Phoenix Watersports: A Guide to Fun in the Sun

Laura Williams

Photo by Ludovic Gauthier on Unsplash

Phoenix, Arizona is known for its warm, sunny climate and stunning desert landscapes, but did you know that it’s also a prime destination for watersports? With numerous lakes, rivers, and water parks in the area, Phoenix offers a variety of activities for water lovers of all ages and skill levels.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the top watersports activities in Phoenix, from boating and jet skiing to tubing and paddleboarding. Whether you’re a local looking for a new adventure or a visitor seeking an exciting way to enjoy the outdoors, there’s something for everyone in Phoenix’s watersports scene.

So grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sense of adventure, and let’s make a splash in the world of Phoenix Watersports.


Lake Activities

Lake Pleasant Regional Park - Photo Source
Lake Pleasant Regional Park – Photo Source

Phoenix is home to several picturesque lakes that offer a range of watersports activities. Here are some of the top lakes to visit and the watersports options available at each:

Lake Pleasant

  • Located in the Northwest Valley, Lake Pleasant is the largest lake in the Phoenix area and a popular destination for boating and fishing.
  • Visitors can also enjoy jet skiing, kayaking, and paddleboarding on the lake.
  • The lake is busiest during the summer months, but visitors can enjoy quieter crowds and cooler temperatures during the fall and winter.

Saguaro Lake

  • Located in the Tonto National Forest, Saguaro Lake is a scenic spot that’s great for boating and fishing.
  • Visitors can also rent jet skis or try their hand at wakeboarding and water skiing.
  • The lake is open year-round, but the best time to visit is in the spring or fall when the weather is cooler.

Bartlett Lake

  • Nestled in the mountains of the Tonto National Forest, Bartlett Lake is a peaceful spot that’s ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding.
  • Visitors can also rent a boat or jet ski and explore the lake’s coves and bays.
  • The lake is busiest during the summer months, but visitors can enjoy more comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds during the fall and winter.
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No matter which lake you choose to visit, be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, water, and snacks, as well as any necessary safety equipment for your chosen activity.


River Activities

In addition to its lakes, Phoenix also boasts several rivers that offer a unique and exciting watersports experience. Here are some of the top rivers to visit and the activities available at each:

Salt River

  • The Salt River is a popular spot for tubing, with several outfitters offering rentals and shuttle services.
  • Visitors can also enjoy kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding on the river, which features both calm and rapids sections.
  • The river is busiest during the summer months, but visitors can enjoy cooler temperatures and fewer crowds in the spring and fall.

Verde River

  • The Verde River is a scenic spot that’s great for kayaking and canoeing, with several rental options available.
  • Visitors can also try their hand at tubing or stand-up paddleboarding on the river, which features gentle rapids and calm stretches.
  • The river is open year-round, but the best time to visit is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild.

No matter which river you choose to visit, be sure to check the water levels and conditions beforehand, as well as any necessary safety precautions for your chosen activity. It’s also important to leave no trace and respect the natural beauty of the river environment.


Pool Activities

Maryvale Pool - Photo Source
Maryvale Pool – Photo Source

For those who prefer to stay closer to home, Phoenix has plenty of options for pool activities. Here are some of the top places to cool off and enjoy watersports in the city:

Community Pools

  • Many of Phoenix’s community pools offer lap swimming and water aerobics classes, as well as recreational swimming for families.
  • Some pools also offer swim lessons and water polo programs for children and teens.

Resort Pools

  • Phoenix is home to several luxurious resort pools that offer a range of water sports options, from water volleyball to lazy river rides.
  • Visitors can also enjoy poolside dining and refreshing cocktails while soaking up the sun.
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Water Parks

  • For a more thrilling pool experience, visitors can head to one of Phoenix’s water parks, such as Big Surf or Wet ‘n’ Wild.
  • These parks offer a variety of water slides, wave pools, and other attractions for all ages.

No matter which pool activity you choose, be sure to stay hydrated and wear plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin from the strong Arizona sun.


Water Parks

Hurricane Harbor Phoenix Photo Source
Hurricane Harbor Phoenix Photo Source

For those seeking a more thrilling watersports experience, Phoenix is home to several water parks that offer a variety of attractions for all ages. Here are some of the top water parks in the area:

Big Surf

  • One of the oldest water parks in the country, Big Surf features the third-largest wave pool in the world.
  • Visitors can also enjoy a variety of water slides and attractions, including the Black Hole and Hurricane Falls.

Wet ‘n’ Wild

  • With over 30 attractions, including the Tornado and Constrictor water slides, Wet ‘n’ Wild is a must-visit destination for watersports enthusiasts.
  • The park also offers a range of dining options, from casual snacks to full-service restaurants.

Golfland Sunsplash

  • While primarily known for its miniature golf and arcade games, Golfland Sunsplash also boasts a water park with a variety of slides and attractions.
  • Visitors can cool off in the wave pool, ride the Master Blaster, or try their hand at the Riptide water slide.

No matter which water park you choose, be sure to check the park’s rules and regulations beforehand, especially regarding height restrictions and any age requirements for certain attractions. And as always, stay hydrated and apply plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin from the Arizona sun.


Fishing

Photo by Brady Rogers on Unsplash
Photo by Brady Rogers on Unsplash

Phoenix offers plenty of opportunities for fishing enthusiasts, with a variety of lakes and rivers throughout the area. Here are some of the top spots for fishing in Phoenix:

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Lake Pleasant

  • Located about 45 minutes north of Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is one of the most popular fishing destinations in the area.
  • The lake is stocked with a variety of fish, including largemouth bass, channel catfish, and crappie.
  • Visitors can rent boats or fish from the shore, and there are several fishing tournaments held at the lake throughout the year.

Salt River

  • The Salt River is a popular spot for fly fishing, with rainbow and brown trout being the primary species caught.
  • Visitors can also catch largemouth bass and sunfish in some areas of the river.
  • There are several guided fishing tours available on the Salt River, as well as opportunities for kayaking and rafting.

Lower Verde River

  • Located east of Phoenix, the Lower Verde River is another popular spot for fishing.
  • The river is home to largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and other species.
  • Visitors can fish from the shore or rent a kayak or canoe to explore the river.

Before heading out for a day of fishing, be sure to check the local regulations and obtain any necessary permits or licenses. And as always, practice responsible fishing practices and leave the area clean for future visitors.


Conclusion

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day on the lake or an adrenaline-pumping adventure on the river, Phoenix offers a wide range of watersports activities for visitors of all ages and skill levels. From fishing and kayaking to water parks and pool activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Just remember to stay safe and prepared for your chosen activity, especially during the hot summer months. Stay hydrated, wear appropriate safety gear, and always follow the rules and regulations for the area you’re visiting.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and sense of adventure, and dive into the exciting world of watersports in Phoenix!

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