Even though Mesa is in the heart of a desert, visitors can take advantage of the city’s close proximity to a water recreation paradise. There are three lakes and two rivers within 30 minutes of Mesa that allow for desert boating, fishing, rafting, kayaking, water skiing, wake boarding and jet skiing. Or, partake in the ever-popular activity of “tubing”, a leisurely float along the cool waters of the Salt River via inner-tube! Contact these nearby lakes below directly for information on boat rentals and current fishing schedules.
Apache Lake: 17 miles long with secluded coves. Hotel lodging, camping, boat rental and storage available. Day use areas on-site. Fees apply. Fish species: Black Crappie, Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye. Apache Lake Marina, 928-467-2511, apachelake.com.
Canyon Lake: 28 miles of shoreline, 950 surface acres of water and secluded coves. RV and tent camping, boat rental and storage available. Day use areas and ramada rental on-site. Fees apply. Depth: 141 feet. Fish species: Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Rainbow Trout, Walleye, Yellow Bass. Canyon Lake Marina, 480-288-9233, canyonlakemarina.com.
Roosevelt Lake: 112 miles of shoreline and 22,000 acres of surface water. Hotel lodging and RV park, camping, boat rental and storage available. Fees apply. Depth: 300 feet (when full). Fish species: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass,Catfish, Bluegill, Crappie. Roosevelt Marina, 602-977-7170, rlmaz.com.
Saguaro Lake: 10 miles long and 22 miles of shoreline. Ranch-style lodging, day use areas and Butcher Jones Beach. Boat rental and storage available. Fees apply. Depth: 100+ feet. Fish species: Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Rainbow Trout, Crappie. Saguaro Lake Marina, 480-986-5546, saguarolakemarina.com
Salt River: The closest river to Mesa, most leisure recreation takes place in the lower and upper portions where outfitters operate guided water tours via kayak, raft and inner tube. The river winds through the Tonto National Forest and offers a convenient day trip for Mesa visitors. Fishing permit required. Day use areas throughout.