Find Your Oasis

Arizona’s Rivers & Lakes

Blessed with 128 lakes and 5 major rivers, Arizona beckons outdoor enthusiasts to hike, raft, ski and fish year-round.

Rivers & Lakes
Fly Fishing at Lees Ferry in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area in Northern Arizona.

Lazy rivers and wild rapids

The state's most famous river—the mighty Colorado—is one of the longest rivers in the U.S., and is responsible not only for carving the 277-mile chasm through the Grand Canyon but also for sustaining more than 40 million people in seven states.

Along Arizona’s seven other major rivers, including the Salt, Gila and Verde rivers, rafting, tubing and kayaking provide a cool and scenic respite from the heat. Fishing is another popular pastime, and you’ll find no shortage of opportunities to reel in a variety of trout, catfish, tilapia, crappie and largemouth bass.

Bucket List Experience

Rafting the Grand Canyon

A bucket list trip for rafting enthusiasts—or those wanting to see the Grand Canyon from a new perspective—is a motorized or oar-powered rafting trip through the canyon on the Colorado. Smooth water or white-water trips range in length from a half-day to 13 days. For those seeking “big water,” July and August are your best bet. Rafting trips are arranged through commercial river-running companies and require advanced reservations—some up to a year in advance.

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Rivers & Lakes
Rafting the Grand Canyon (Credit: Tim Whitney)

Prefer something a little larger? Arizona's lakes and reservoirs come in all shapes and sizes.

Lakes, Skiing and The London Bridge

From the chain lakes of Greater Phoenix such as Lake Pleasant, Canyon Lake and Lake Roosevelt, to those in southern and central Arizona like Patagonia Lake and the otherworldly granite dells of Watson Lake, fans of water sports will find plenty of opportunities to boat, water ski, windsurf, paddle board, dive, Jet ski and fish while enjoying the scenery.

To the west and north of Arizona, Lake Powell and Lake Havasu—home to the London Bridge (yes, that London Bridge)—represent some of the largest manmade reservoirs in the U.S. In addition to the usual activities, visitors to Lake Havasu and the Parker Strip can opt to set up camp or rent a houseboat during their stay to ensure they’re never far from their next water adventure.

A Desert Oasis

Lake Powell

Lake Powell, which straddles the border between Arizona and Utah, has made many a bucket list owing to its views of deep waters surrounded by red-rock bluffs and canyons. Plan a week-long trip on a houseboat with kayaks and Jet skis and spend the days exploring slot canyons and the nights beached on sandy shores. If only a short stay is possible, rent a watercraft of your choice for the day or book a boat tour and enjoy the red-rock splendor.

Rivers & Lakes
Exploring Lake Powell's Red Rock Cliffs

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Road Trips & Tours

48 Hours in Pinetop-Lakeside

Pinetop-Lakeside enjoys a well-earned reputation as a summer escape, but when cooler weather arrives, this mountain town shows a whole different...

Outdoor Adventures

Shore Thing: Arizona's Best Beaches

Known for its iconic deserts, Arizona surprises with sandy beaches perfect for lounging or launching a water adventure.

Family Activities

Quick Trip Ideas Along Arizona’s West Coast

Let the Colorado River guide your vacation to the waterfronts of Yuma, Lake Havasu City, and the Grand Canyon, where sunshine and cool breezes...

Canyon Lake

Outdoor adventurers enjoy this surprising oasis 45 minutes east of Phoenix.

Davis Camp

Enjoy fishing, boating and swimming on the Colorado River near Bullhead City.

Hawley Lake

Wind along the Mogollon Rim on Highway 260 to reach this cool respite tucked away on White Mountain Apache tribal lands.

Luna Lake

Near the Arizona-New Mexico border, find Luna Lake nestled within “The Alps of Arizona.”

Mormon Lake

Visit a woodland retreat near Flagstaff that offers year-round backcountry adventures.

Peña Blanca Lake

Reach these sparkling waters in Southern Arizona just west of Nogales.

Sonoita Creek State Natural Area

Hiking trails and wine trails intermingle at this outdoor paradise in Southern Arizona.

Watson Lake and the Granite Dells

Explore a jumble of boulders surrounding a cool lake just four miles northeast of Prescott.

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Boating & Water

Antelope Point Marina

Launch your Lake Powell experience in style. Lake Powell is a wonder of water sport recreation, glorious views, spectacular hiking, rich...

Boating & Water

Arizona Boat Rentals

At Arizona boat rentals we work hard to offer the best quality boat and jet ski rentals on the market at any lake in the state. Enjoy the...

Boating & Water

Arizona Rafting by Wilderness Aware

Head into the mountains of Arizona to experience a truly unique whitewater adventure on the Upper Salt River. As soon as you hit the river,...

Boating & Water

Glen Canyon Excursions

Excitement, beauty and acceleration meet for a unique sightseeing and beginners' fishing experience! Only a short distance from Lake...

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Hurricane Harbor Phoenix

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix is Arizona's biggest and best water park. Located on Pinnacle Peak Road, off I-17, the park is the...

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Katherine Landing at Lake Mohave Marina

Katherine Landing at Lake Mohave Marina is a "must visit" destination in Arizona amongst recreation enthusiasts. Lake Mohave has 237 miles...

Boating & Water

Lake Powell Paddleboards and Kayaks

Stand-up paddle boarding originated in the Hawaiian Islands and is now spreading across the world as people of all ages and walks of life...

Boating & Water

Lake Powell Rentals

Enjoy a Lake Powell boat rental on your houseboat vacation at any marina. We have the best quality MasterCraft surf boat rentals on the...

Boating & Water

Lake Powell Vacations

We are a sports retail and rental store, your one stop shop for adventure. We carry Jeep and UTV rentals, kayaks, paddle boards, paddle...

Boating & Water

Mild to Wild Rafting & Jeep Tours

Discover Arizona white water rafting! The astonishing 2,000 feet deep Salt River Canyon offers breathtaking views, many thrilling class III...

Boating & Water

REI Co-op Adventure Center

The REI Adventure Center in Scottsdale offers adventures for all, including guided hiking, road and mountain biking, kayaking, rafting, and...

Boating & Water

Riverbound Sports

Arizona does have water! In fact, Arizona has some of the most beautiful lakes and rivers to explore by kayak or paddleboard. Riverbound...


Cities & Regions

From the abundance of Saguaro cactuses and unique wildlife in the Sonoran Desert to the high country and forests of the White Mountains to the breathtaking Grand Canyon, Arizona’s regions are full of experiences that don’t disappoint.