Arizona may be a desert state, but that doesn’t keep it from also being an excellent destination for water recreation. There’s an abundance of lakes and rivers scattered across the state, from the lakes of the Mogollon Rim to the Colorado River, that make it a great state for kayaking and canoeing.
Top Arizona Kayaking Destinations
Take in the beautiful sights of Arizona with these top kayaking destinations.
Forty-five minutes northwest of Phoenix is Lake Pleasant, one of the best places to kayak in Arizona. Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert, Lake Pleasant Regional Park is a scenic desert oasis. It has more than 23,000 acres of water and beautiful, unblemished desert landscape. Canyons and cliffs tower the sides of the lake that’s dotted with islands. It is one of the most scenic areas in the state and offers a lot of unique landscapes to explore by kayak.
Four miles from the town of Prescott, Arizona, lies the beautiful desert oasis, Watson Lake. It’s a bright blue lake with calm waters and 1.4-billion-year-old, rippled granite boulders rising from the water to line the lake’s shore. Kayakers enjoy navigating these rock formations. There are also hiking trails, rock climbing and camping, although swimming is prohibited.
Lees Ferry, AZ
Arizona is famously known for its canyons, the most popular being the Grand Canyon, but that’s not the only one along the Colorado River. One of the most stunning ways to experience Arizona’s epic canyons is from the Colorado River and a favorite spot for kayakers is Horseshoe Bend in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. It’s located about 10 minutes from the town of Page, Arizona. It’s fantastic viewed from above, but a whole other experience when kayaked. You’ll want to put in a Lees Ferry, and paddle upstream. It’s hard work, but the stunning vistas, shifting colors of the sandstone walls and crystal clear waters are worth it.
Twenty-five miles from Springerville and at an elevation of 9,000 feet, Big Lake Recreation Area is a bit of a hidden gem, but another top-rated kayaking destination. It’s tucked away in the White Mountains and offers a sprawling 450 acres of serene waters. It’s tranquil waters and scenic vistas are perfect for anyone looking for a remote kayak as well as anglers with its plentiful supply of rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout.
Beautiful and massive, at 186 miles long Lake Powell is the second-largest manmade lake in the United States. It offers nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline, rivaling that of the Pacific Coast states. Deep blue waters, rose-colored sandy beaches and more than 90 side canyons make it exciting for kayakers to explore. Many are more than 25 miles deep. Favorites include Antelope Canyon, Labyrinth Canyon and Lone Star Canyon.
Arizona Kayak Storage Racks
Despite being a desert state, Arizona offers a surprising amount of wonderful kayaking destinations with rivers, lakes and beautiful oases. Make sure your kayak is at the ready for your next Arizona adventure with proper kayak storage from Log Kayak Rack. Our exquisitely crafted, 100% cedar log kayak racks are as beautiful as they are practical. They safely store and neatly organize shorelines, parks, resorts and more, holding up to eight kayaks on their durable, naturally weather-resistant frames. Shop our kayak racks online now or contact us for a custom kayak storage solution to meet your Arizona kayak storage needs.