Make a Splash in Arizona! Best Water Activities in State 48

While famous for its alluring desert landscapes, Arizona is a water recreational paradise, offering
numerous lakes, rivers and pools to enjoy both relaxing and adventurous water activities under the sun.
Here are a few fun water opportunities State 48 offers.

Houseboating on Lake Powell

Cruising on a spacious houseboat exploring the coves, side canyons and 2,000 miles of shoreline of the breathtaking Lake Powell within Glen Canyon Recreation Area in Page is the ultimate lake getaway. From cozy to luxurious, visitors can rent a dream houseboat at Lake Powell Marinas and learn to become the captain after a quick driving lesson. Enjoy cruising along the lake, sliding into the water to go swimming, and stopping on the beach for a picnic or to launch a kayak expedition. Help keep the wonder of this natural playground alive by joining Lake Powell’s volunteer vacation, a 5-day journey where visitors search for stray debris via houseboat. Be sure to venture beyond the lake to witness Horseshoe BendAntelope Canyon and downtown Page. 

A Paradise of Resort Pools

With more than 300 days of sunshine, Arizona offers countless luxurious resort pools ready to welcome visitors to unwind around or cannonball into! For those seeking a mixture of fun and tranquility, the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess’ six pools ensure the ideal experience for everyone, including a serene adults-only pool for couples, a twisting slide for playful guests and a sunset beach pool where parents can lounge on the sandy beach as their kids splash into the water. Parents and kids will scream in delight riding down the three new water slides at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa’s new AquaRidge Water Park in Phoenix before relaxing together in the lazy river. 

Adults craving relaxing alone time can swim along Sanctuary Camelback Mountain’s infinity pool in Scottsdale, dip into the Serenity Pool at Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain near Tucson or take a cold plunge into High Country Motor Lodge’s pool in Flagstaff. Embrace the party atmosphere of sipping cocktails poolside as the sunsets at the Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown’s rooftop pool or be one of the first to experience the new party island and six-acre swimming pool at VAI Resort in Glendale, expected to open in 2025.

“Beach” Days at Lake Havasu City

Jet ski across the aqua-blue waters of Lake Havasu, a 45-mile-long lake at the heart of Lake Havasu City, the “beach town” of the Sonoran Desert that has more than 400 miles of coastline for visitors to enjoy. Experience the thrill of shredding the waves like a pro by renting either a jet ski, boat, paddleboard, or kayak to soak in the picturesque views and the sun. Enjoy the wellness benefits of swimming in the cool water, meditating at Lake Havasu’s vortexes and lounging on the sandy beaches. End the day wandering around the waterfront restaurants, shops, and 28 replica lighthouses before catching the sunset over the water on a dinner cruise or from the famous London Bridge which overlooks the Bridgewater Channel.

Water Recreation at Arizona State Parks

Wade into summer fun at state parks where water recreation is the star attraction. Glide down Sedona’s red rocks into Oak Creek at Slide Rock State Park, a natural water park with an 80-foot-long sandstone slide that whisks riders through the refreshingly cool creek. Be on the water 24/7 at Cattail Cove State Park in Lake Havasu City, exploring Lake Havasu’s clear waters by boating, paddle boarding and kayaking the day away before falling asleep on the water at the boat-in campsites. Not to be mistaken for a mirage, Patagonia State Park in the small town of Patagonia near the border of Mexico is a desert oasis for visitors looking for birdwatching opportunities, hiking, dipping into the lake and relaxing at their lakefront cabin. Escape the crowds and retreat into nature at Fool Hollow Lake State Park in Show Low, a hidden gem in eastern Arizona, for a peaceful fishing trip and canoeing adventures.  And don’t miss Arizona’s newest Rockin’ River State Park in Camp Verde Arizona, which offers 204 acres of bountiful recreational activities including hiking and fishing.

Kayaking & Rafting Down Rivers 

Paddling down one of Arizona’s rivers ensures not only stunning views but also pleasant surprises along the journey. Rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon is a bucket list experience, especially when riding through Class VI rapids with the Hualapai River Runners and learning about the tribe’s history in the canyon, or looking up at its dark skies on the overnight trip. Kayaking down the Verde River, one of the Southwest’s last free-flowing rivers that runs 170 miles in central Arizona within the wine-growing Verde Valley region, is a wonderful way to explore this American Viticulture Area. Embark on the Water to Wine tour in Camp Verde to float along the river and spot wildlife until arriving at the lovely Alcantara Vineyard to taste Arizona-grown wines. The 200-mile Salt River starts in eastern Arizona and runs through Mesa offers thrilling whitewater rafting trips in its upper portion during the spring. Kayaking or tubing its lower portion to see wild mustangs wading in the water is great for summer and fall. 

For more information and inspiration: www.visitarizona.com


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