat’s plug when leaving an AIS-affected lake.

While AZGFD Boating Education personnel continue to remind and educate boaters, Game and Fish officers and other law enforcement agencies will be on Arizona boat ramps this summer. They are making sure all boats leaving the water have removed standing bilge water, emptied live wells, cleaned off mud and vegetation and pulled their plugs to reduce the risk of invasive species contaminating other bodies of water.

“Pulling your plug and cleaning, draining and drying your boat are easy steps to prevent the spread of AIS,” said Tom McMahon, AIS program manager for AZGFD. “Do this every time you pull your boat out of the water, and you’ll be preventing these mussels from attaching and growing in your boat as well as protecting Arizona’s lakes and waterways.”

Invasive species have found their way into several Arizona lakes and rivers after being unwittingly transported from one body of water to another. Cleaning, draining and drying boats, trailers, waders and fishing equipment helps contain these invaders and minimizes damage to boats, canals, pipes, dams and aquatic habitats, not to mention native and sport fish populations.

“Boaters shouldn’t be surprised that we’re enforcing Arizona’s invasive species laws. They’ve been on the books since 2009, and pulling your plug when you leave an AIS-infested lake has been the law since 2012,” said Gene Elms, Law Enforcement Branch Chief for the AZGFD. “If you are observed leaving a lake without cleaning your boat, pulling your boat’s plug and keeping it out during transport, you will be cited. Ensuring the health and sustainability of Arizona’s rivers, lakes and stream for future generations is all of our responsibility.”

To view the Department’s watercraft decontamination protocols, visit:



~~~~~ ~~~~~

July 9, 2014

Bureau of Reclamation


Lake Mead Levels to Drop to Historic Lows


BOULDER CITY, Nev. – Lake Mead, the reservoir created by Hoover Dam, is anticipated this week to reach its lowest water level since the lake’s initial filling in the 1930s. The Bureau of Reclamation’s Boulder Canyon Operations Office is projecting the elevation to drop to 1,081.75 feet above sea level during the week of July 7 and to continue to drop, reaching approximately 1,080 feet in November of this year.

Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region annually delivers about 9 million acre-feet (MAF) to homes, businesses, farms, Native American tribes and communities, and Mexico.

“We will meet our water orders this year and we are not projecting a shortage condition in 2015,” said Lower Colorado Regional Director Terry Fulp. “We continue to closely monitor the projections of declining lake levels and are working with stakeholders throughout the Lower Basin to keep as much water in Lake Mead as we can through various storage and conservation efforts.”

Annual releases from Lake Powell and Lake Mead are determined in accordance with the 2007 Colorado River Interim Guidelines for Lower Basin Shortages and Coordinated Operations for Lake Powell and Lake Mead (Guidelines). Only if Lake Mead is projected to reach elevation 1,075 feet on January 1 of each year would the Secretary of the Interior determine a shortage condition and reduce water deliveries in the Lower Basin.

Lake Mead’s elevation is currently projected to be at approximately 1,083 feet on January 1, 2015.

In Water Year 2014 (ending on September 30, 2014), Lake Powell will have released a record low amount of water, 7.48 MAF into Lake Mead in accordance with the Guidelines. As of July 1, 2014, the forecasted inflow into Lake Powell is 95 percent of average for the water year. In Water Year 2015, Lake Powell’s release to Lake Mead is currently projected to be between 8.23 MAF and 9.0 MAF.



~~~~~ ~~~~~

July 6, 2014

SoFA Staff


Glen Canyon History



Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Lake Powell, and the surrounding backcountry are major recreation attractions. Leisurely houseboating, water skiing, fishing, hiking, roch climbing, and other activities bring many visitors to the area.

Glen Canyon has a pioneer history that few modern visiters know. The website of Lake Powell Resorts features an interesting narrative of Glen Canyon histort...

Lake Powell was created in 1963 when the Glen Canyon Dam held back the waters of the Colorado River, forming a vast blue lake surrounded by beautiful sandstone walls. Remarkably, it took 17 years for the lake to fill the canyon to the high water mark (3700' above sea level), giving America its second largest man-made lake - and a playground like no place else on earth. Here are some highlights of our lake's history:

May 24, 1869: Major John Wesley Powell, an intrepid one-armed civil war veteran, left Green River, Wyoming, leading an expedition down the Green and Colorado Rivers. The expedition ended on August 29, 1869, near Grand Wash Cliffs. His expedition of the Colorado River filled in the last blank spot on the map of the United States.

Read more


~~~~~ ~~~~~

June 24, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Interior Designates Southwest’s First National Water Trail



BOULDER CITY, Nevada – Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell has designated a portion of the Lower Colorado River that flows through Lake Mead National Recreation Area as a National Water Trail.

“This recognition places the Black Canyon Water Trail in a distinctive national network of exemplary water trails and commends the efforts of the local community and partners in promoting active involvement in the conservation of our water resources,” Jewell wrote in a congratulatory letter to members of the Lower Colorado River Water Trail Alliance.

The alliance submitted the Black Canyon Water Trail application in 2012. Through this designation, it is now one of 16 nationally recognized water trails nationwide. It is the first water trail in America’s Southwest and the first that traverses through a desert.

Visitors can access the Black Canyon Water Trail through a guided tour at the base of the Hoover Dam or from Willow Beach, Arizona, or near an old mining town in Eldorado Canyon, Nevada.

As visitors travel down the 30-mile trail alongside wilderness and solitude, they can stop at sandy beaches, colorful caves, plentiful coves and active hot springs. Desert bighorn sheep and other wildlife are often seen on the cliffs along the river. There is also a great deal of history associated with the construction of and research connected to Hoover Dam including the sauna cave, gauging stations, catwalks, trails and building foundations.

“These trails provide an opportunity for families to get outside and explore some of our nation’s most beautiful waterways, and by highlighting them as part of the National Water Trails System, more visitors will have the opportunity to visit and add value to their local economies,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “The National Water Trails System highlights the best of our nation’s water trails that encourage recreation and stewardship.”

Hoover Dam

Launching at Hoover Dam is an exclusive experience provided by a limited number of vendors in Southern Nevada and Northern Arizona. Visitors are escorted to the launch site on a narrated bus ride into the Hoover Dam Security Zone. Before rafting or paddling down the water trail, guides describe the engineering marvel that is holding back up to 28.9 million acre feet of water in Lake Mead. Tours range from float trips near the dam to day trips to full exploration tours.

Willow Beach

Located 14 miles south of Hoover Dam off of U.S. 93 on the Arizona side of the water trail, Willow Beach offers a variety of amenities, including a launch ramp and full-service marina with watercraft, canoe and kayak rentals; a campground and RV park; and a store and restaurant. The beach and fishing pier are also popular destinations. Whether hiking, rafting, boating or fishing, visitors at this part of the Black Canyon Water Trail enjoy sheer cliffs of multicolored rocks, sandy beaches and secluded coves.

Nelson Landing
Eldorado Canyon

The Black Canyon Water Trail ends at Eldorado Canyon, an area known for its mining history, which was active when Nevada achieved statehood in 1864. Steamboats would transport the ore from Eldorado Canyon along the Colorado River down to the Gulf of California. Mine tours are offered daily outside of the park boundaries near the community of Nelson, and vendors offer kayak, paddleboard and hiking tours within the park.

The Lower Colorado River Water Trail Alliance was formed in 2012 to pursue the designation of a National Water Trail, promote the recreation experience, protect the water’s natural beauty and resources, and engage the public in its stewardship. The alliance includes representatives from the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, Outside Las Vegas Foundation, outfitters/local businesses, the Chamber of Commerce and outdoor enthusiasts.

For more information on the Black Canyon Water Trail
Black Canyon Water Trail:

National Water Trails System:



~~~~~ ~~~~~

June 12, 2014

SoFA Staff


Lake Powell's Wahweap Campground


Wahweap campground at Lake Powell is operated by the Park's Concessionaire. The development features...

112 dry campsites (no hook-ups), 90 full hook-ups, and 6 group camping sites.

Facilities include restrooms, laundry, showers, store, phones, dump station and potable water. The amphitheater, picnic area and swim beach are nearby.

To make reservations for full hook-ups, group or dry camping please call 800-528-6154.



~~~~~ ~~~~~

June 8, 2014

Coconino National Forest


Ashurst Lake Boat Ramp Is Closed


Ashurst Lake boat ramp is closed due to extremely low water that has produced hazards, ruts and objects that can cause damage to boat trailers.



~~~~~ ~~~~~

May 24, 2014



Boaters: Don’t forget to “Clean, Drain and Dry” your boat


Obey the law and stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species, or face a fine


Memorial Day weekend marks the unofficial start of boating season in Arizona, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) reminds boaters to do their part in preventing the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) in Arizona waters. To protect Arizona lakes, rivers and streams from the devastating effects of invasive species, Arizona Game and Fish laws require boaters and anglers to clean, drain and dry their boats and pull the drain plug when leaving an AIS-affected lake.

“Law enforcement officers will be patrolling Arizona lakes and boat ramps this Memorial Day weekend making sure boaters follow the law,” said Arizona Boating Law Administrator Kevin Bergersen. “Failure to clean your boat and pull the plug when leaving an infested waterway can result in a citation for the boat owner and possible fines. We issued several citations last weekend, and holiday or not, we’ll be issuing citations this weekend, too.”

Invasive species have found their way into several Arizona lakes and rivers after being unwittingly transported from one body of water to another. Cleaning, draining and drying boats, trailers, waders and fishing equipment helps contain these invaders and minimizes damage to boats, water intakes, power plants, aquatic habitats, native and sport fish populations, and water conveyance infrastructure.

AZGFD has identified aquatic invasive species affecting these Arizona waters:

Lake Powell: quagga mussel
Lake Mead: quagga mussel, New Zealand mudsnail
Lake Mohave: quagga mussel, New Zealand mudsnail
Lake Havasu: quagga mussel, didymo
Lower Colorado River below Lake Havasu: quagga mussel, giant salvinia, apple snail
Lake Pleasant: quagga mussel, largemouth bass virus (LMBV)
Lees Ferry: New Zealand mudsnail, whirling disease
Lower Salt/Verde River: apple snail
Bartlett Lake: LMBV
Roosevelt Lake: LMBV
Saguaro Lake: LMBV

To help stop these invasive species from spreading, boaters and anglers must avoid transporting water, live fish or fish body parts from one body of water to another. Wipe down your boat, pull your plug, and drain all water from any places in your boat where it may accumulate each and every time they come out of an AIS-affected water.

“Going through the steps to prevent the spread of AIS is easy and should become as routine as securing your boat to its trailer,” said Bergersen. “Doing this every time you pull your boat out of the water is the best way to protect your boat, and your favorite places to boat and fish in Arizona.”

To view the Department’s watercraft decontamination protocols, visit:



~~~~~ ~~~~~

May 14, 2014

Lake Mead National Recreation Area


Notice To Lake Mead Mariners


BOULDER CITY, Nevada – Two launch ramps have opened and changes have been made to Aids to Navigation on Lake Mead.

The Echo Bay and Callville Bay low-water launch ramps have opened. The main launch ramps also remain open.

Due to fluctuating lake levels Black Ridge Shore Light #19 in the Overton Arm previously located at:

North 36 degrees 23 minutes 13 seconds
West 114 degrees 22 minutes 34 seconds

Has been relocated as a buoy located at:

North 36 degrees 22 minutes 27 seconds
West 114 degrees 22 minutes 23 seconds

This green can shaped buoy #19 will show a “Flash” sequence. There will be a green light flashing on for .4 seconds and off for 3.6 seconds after which the sequence will repeat.

For current lake conditions, visit



~~~~~ ~~~~~

May 6, 2014

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area


Castle Rock Cut and Bullfrog Ramp Completed


Glen Canyon National Recreation Area staff in partnership with ARAMARK, completed the Castle Rock Cut excavation which lowered the bottom elevation to 3580'. Funds from project user fees were used to complete the project. Use of this shortcut to uplake areas will be dependent on lake levels and the draft of each vessel. As the lake rises, boaters are asked to exercise caution and use the cut at their own risk.

Construction on the Bullfrog main launch ramp has also been completed with funds from project user fees and assistance from ARAMARK. The concrete surface was extended to an elevation of 3570' and widened by an additional 40 feet. The ramp is fully operational and at current lake levels (3578') provides approximately 8 feet of water depth at the end of the ramp.

Antelope Point public ramp remains closed to launching due to water levels. Stateline ramp is scheduled to open May 22.



~~~~~ ~~~~~

April 30, 2014



Alamo Lake closed to water skiers and towing devices


Low lake level exposes hazards normally under water


Due to very low water levels, the Arizona Game and Fish Department is temporarily closing Alamo Lake to all water skiing and towable devices effective April 30, 2014. The lake’s diminishing water level has exposed many partially submerged trees, rock outcroppings and other hazards, making this closure necessary for public safety.

The upper portion of Alamo Lake is permanently closed to skiing for similar reasons. Arizona Game and Fish is temporarily expanding the existing closure area for water skiing and the use of towable devices to include the entire lake. All other watercraft use remains available to the public during this closure.

A sign alerting boaters to the closure is being placed at the main access road in Wenden (approximately 35 miles before the lake), as well as at each shoreline access road at the lake.

“The closure to water skiing and other towable devices on Alamo Lake is considered temporary,” said Ron Christofferson, boating facilities program manager for Arizona Game and Fish. “This temporary designation will be rescinded once the danger to the public is alleviated by higher water levels.”




Central Arizona lakes were created by placing one or more dams  along four rivers:

  • Salt River
  • Verde River
  • Agua Fria River
  • Gila River

Arizona lakes on the Salt River in central Arizona are convenient to most anglers in the Phoenix - Mesa area. These lakes are in the Tonto National Forest, east of Phoenix.

The lakes are:

  • Roosevelt
  • Apache
  • Canyon
  • Saguaro

Roosevelt is the largest and most popular fishing lake on the Salt River. This lake yields a variety of warm water fish, including large crappie, bass, catfish.  




central arizona lakes


Roosevelt Lake can be accessed from three directions:

  • By way of the Beeline Highway (State Route 87, north of Mesa, Arizona) and then south on State Route 188 to the Tonto Creek arm of the lake.
  • State Route 60 east of Mesa, then northwest on State Route 188 near Miami, Arizona, to the Salt River arm of the lake.
  • State Route 88 (Apache Trail northeast from Apache Junction) to the dam. This route takes you past Canyon and Apache Lakes. This road is gravel and is steep, narrow and winding once you get several miles beyond Canyon Lake.


Site Build It!


arizona lakes apache


Apache Lake sits below Roosevelt Lake and above Canyon Lake. This lake gets the least fishing pressure. Maybe it's because of the winding dirt road and infamous Fish Creek Hill, or possibly because you must pass another lake to get to Apache.

To reach Apache Lake you must go past Canyon or Roosevelt Lake.

People towing larger boats often reach Apache Lake by going past Roosevelt Lake and turning southwest onto State Route 88 at the dam.


arizona lakes fish creek hill




Apache Lake is popular with small mouth bass anglers and Desert Bighorn Sheep..

Canyon Lake sits between Apache and Saguaro Lakes. Canyon Lake is accessed by way of the Apache Trail. The lake yields large and small mouth bass, catfish, and a few trout.

Saguaro Lake is accessed from two directions.

  • From the Beeline (State Route 87 north from Mesa), then south on the Bush Highway.
  • By way of the Bush Highway, north of Mesa, along the Salt River.

The Salt River above Roosevelt Lake provides some good cat fishing.

The Salt River below Saguaro Lake can be a good trout water during the winter months. During hot weather "tubers" float this stretch of river.

Among the Arizona Lakes near Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is probably the most popular fishing... and boating, lake in the area. Lake Pleasant is on the Agua Fria River, northwest of Phoenix, It can be a pretty good bass, striper and crappie lake.


arizona lakes near phoenix


Lake Pleasant is reached by going:

  • North from Phoenix on I-17 (Black Canyon Highway), and then west on Carefree Highway (State Route 74).
  • For those in the Peoria / Sun City area, take 99th Avenue north to the Carefree Highway.

Arizona lakes on the Verde River are Bartlett and Horseshoe Lakes, northeast of Carefree, Arizona. Bartlett can offer good catfish and bass fishing.




The Verde River above Horseshoe Lake and below Bartlett Lake produces small mouth bass and catfish.

Arizona lakes include another productive body of water... or (sometimes) two I should mention. San Carlos Lake is on the San Carlos Apache Indian reservation east of Globe. This lake is fed by the Gila River. When this lake has enough water, it can produce hot bass fishing.

The Gila River is unique among Arizona's rivers. It flows east to west across the entire state. The Gila originates along the western slope of the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico, and joins the Colorado River above Yuma.

The sometimes lake is formed behind Painted Rock Dam in unusually wet years. Painted Rock is a flood control dam. It only allows a controlled amount of water to flow through. In flood years, water backs up behind the dam and forms a lake over fields that are usually farmed. While this lake has a sporadic and short life cycle, it can be very productive.

Fishing the desert lakes in summer is usually done at night and first light. If you enjoy night fishing, here's an interesting article on glow in the dark fishing lures.

Look out for rattlesnakes in the vicinity of water... especially on warm nights. 

Arizona lakes also include some cool high country trout lakes South of Flagstaff. Come on up.

The map below shows the relative locations of the major (warm water) river lakes.


arizona river lakes


The map also illustrates the various river drainages, including the Little Colorado River system and the Verde / Salt / Gila River system.

Arizona lakes on the lower Colorado River are outside the scope of this page. Try a Google search using the keyword phrase Lake Havasu boating, Lake Mohave fishing, Lake Mead fishing, or Lake Powell fishing.

The Arizona Highways website offers several publications that anglers will find informative, interesting... and beautiful.





ATV Rental AZ
Need to rent a boat or a jet ski in Arizona? Bullhead City Jet Ski Rentals provides towable jet ski rentals and boat rentals in Arizona and Nevada.




30% off your entire order at!


My favorite Arizona lakes happen to be in the high country... where cold water, juniper and pine forests, and trout are the rule.

A quick Google search using a keyword phrase such as colorado river lakes or arizona desert lakes will give you some other good links. Be sure to notice the relevant ads... those are resources also.




 arizona high country lakes


Site Build It!


Arizona lakes offer variety, fishing, water skiing, swimming, and other recreational activities. Come on in!


Return to the Arizona Fishing Page from this Arizona Lakes Pagee

Flagstaff Fishing How I did on my last fishing trip.

My Favorite Arizona Fishing Waters

Arizona Water Issues



Find the Latest News Here

About This South of Flagstaff Arizona Site Have you read this page lately?

Return to the South of Flagstaff Arizona Home Page


arizona lakes

Copyright © 2004-2014. All Rights Reserved

Photo reprint permission granted with conditions.


You are encouraged to include a link to any of our pages in tweets, Facebook, and all other social networking site entries.


An az-webs network site