You know what makes a great retreat when the summer heat really starts to kick in? Spending a day or two at one of Arizona’s lakes. While not all of these are naturally occurring lakes, they still make a great spot for cooling off and participating in a variety of water activities. Check them out:
1. Bear Canyon Lake
This lake is located about one hour northeast of Payson, just over the rim. It’s a popular fishing location and camping is available on a first come, first serve basis.
2. Black Canyon Lake
Another lake located along the Mogollon Rim, Black Canyon Lake is a short drive from Heber. It’s a beautiful area that was heavily affected by the Rodeo-Chediski fire back in 2002 and the area is still recovering.
3. Blue Ridge Reservoir
This beautiful reservoir is another water spot found on the Rim, just northeast of Clints Well.
4. Fool Hollow Lake
This large lake is found near Show Low and has a large fish population. It’s perfect for fishing, boating, camping, and even just an afternoon picnic.
5. Goldwater Lake
Named for our former senator, Goldwater Lake is a reservoir located a little south of Prescott.
6. Hawley Lake
This pretty lake is located on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, about 15 miles southeast of Pinetop. If you visit, keep in mind that this place gets a lot of precipitation so you might want to pack for rain just in case.
7. Knoll Lake
This picturesque lake is located about six miles directly north of Kohls Ranch, just over the Rim. Wondering where the name came from? That little nob of an island in the middle of the lake.
8. Lynx Lake
Another cool spot near Prescott, this lake always makes me think there's a bobcat sauntering nearby. While definitely possible, most people tend to see deer, fish, and ducks.
9. Lake Mary(s)
I'm including both Upper and Lower Lake Mary in this since they are about two miles away from each other and share the same name. They are located just south of Flagstaff, near Walnut Canyon.
10. Rainbow Lake
From the picture of this man-made lake, you wouldn't guess it was sitting right in the middle of Pinetop.
11. Rose Canyon Lake
Located in the Santa Catalina Mountains, this lake is a surprisingly cool spot in the summer and makes a great, nearby escape when the summer temperatures really start kicking in.
12. Watson Lake
This lake near Prescott is also home to the Granite Dells, striking granite boulders that make for a great rock climbing or photography experience.
13. Willow Springs Lake
Willow Springs Lake is located between Payson and Heber, on the north side of Route 260. What better way to cool off in the pines than by floating on the lake here?
How many of these lakes have you visited before? Did we miss one of your favorites? (Don’t forget to check out our
list of 20 lakes from last year.)