A lake is probably not on the top of your list if you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy some peace and quiet. In fact, you may think that climbing a big mountain is the best way to clear your mind. While that is definitely always a good idea, you should still be open to other options. After all, Arizona isn’t just about the desert landscape and the otherworldly lands. There exists a place where you can simply enjoy the sunshine and melt your worries away. We’re talking about Saguaro Lake.
The Saguaro Lake Makes for a Very Fine Day Trip From Phoenix
The Saguaro Lake is named after, and none other than, the Saguaro Cactus. These cacti surround the whole landscape, providing the desert with its much-needed character and color. The lake was actually formed by the Stewart Mountain Dam, which was completed back in 1930. It was the last of the reservoirs to be built on the Salt River, and it controls flow and provides irrigation. While it’s smaller compared to other Arizona lakes, you will still be delighted by over 22 miles of shoreline that is perfect for any water sport activity. You can boat, sail, kayak, ski, jet ski, or fish here. And if you want to have fun while on solid ground, you are more than free to camp out, too!
Can you believe that there is more to this 1,200-acre lake? You will see the raw beauty of nature with the desert shrubland, marshland, canyon walls, and rocky crags. There are a lot of people here out to do some fun activities, but you can still find a serene place. So if I were you, I’d choose a spot somewhere along the Saguaro Lake and enjoy my well-deserved peace and quiet.
This place definitely makes for a fun day trip!
You Are Free to Enjoy Sunshine by the Lake
We are pretty sure you’re not the first person to think, “Oh, I just want to chill!” If that’s your idea of a perfect day trip, then, by all means, go here. You can just bring out your foldable chair, grab your beer, and take in the beautiful scenery in front of you. The place is an incredible escape to your busy life.
You can also just jump on a boat and nap in the morning or late afternoon. Sometimes, you only need a good sleep to have a great time. That way, you’ll feel more recharged when you wake up, and you won’t get cranky throughout the day. Just remember to be cautious of the Arizona heat. You don’t want to wake up looking like a toasted bun. Make sure you set an alarm, and for God’s sake, wear sunscreen!
We’re pretty sure even your dog will appreciate the time you spend at Saguaro Lake. Maybe your furry buddy can go meet some ducks and have a swim date. But if not, they can always just play in the waters, or just stand there feeling refreshed. Just don’t forget to keep your eyes on your pets so they don’t disturb other tourists or visitors.
Saguaro Lake Also Offers a Variety of Recreational Activities
We get that you’re here because you just want to enjoy the sunshine. But in case you get in the mood for some fun water sports activities, just know that Saguaro Lake will not disappoint! There are actually a variety of recreational activities available, including the scenic and educational riverboat cruise.
Enjoy a beautiful sunset wine cruise at Desert Belle.
Here’s your chance to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hop aboard the Desert Belle and be in awe of the majestic scenery in front of you. While going on a cruise seems like an expensive activity, but don’t worry. There is a sunset wine cruise at Saguaro Lake and it’s the perfect and most romantic thing you can do with your partner. Before you worry and say, “Oh no, I’m not cashing out big dollars just for that.” You need to know that for only a fraction of the cost, (or $24), you can already enjoy the magical Arizona skies while enjoying the feature wine specials. The Desert Belle is a restored 1964 cruise ship and it is the best way for you to explore and appreciate the area while you cruise gracefully over the waters.
The cruise usually takes about 90 minutes, with tours starting from 5 pm. Of course, you are encouraged to board earlier for the best seating options. If you want to enjoy an air-conditioned comfort, it’s best if you come early so you can sit inside the cabin. But you can also just go outside the deck to enjoy the fresh air more.
You just need to lean back, listen to the fantastic live music, and enjoy the wine specials. There’s no mistake – you will be treated to dual entertainment aboard the Desert Belle, with the gorgeous views, as well as the awesome musicians. You will leave carrying a fulfilling experience – that’s for sure! Since the sunset wine cruise will also let you explore the Tonto National Forest by boat, we suggest you keep your eyes peeled for the wildlife. There’s a good chance you’ll spot more than one animal because the area is home to bobcats, bald eagles, bighorn sheep, cacti, woodpeckers and coyotes among many others. Bring binoculars to make the most out of your wildlife watching activity while aboard the Desert Belle.
Not only that, but the ride will also really be enjoyable because the captain will tell many interesting stories and provide information about the history, geology, plants, and wildlife of the lake. You might also learn other Arizona myths and trivia.
If you want to learn more about this awesome cruise, feel free to take a look at our Sunset Wine Cruise in Arizona article.
Be bold and try other activities.
It might be a good day to finally learn to wakesurf.
Ride the waves and do wakesurfing at Saguaro Lake. If you come here, you’ll see a lot of visitors do the same activity. It’s fun. It’s exhilarating. Plus, it will definitely cool you down. Just trail behind a boat, and ride the boat’s wake feeling totally free and happy. We’re sure you will have an awesome time doing this!
Kayaking sounds fun, too!
Make the most out of your free day and kayak down the Saguaro Lake. You can totally do it solo, but if you are with your friends, that won’t be such a bad idea too. If you are already in the jewel in the middle of the Arizona desert, then you need to maximize all the activities you can do here.
Go fishing at Saguaro Lake!
What can we say? Enjoying the sunshine on the lake doesn’t mean you have to sleep all day. You can even do some fishing around here. Saguaro Lake is home to largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, flathead catfish, and yellow bass. You can even find some rainbow trout, walleye, bluegill, and black crappie here.
As for the fishing tips, you’ll find that bass fishing at Saguaro Lake can vary from tough to really good. Since it is a deep canyon lake with clear water, you will see bass in rock structures because they use it as holding and feeding areas. Use light line and small, finesse baits to catch the bulk of the fish here. You may also get lucky if you use spinnerbaits, top water, or jerk baits.
Look like a movie star riding a jet ski.
You can’t deny that riding a jet ski can definitely make you feel like a lead star to some awesome action movie. I mean, actors look so cool riding a jet ski while chasing bad guys, right? You don’t really have a villain to catch at Saguaro Lake, so you just need to focus on actually having fun.
If you want to do more active water activities, you can rent your kayaks, canoes, and boats from the marina.
Walk through the scenic Sonoran desert surrounding Saguaro Lake.
You can also take a little hiking trip during your trip to this destination. The Butcher Jones Trail actually skirts the edge of the lake and winds in and out of the many coves. It’s ideal for hikers of all skill levels because the trail distance is just a total of four miles in and back. It’s perfect if you badly need to do some cardio or do a quick trail run. If it helps, the trail only sees some minimal elevation changes. You will also be rewarded with fantastic lake views at the end!
Once You’re Done Relaxing and Doing Fun Activities, Check Out the Shiprock Restaurant
Okay, so you’re done taking a nap and wakesurfing. What’s next? You can either grill your food or settle with snacks and some water, or you can indulge yourself in the delicious food offered at the Shiprock Restaurant. You can just relax, take in the beautiful views, and watch other people while you munch on tasteful delights that will keep you full. That sounds awesome, right? We thought so.
What do you think of this place? It’s definitely a great destination where you can enjoy sunshine and some peace and quiet. If you’re looking for other peaceful places in Arizona, you might be interested in Woods Canyon Lake, a fisher’s paradise. There’s also a peaceful resort in the mountains and it’s only an hour away from Phoenix!
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