guides

Head Outdoors with Our Favorite Arizona Reservoirs & Lakes

Your MacKid Guide to outdoor fun

By Veronica Leon, Publisher Macaroni Kid N Scottsdale/PV May 1, 2020

Image credit: Veronica Leon

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, hours and amenities may be affected. Please check the status of your intended destination before visiting.


Check back often, we will be adding more reservoirs and lakes as they are posted! Get a FREE kid-friendly event calendar for N Scottsdale-PV full of festivals, fairs, activities, and more! Sign-up by clicking HERE!


There's nothing like hanging out near a body of water in the summertime. We love to visit our local reservoirs and lakes with family and friends. I have gathered some of our favorite Arizona  Reservoirs and Lakes - The Macaroni Kid Guide!

Many of the reservoirs and lakes listed below are open year-round. Dates and times are subject to change without notice.





Badger Springs Trail

Directions: From Phoenix, go north on Interstate 17 for approximately 40 miles to Badger Springs Road (Exit 256). Turn right onto Badger Springs Road, cross the gravel parking lot and continue 0.8 miles to the trailhead.

Image credit: KH



Bartlett Lake

Directions: 20808 E Bartlett Dam Rd, Rio Verde, AZ 85263
Located in the wilderness area of the Tonto National Forest, the lake is about 48 miles northeast of Phoenix AZ, 32 miles from Scottsdale and about 22 miles northeast of Carefree, Arizona. 

Image credit: KH




Bull Pen Canyon

Directions: 53 miles south of Flagstaff on paved and graveled forest roads in picturesque Desert Canyon Country. Take the Hwy. 179 exit on I-17. Drive about 9 miles from I-17 south-east on FR 618 to FR 215. Turn east and drive about 3 miles to the Bullpen Ranch trailhead. (See Blodgett Basin Trail map on this page)

Image credit: KH




Lake Pleasant

Directions: From central Phoenix, take I-17 north to Carefree Highway (SR 74). Exit Carefree Hwy. and travel west 15 miles to Castle Hot Spring Road. Travel north to Lake Pleasant Regional Park entrance.

Image credit: KH




Red Rock Sedona 

Directions: 4050 Red Rock Loop Rd, Sedona, AZ 86336
Red Rock State Park is located south of Sedona in Arizona's famed red rock country! Turn south off of AZ State Route 89A and on to Red Rock Loop Rd., then continue south for a few short miles to the park.

Image credit: KH




Saguaro Lake

Directions: 14011 N Bush Hwy, Mesa, AZ 85215.
Take the Superstition Freeway (US 60) and exit north on Bush Highway. Continue on Bush Highway to the Saguaro Lake Recreation Area turnoff.



Image credit: KH




Salt River Tubing

Directions: 9200 North Bush Highway
Mesa, AZ 85215

SRTR located at the 4-Way Stop on the LEFT (NW Corner)

Image credit: KH



Table Mesa Trailhead Black Canyon Trail

Directions: N Little Grand Canyon, New River, AZ 85087
Black Canyon Trail - Table Mesa is a 11.3 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near New River, Arizona 


Find our review here

Image credit: Veronica Leon 




Verde River Greenway 

Directions: 2011-B Kestrel Road
Cottonwood, AZ 86326

Take I-17 N to AZ-260 W/Fannie Flat Rd in Camp Verde. Take exit 287 from I-17 N. Continue on AZ-260 W. Take S Main St to Golden Eagle Rd in Cottonwood.

Image credit: KH



Water Wheel Falls

Directions: 87 North to Payson, right on Huston Mesa Rd, then 7.8 miles on the right. Water Wheel Falls is a 1.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Payson, Arizona that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips

Image credit: KH




Watson Lake

Directions: An easy 4 mile drive from downtown Prescott, AZ. Drive east form Courthouse Plaza on Gurley Street for about 1.2 miles. Turn north Highway 89 and proceed about 3,5 miles. Enter the traffic circle, take the first right into the park.

Image credit: KH



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