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Canyon Lake

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Mesa Ranger Station
5140 East Ingram Street
Mesa, AZ 85205
About 45 miles east of Phoenix
950 acres
1660 feet
Year round


Canyon Lake is the smallest of the Salt River Projects lakes. The lake is 45 miles east of Phoenix and a popular spot for swimming and boating. It has a designated swimming site and a pair of boating ramps. The three recreation sites at the lake -- Acacia Picnic Site, the Palo Verde Recreation Site and the Boulder Creek Recreation Site -- are open year round and available at no charge.

The Canyon Lake Marina and Campground is open year-round offering a variety of marina services, food, a beach area, and 46 spaces. Located nearby is a Maricopa County Sheriffs aid station. Two miles from the resort is the Tortilla Campground with 77 spaces. Open October through April, the campground offers individual units with water and sewer hook-ups. A fee is charged for use.

For fishermen, Canyon Lake offers walleye, largemouth bass, yellow bass, rainbow trout, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie. Seclusion-seeking boaters can travel three miles up the lake, between steep cliffs, to the Point Campground. It is open all year at no charge, but has only three units.

Tour Companies

  • Phoenix / Scottsdale area
  • Offroad Touring, ATV Tours, Jeep/Other Offroad
  • 602-400-2445

Arizona Outdoor Fun Rentals Arizona Outdoor Fun Rentals offers the best guided and unguided tours providing the newest and highest quality ATV, Rhino, Dirt Bike, & Sport Quad rentals. We are your complete one-stop shop for all your Arizona outdoor recreational fun offering every rental from water to land!. Setting the standard for customer service.

  • Western & Central U.S. Lakes
  • Boating
  • 888-205-7119

Invert Sports New competition MasterCraft wakeboard & ski boat rentals & charter. Jet ski, PWC & wave runner rental. Hyperlite water sports rentals. Lessons to wakeboard, water ski, wake skate, wake surf, knee board, air chair, tube & more. Servicing all lakes & reservoirs in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, California, Washington, South Dakota, Nebraska & Idaho.

Largemouth Bass
Rainbow Trout
About 45 miles east of Phoenix
950 acres
Year round
Water Access:
Boat launching sites are available at Laguna and Palo Verde, as well as Canyon Lake Marina.
Camping Info
Camping is available at Canyon Lake Marina and Laguna Boating Site, and near Palo Verde Boating Site
Additional Details:

Canyon Lake has 28 miles of shoreline and is 10 miles long.

There is a cost of $6.00 per vehicle and $4.00 per watercraft, per day to boat Canyon Lake. Golden Age/Golden Access passes receive half off. Contact the Mesa Ranger Station about permits.

Be sure to go early to Canyon Lake on weekends and holidays, from April through October. The lake usually reaches capacity in the morning. On summer weekends in general, even in the morning, expect delays to reach boat access points.

Note that LaBarge Cove (which is south of Highway 88's second bridge) is closed to all motorized watercraft. The lake's upper neck is closed to waterskiing.

Group events require a permit. Contact the Mesa Ranger Station. For lake tour boat trips, call 480-827-9144. To check Canyon Lake's water level, call Salt River Project at 602-236-5929.

Keep in mind that the direction of travel on the lake is counter-clockwise.

Picnic areas are available at Canyon Lake Marina and Laguna Boating Site and near Palo Verde Boating Site.

Water Features
  • Boat Ramp
  • Toilets
  • Swimming Beach
  • Stocked Fish
  • Fishing Pier
  • Picnic Areas
  • Campground
Water Activities
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
Water Services
  • Boat Rentals
  • Fuel Available
  • Motorboat Rentals
  • Restaurant
  • Rowboat Rentals
Basic Directions
There is only one way to Canyon Lake - the scenic Apache Trail (Highway 88) from Apache Junction. The 15 miles to the lake are fully paved and wind through some of the most colorful desert scenery in central Arizona. Drive with care - there are many sharp turns.

Laguna Boating Site and Palo Verde Boating Site are both accessible from this road. Canyon Lake Marina is located at 16802 N.E. Highway 88.

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