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11 Spectacular Beaches To Visit In Phoenix, Arizona


by Doralynne Kubiak


Phoenix, Arizona, is renowned for its stunning desert landscapes, vibrant culture, and diverse attractions. While it may not have a coastline, Phoenix is within driving distance of several breathtaking beaches that offer a perfect escape from the desert heat. From tranquil lakeside retreats to adventurous water activities, these beaches provide a refreshing contrast to the arid surroundings. Whether you're seeking a serene spot to unwind or an action-packed day on the water, Phoenix's nearby beaches cater to a variety of preferences. In this article, we'll explore 11 spectacular beaches within reach of Phoenix, each offering its own unique allure and recreational opportunities. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your beach gear, and get ready to discover the unexpected beach havens that await just a short drive away from the desert city of Phoenix.

Saguaro Lake

Nestled amidst the Tonto National Forest, Saguaro Lake offers a serene escape with its crystal-clear waters and breathtaking desert scenery. This picturesque reservoir, formed by the Stewart Mountain Dam, is a haven for water enthusiasts. Visitors can partake in a myriad of activities, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. The surrounding landscapes provide a stunning backdrop for picnics and leisurely strolls along the shoreline. Saguaro Lake is a must-visit for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty in the heart of Arizona.

Canyon Lake

Embraced by rugged cliffs and saguaro-dotted hills, Canyon Lake beckons adventurers and nature lovers alike. As part of the Salt River Project, this stunning reservoir offers ample opportunities for boating, jet skiing, and swimming. The iconic Dolly Steamboat cruises along the lake, treating passengers to captivating views of the awe-inspiring canyon walls. With its striking vistas and diverse recreational options, Canyon Lake stands as a testament to the allure of Arizona's natural wonders.

Bartlett Lake

Nestled in the heart of the Tonto National Forest, Bartlett Lake allures visitors with its tranquil waters and scenic surroundings. Boasting a sprawling shoreline, this reservoir is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts seeking aquatic adventures. From water skiing and wakeboarding to fishing and camping, Bartlett Lake offers a diverse range of recreational activities. The majestic desert landscape and the shimmering expanse of water create an idyllic setting for a memorable day out in the Arizona sun.

Lake Pleasant Regional Park

As one of the prime attractions in the Phoenix metropolitan area, Lake Pleasant Regional Park captivates visitors with its expansive water surface and rugged desert terrain. Boating enthusiasts can revel in the vastness of the lake, while hikers and mountain bikers can explore the surrounding trails. The park's diverse wildlife and stunning sunsets add to the allure of this desert oasis, making it a favored destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.

Tempe Town Lake

Nestled in the heart of Tempe, Arizona, Tempe Town Lake offers a vibrant urban escape with its scenic waterfront and bustling recreational activities. The lake serves as a focal point for community events, water sports, and leisurely strolls along the promenade. Visitors can rent pedal boats, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards to explore the lake's shimmering waters, or simply unwind on the grassy expanses of the surrounding parks. With its lively atmosphere and diverse entertainment options, Tempe Town Lake is a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.

Roosevelt Lake

Encompassed by the rugged beauty of the Tonto National Forest, Roosevelt Lake beckons outdoor enthusiasts with its expansive waters and stunning desert vistas. Boasting a shoreline that stretches over 100 miles, this reservoir offers ample opportunities for boating, fishing, and lakeside camping. The surrounding terrain is a playground for hikers, birdwatchers, and nature enthusiasts, making Roosevelt Lake a captivating destination for those seeking an immersive experience in Arizona's natural splendor.

Apache Lake

Nestled amidst the Superstition Wilderness, Apache Lake allures visitors with its secluded charm and unspoiled desert landscapes. This pristine reservoir, formed by the Horse Mesa Dam, offers a tranquil setting for boating, fishing, and lakeside camping. The rugged terrain surrounding the lake provides a captivating backdrop for outdoor adventures, from off-road excursions to scenic hikes. Apache Lake stands as a testament to the untamed beauty of Arizona's wilderness, inviting explorers to immerse themselves in its serene allure.

Saguaro Lake Ranch

Nestled along the banks of the Salt River, Saguaro Lake Ranch offers a unique retreat with its rustic charm and scenic desert vistas. This historic guest ranch provides a tranquil escape for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers. Visitors can partake in horseback riding, kayaking, and wildlife viewing, immersing themselves in the natural splendor of the surrounding landscapes. With its rich Western heritage and diverse recreational activities, Saguaro Lake Ranch embodies the timeless allure of Arizona's desert landscapes.

Granite Reef Recreation Site

Situated along the banks of the Salt River, the Granite Reef Recreation Site offers a serene escape with its tranquil waters and picturesque surroundings. Boating enthusiasts can launch their vessels into the river, while picnickers can savor the idyllic setting along the shoreline. The site's proximity to the Tonto National Forest makes it an ideal starting point for outdoor adventures, from hiking and birdwatching to exploring the nearby Saguaro Lake. Granite Reef Recreation Site is a hidden gem for those seeking a peaceful retreat in the heart of Arizona's natural beauty.

Butcher Jones Beach

Nestled along the shores of Saguaro Lake, Butcher Jones Beach beckons visitors with its sandy expanses and panoramic views of the surrounding desert landscapes. This popular recreation area offers a host of activities, including swimming, picnicking, and hiking along the scenic trails. The tranquil waters of the lake provide a refreshing respite from the desert heat, making Butcher Jones Beach a favored destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts seeking a day of leisure and relaxation.

Water Users Recreation Site

Located along the lower Salt River, the Water Users Recreation Site offers a tranquil escape with its lush riverside setting and diverse recreational opportunities. Visitors can partake in tubing, kayaking, and paddleboarding along the gentle currents of the river, or simply unwind on the sandy beaches. The site's proximity to the Tonto National Forest makes it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding wilderness, adding to the allure of this hidden gem in the Arizona desert.


Visiting the beaches in Phoenix, Arizona, offers a unique and unforgettable experience for locals and tourists alike. From the serene shores of Saguaro Lake to the vibrant atmosphere of Lake Pleasant, each beach presents a distinct charm and a plethora of recreational opportunities. Whether you seek relaxation, water sports, or breathtaking natural beauty, Phoenix's beaches have something for everyone. The diverse landscapes and activities make these beaches ideal destinations for families, adventure seekers, and nature enthusiasts. With the sun-kissed shores and the stunning backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, the beaches in Phoenix are a true hidden gem, waiting to be explored and cherished.


Q: Are there any water activities available at the beaches in Phoenix, Arizona?
A: Yes, the beaches in Phoenix offer a wide range of water activities such as boating, fishing, kayaking, and paddleboarding, providing ample opportunities for aquatic adventures.

Q: Can visitors enjoy picnics and barbecues at the beaches in Phoenix?
A: Absolutely! Many beaches in Phoenix are equipped with picnic areas and barbecue facilities, allowing visitors to savor delicious meals amidst the picturesque waterfront settings.