Tell Me about Saguaro Lake!

Glistening among the sheer canyon walls and tall proud cacti of Tonto National Forest, Saguaro Lake is a beautiful and vital resource for Arizona, as well as a perfect place to spend some active time outdoors with your family!


You can find Saguaro Lake about 40 miles east of Phoenix (and about 20 minutes away from Mesa down State Hwy. 87).  With 22 miles of shoreline and more than 110 feet deep when full, this gorgeous reservoir has enough space for all kinds of education and recreation. 


It even has 2200 curated fish habitat structures to encourage a thriving marine population. 

The lake was created by the damming of the Salt River, via the construction of the Stewart Mountain Dam between 1928 and 1930.  This was, and continues to be, a managed project of the Salt River Project (SRP) utility company, and provides water and electricity resources to Arizona communities today (in addition to generating vital funds used to pay back the federal government for the Roosevelt Dam!).

What can I Do During a Visit?


For example, if you’ve already got a boat and equipment, then just head on down to Saguaro Lake Marina and ship out!  They’re ready for you with picnic tables, a Sheriff’s Aid station, restrooms and of course boat ramps to get you safely in the water. 

Only need a boat for a day, or need to stock up on some tackle or a rod?  Great!  Precision Marine has you covered with boat rentals, fishing supplies and more, so stop on by to make sure you’re prepared for a great day. 


If you do plan on fishing while you’re on the water, you can expect to find smallmouth bass, crappie, white bass, yellow bass, rainbow trout, carp, bluegill, walleye, flathead catfish, and channel catfish, alongside some of the crawdads the bigger pulls feast on themselves! 

You do need a license to fish, so make sure you’re up to date on all your paperwork before casting a line.


Ready to hunker down under the stars after a long day hiking and fishing?  Sail on over to Bagley Flat Campground, a unique spot only accessible by boat!  They’ve got all the amenities you could need while camping, from grills and tables, to restrooms, to nice shady mesquite groves.  Park your craft for the night, or for all allowable 14 nights! 

Day Trips

Just want to drive in, see the sights, have a bite and be home by dusk?  Perfect!  Grab a bite at the ShipRock Restaurant with its lakeshore views and delicious fresh seafood and American-style fare!  


Or, grab the binoculars and take a cruise on the Desert Belle, a double-deck beauty that offers 80-minute narrated cruises for the curious, and wine or craft-beer oriented cruises for a more laid-back viewing experience.  See unique wildlife, otherworldly views and the majesty of engineering from the Belle’s open upper deck or air-conditioned lower deck.


I’m in!  Anything else I should know?


A few things the Forest Service wants you to consider as you’re planning: 

  • Make sure your craft isn’t louder than 82 decibels 
  • Butcher Jones and Saguaro Del Norte bays aren’t available to motorized craft, and there are observable buoys at the eastern end to help prevent wakes, so make sure to keep to proper boundaries 
  • No glass containers!
  • As with all nature adventures, be kind to where we all live – pack it in, pack it out!  
  • AZ Game and Fish, the Forest Service and the Sheriff’s Department are all on site to enforce these notices and to keep your family safe