Practical guide to the most scenic lakes in Arizona


Rumor has it that there are more boat owners (per capita) in the state of Arizona than any other state. That may hard to believe considering Arizona is known for its hot, dry desert landscape but those of us who’ve spent some time traveling the state know better.

There are plenty of spectacular boating lakes dotted around Arizona. Bonus: given the state’s relatively warm climate, the lakes never freeze over. I once sat behind a family from Chicago that was in town for MLB Spring Training. They were discussing how cool it was that they could go snow skiing one day and water skiing the next day on their Arizona vacation.

Bonus: given the state’s warm climate, the lakes never freeze over.

Ingrid and her husband Al live in an RV full time and have spent plenty of time at Arizona’s most scenic lakes. Thankfully for us, she’s written a fabulous post about it on her blog at

Here’s the map of Arizona lakes that Ingrid put together:

Arizona’s most scenic lakes (in alphabetical order):

  • Apache Lake
  • Bartlett Lake
  • Canyon Lake
  • Goldwater Lake
  • Lake Havasu
  • Lake Pleasant
  • Lake Powell
  • Lynx Lake
  • Patagonia Lake
  • Roosevelt Lake
  • Saguaro Lake
  • Watson Lake
  • Willow Lake

Regarding a foursome of lakes clustered in the Prescott area, Ingrid had this to say:

Talk about a contrast of landscapes. Where as Watson Lake and Willow Lake are surrounded by a mostly barren, lumpy rock landscape, Lynx Lake and Goldwater Lake are nestled in a forest of wonderfully scented tall pine trees providing some nice cooling shade.

Large boulders emerge from Watson Lake near Prescott, AZ
Granite Dells of Watson Lake near Prescott, AZ

Here’s what Ingrid said about Lake Powell:

If size matters to you, then it’s time to head to the Arizona-Utah border and the shores of Lake Powell. Here you can boat to your heart’s content or until you run out of gas, which happens to boaters all the time. Yeah, it’ll literally take you days to boat the length of Lake Powell and a boat load of gasoline too.

In her post, Ingrid did a fantastic job of grouping the likes by section of the state and even included an interactive map. If you want to explore more lakes in Arizona, you owe it to yourself to check out her post:

See Discovering Lakes in Arizona for lots more pics and tips>>

What Arizona lake(s) would you add to the list?


  1. I’ve done a fair amount of camping, hiking, swimming and canoeing in Patagonia lake and love it. I grew up fishing in the White mountain lakes. I’ve also camped at some of the lakes outside of Phoenix, along with hiking around several Prescott lakes.

    1. I’d really like to see Patagonia. Have it on my ever growing list. 🙂 If you had to pick a favorite lake in AZ which would it be?

      1. Probably Patagonia as I same across it, have camped there and canoe and kayaked there…small but accessible.

  2. Nicely done! Thanks for the share and a wonderful write up. I did not know that tidbit about boats per capita … interesting, but when you visit Page, AZ and see all the boats on Lake Powell, not to mention Lake Havasu, that statistic makes sense.

    1. Ya, not sure if we’ll ever be able to validate the claim but it’s fun to quote. It becomes even more believable if we include kayaks and canoes in the mix. So many kayakers in AZ. Loved your post. Thanks for letting me share.

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