Places To Kayak In Phoenix (10 Amazing Places)

Settled in the core of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix, Arizona is a city known for its warm climate, grand excellence, and outside experiences.

With its rambling organization of streams and lakes, nothing unexpected kayaking has turned into a famous action among local people and guests the same.

From quiet waterways to serene lakes, there’s no deficiency of amazing spots to paddle around in Phoenix.

Whether you’re a carefully prepared kayaker or a fledgling, the city offers a variety of kayaking encounters that take care of all expertise levels.

Thus, on the off chance that you’re searching for a method for beating the intensity and investigating the staggering desert scenes according to a special point of view, go along with us as we plunge into the top spots to kayak in Phoenix.

Overview Of Places To Kayak In Phoenix

Phoenix is a great location for kayaking enthusiasts. With temperatures that rarely dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, even in the winter months, you can take advantage of the beautiful waterways and find plenty of places to navigate nearby.

If you’re interested in splashing around on rockier, fast-flowing rivers, then head to Salt River where you can drift down eight miles of twisty turns and raging rapids challenging enough for experts yet still calm enough for beginners.

Additionally, the Agua Fria River winds through the desert and offers thrilling twists, turns, and shorelines. Planning a leisurely escape?

Then it may be worth your while to explore Lake Pleasant a deep and expansive water body perfect for calmer explorations in your kayak.

With so many opportunities to choose from in Phoenix, there’s no shortage of excellent places for kayakers to enjoy.

Why Scenic Drives Are A Great Way To Explore Phoenix

Phoenix, Arizona is a dynamic city loaded with life and energy, with many attractions and exercises to keep guests engaged.

In any case, some of the time hurrying around the city can be overpowering, and it’s good to get away and partake in some calm time in nature.

Luckily, Phoenix is encircled by probably the most gorgeous landscape in the nation, and there are endless picturesque drives that are ideally suited for investigating the region.

From transcending mountains to rambling deserts, beautiful drives give an interesting and critical method for encountering the regular excellence of Phoenix and the encompassing regions.

In this article, we’ll investigate why beautiful drives are an extraordinary method for investigating Phoenix and feature probably the best courses to take.

Natural Scenery

Phoenix is surrounded by breathtaking desert landscapes and has a variety of scenic drives that showcase the beauty of its unique environment.

From the towering cacti of the Sonoran Desert to the rugged mountains, these drives provide a perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the area.

Unique Perspective on The City

Scenic drives around Phoenix allow you to see the city from different angles and viewpoints. You can enjoy panoramic views of the sprawling cityscape from the hilltops or appreciate the juxtaposition of modern buildings against a backdrop of mountains and desert vegetation.

Find Hidden Gems

As you drive through the picturesque landscapes surrounding Phoenix, you may come across lesser-known spots and attractions you might have otherwise missed.

Local parks, wildlife reserves, and unique landmarks such as the Mystery Castle or the Desert Botanical Garden are just a few examples of the hidden gems you may encounter on your journey.

Embrace Serene Tranquility

Hitting the open road and exploring Phoenix’s scenic drives allow you to escape the stress of busy city life. With the serene desert landscape stretching out before you, you’ll find it easy to unwind and enjoy the quiet beauty that surrounds you.

Frame Beauty with Photography

The striking scenery you’ll encounter on your scenic drive will undoubtedly make for some incredible photo opportunities. Capture the essence of the desert landscape in your pictures and create memories that you can cherish for a lifetime.

Uncover Rich Heritage

Many of the scenic drives around Phoenix pass through areas with historical and cultural significance. Visiting these spots can provide valuable insight and context into the region’s rich heritage, from Native American history to the stories of early pioneers and settlers.

Retreat from City Chaos

A great benefit of exploring Phoenix’s surrounding areas via scenic drives is the opportunity to break free from the noise and commotion of city life. You’ll be able to enjoy a different pace, taking the time to breathe in the fresh air and appreciate the natural world around you.

Reconnect with Nature

Scenic drives offer an opportunity to unplug from the constant distractions of modern life and immerse yourself in the tranquillity of the desert environment.

As you explore the winding roads and observe the unique flora and fauna, you can reconnect with nature and experience a renewed sense of appreciation for the world we live in.

Personalize Routes & Plans

There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to scenic drives around Phoenix. Depending on your interests and the time you have, you can create a personalized route that takes you to the sights and attractions that most appeal to you.

Whether you prefer short jaunts close to the city or multi-day road trips through the desert, the possibilities are virtually endless.

Suitable for all Ages and Fitness Levels

Scenic drives are a fun and accessible way to explore the Phoenix area, regardless of your age or physical abilities. Whether you’re travelling with young children, seniors, or anyone in-between, a scenic drive provides an enjoyable and memorable experience for everyone involved.

10 kayaking places in Phoenix

1. Saguaro Lake

Saguaro Lake is the perfect spot for kayaking in Phoenix. A tranquil desert paradise, Saguaro Lake is located east of Fountain Hills on the Salt River and features breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.

Kayakers can expect to paddle through gentle waves and along scenic trails, all while watching for some of Arizona’s famously beautiful wildlife, such as coyotes, rattlesnakes and bighorn sheep. There are even opportunities to go fishing for bass, catfish and rainbow trout.

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced kayaker, a trip to Saguaro Lake is not one to be missed come see why so many people choose this gorgeous lake as their go-to destination for paddling in the Valley.

2. Canyon Lake

Situated in the stunning tributary of the Salt River, Canyon Lake is one of the greatest places to kayak in Phoenix.

Boasting 20 miles of scenic shoreline and plenty of sandy beaches, it’s no surprise that kayaking is one of the most popular activities out at this impressive lake.

Whether you’re a beginner or a more seasoned paddler, there are trails for all skill levels, with tons of great spots to stop over and take in the splendid views of rugged mountains and breathtaking canyons.

Enjoy a peaceful morning kayaking through calm waters as you bask in the desert sun before heading back to shore for a picnic on one of the many white beach-fronts.

3. Apache Lake

Apache Lake, just east of Phoenix and surrounded by the beautiful Superstition Wilderness area, is an unforgettable kayaking destination.

This gorgeous lake offers crystal clear waters and picturesque views of the surrounding mountains that make for a perfect day out on the water.

Highlights include exploring hidden coves and spotting wildlife such as bald eagles, loons, and beavers.

Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely paddle-boarding session or a more strenuous kayaking adventure, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy.

Plus, after your outdoor adventure, there are lots of nearby camping sites to relax in before heading back to civilization.

With miles of coves to explore and plenty of breathtaking scenery just waiting to be discovered, Apache Lake truly is a must-visit spot for any Phoenix kayak enthusiast.

4. Lake Pleasant

If you’re looking for a spot to kayak while in Phoenix, consider Lake Pleasant. Not only is it beautiful, but also abundant with wildlife and a host of other activities.

A great day on the lake begins with launching your kayak at one of the three marinas; Boulder, Scorpion Bay or Pleasant Harbor.

Afterwards, you can take time to explore the various coves of the lake while keeping an eye out for local birds and fish such as bald eagles, ducks, catfish and bass.

Afterwards, hop around from islands or beaches to enjoy breathtaking views and rest up for a picnic lunch at one of the many secluded spots along the shoreline.

Whether fishing, rowing or just drifting peacefully along with nature Lake Pleasant has something to offer everyone.

5. Bartlett Lake

Bartlett Lake is the perfect spot to kayak in the Phoenix area. Located in Tonto National Forest, this body of water is surrounded by stunning desert landscapes and wildlife.

The calm waters are ideal for paddlers of all skill levels, from the experienced to the novice looking for an outdoor adventure.

You can rent a kayak from the lake marina or nearby rental companies or pack your own gear for an unforgettable experience.

As you paddle across Bartlett Lake, get ready to be mesmerized by its serenity and beauty ideal for a day of relaxation with family or friends.

With its accessible location only an hour away from downtown Phoenix, there’s no excuse not to visit this picturesque oasis.

6. Alamo Lake

Alamo Lake is definitely one of the best places to go kayaking in Phoenix! It offers a variety of scenic sights, including cactuses, cliffs and breathtaking sunsets over the lake.

Not only is it the perfect spot for an afternoon delight with friends or family enjoying the fresh air and paddleboard yoga classes, but Alamo Lake also provides picture-perfect views for amateur photographers to capture.

Moreover, the lake is home to many species of fish and birds for nature lovers to discover and explore. From novice paddlers to experienced adventurers alike, there’s something for everyone to do at Alamo Lake.

Whether your interests are kayaking, birdwatching or simply taking in the stunning Arizona landscapes, it’s a great spot that’s not to be missed.

7. Horseshoe Lake

If you’re looking for a kayaking experience unlike any other in the Phoenix area, then Horseshoe Lake is the perfect spot.

Sitting just north of North Scottsdale, this lake was formed by the nearby Salt River and sprawls across 37 acres of land.

At first glance it looks like any other lake in Arizona, with its aquamarine waters and surrounding saguaro cacti, but beneath its tranquil surface lies an enchanted world filled with wildlife such as ducks, beavers and a wide variety of fish.

With plenty of access points around its perimeter, as well as the plentiful shade provided by large cottonwood trees overhanging the banks.

Horseshoe Lake is an ideal choice for kayakers wanting to explore everything that Phoenix has to offer on the water.

8. Verde River

Phoenix, Arizona is home to a number of breathtaking natural landscapes, including the Verde River. Paddling the Verde is a unique and thrilling experience for kayaking enthusiasts.

With its calm swift waters and many natural bends to explore, kayakers are guaranteed an adventure throughout their journey that won’t soon be forgotten.

Navigating the Verde with a kayak provides a one-of-a-kind perspective of this desert river environment and allows you to fully acknowledge its ecological wonders.

If you’re looking for an exciting day out on the water, there’s no better place than the Verde River in Phoenix.

9. Salt River

The Salt River in Phoenix, Arizona is a great kayaking destination for those who are looking for an exciting and beautiful experience.

With plenty of calm waters and Class I rapids, the river provides perfect opportunities for beginners and experienced paddlers.

Wildlife enthusiasts can appreciate the diverse range of avians from bald eagles to herons that live on or around its banks.

Paddlers will find there are numerous areas along the banks where they can take a break, swim, or otherwise relax and enjoy.

The journey passes through State Parks and Indian Reservations making this an educational trip as well as a recreational experience. If you are looking for adventure in the desert, don’t miss out on a kayaking trip down Salt River.

10. Roosevelt Lake

Roosevelt Lake, located just north of the Phoenix metropolitan area, is an excellent destination for those looking to kayak in Arizona.

On clear days, the stunning views of the nearby Tonto National Forest offer a tranquil backdrop while kayaking.

With over 4200 acres of water open to motorboats and non-motorized boats, the lake provides ample opportunities for exploration and recreation.

Whether you’re interested in fishing or simply taking in the natural beauty of Arizona’s desert landscape, Roosevelt Lake is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Kayaking can be enjoyed year-round with comfortable temperatures throughout most months and no danger of rough water due to strong wind gusts – making this a great spot even for beginner paddlers.

Tips for Safely Enjoying the Drive

Best Time to Visit Phoenix

The best time to visit Phoenix is in the spring or fall months, as these are the times with the most comfortable temperatures.

During this season, temperatures typically average 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

The summer months tend to be hot, with temperatures often reaching 100 degrees or more. The winter months are milder but can be unpredictable; it’s not uncommon for snow to fall in the mountains around Phoenix during wintertime.

Preparing for the Kayaking

When kayaking in Phoenix, you should always plan ahead and prepare for your trip by checking the weather, researching any possible obstacles (such as dams or waterfalls), and ensuring that your kayak has all of its necessary safety equipment (e.g., life jackets).

If you are unsure about any of these items, it is best to hire a guide who can provide expert advice on all aspects of kayaking safely in this area.

Additionally, make sure that you dress appropriately for the elements with long pants and sleeves to protect against sunburns and other hazards and wear a hat when out on the water.

Must-Have Supplies

Before embarking on a kayaking trip in Phoenix, there are several supplies that you should bring with you including

1- First aid kits
2- Insect repellent
3- Sunscreen
4- Flashlights/headlamps
5- Snacks and drinks (with plenty of water!)
6- Life jackets if needed
7- A map of your route if applicable

and clothing suitable for changing weather conditions (especially important during monsoon season). These supplies will help ensure that your kayaking experience is safe and enjoyable.

Kayaking Laws Phoenix

Depending on where you plan on launching your kayak from in Phoenix as well as which lake or river you choose to paddle down will determine which laws apply.

However generally speaking there are rules against littering or polluting lake waters while paddling as well as operating motorized boats too close to shorelines or swimming areas.

Furthermore, it is important to remember that alcohol consumption is prohibited while kayaking at all times unless it is designated by local authorities always check with local officials before engaging in such activities.


Every outdoor enthusiast should experience the wonders of kayaking in Phoenix. From Barton Creek to Tempe Town Lake, there is an abundance of great kayaking spots with spectacular sights and easy access for both beginners and experienced paddlers.

Not to mention that these locations offer peaceful settings to reconnect with nature and relax away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

For those looking for the perfect place to take their kayak out, the fascinating waterways in Phoenix are sure to meet your expectations.