Saguaro Lake


Saguaro Lake is set in the Sonoran Desert and is rimmed with canyon walls. As the name implies, the shores of the lake are studded with majestic Saguaro cactus. Try the upper reaches of the lake (east-end) for more seclusion. Boat access camping at the east end of the lake. Tour-boat trips are available on the Desert Belle: (480) 671-0000. Over 2200 fish-habitat structures were installed to enhance fishing on the lake. According to Bass Master Magazine, the best time for trophy bass is October to December and February to mid April. There are large bass in the lake; fish census show that 12+ lb. bass and 30-lb. Carp exist in the depths. Bluegill comes in a variety of sizes. Occasional species caught: Walleye, Black Crappie, Small-mouth Bass, Bigmouth Buffalo and Yellow Bass.

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At a Glance

Fees $6.00 per vehicle, per day; $4.00 per watercraft, per day OR Interagency Pass WITH Tonto Annual Upgrade Decal
Permit Info: Group events (including fishing tournaments) require a permit. Contact the Mesa Ranger District Office - 480-610-3300.
Open Season: January - December
Restrictions: On most weekends and holidays April - October, Saguaro Lake reaches its maximum boating capacity early in the day and additional boats are not allowed in. Be prepared for delays in boat access during summer weekends. Many of the Valley's radio stations carry advisories concerning crowding conditions. The bay in front of Butcher Jones and Saguaro del Norte is closed to motorized watercraft. The eastern end of the lake is closed to any wake from watercraft (please observe buoys). Motors generating a noise level of greater than 82 decibels are prohibited. Direction of travel on the lake is counter clockwise. Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, Arizona Game and Fish Department and Forest Service enforce lake regulations. No trash service. If you PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT!! Glass containers are not permitted. CAUTION: Lake-levels fluctuate daily, based on irrigation demand and power generation. Rocks and other obstacles often are near the water surface. Be aware that motor boating involves a degree of risk, and persons engaging in this activity assume the associated risks.
Closest Towns: Apache Junction, Mesa, Fountain Hills

General Information

Directions: From Mesa, travel 27 miles north on State Hwy. 87 to Bush Highway/Forest Road (FR) 204 and turn right. Follow FR 204 for 4 miles to the Lake.



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Lake and Pond Fishing

Fish Species:  Rainbow Trout; Largemouth, Smallmouth and Yellow Bass; Crappie; Sunfish; Channel Catfish; Walleye; Tilapia; Yellow Perch; Carp

Fish SpeciesLargemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Carp, Bluegill, and Green Sunfish.

Water Activities

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