As the weather gets warmer, having a place to escape to for even just a day becomes more and more valuable. One of the most popular ways to cool off from the heat is to take a dip in water, just look at the copious amount of pools in Phoenix on Google Earth for evidence. Sometimes you need a fresh body of water though, which is where a trip to a lake comes in. It might seem hard to believe, but Arizona has some excellent lakes to visit, even amongst the desert landscape.

Lake Pleasant – It’s really in the name, as this lake makes for a pleasant day in the sun. Located an hour outside of Phoenix, Lake Pleasant is a short trip away that allows for maximum time in the water. Considering how close it is, it’s one of the more popular lakes near Phoenix, but there is a whopping 10,000 acres of water to enjoy. If you’re looking for an extended stay, there is good camping nearby too, and hiking trails to enjoy around your water activities.

Saguaro Lake – Located amidst the lush Tonto National Forest, Saguaro Lake offers stunning views of towering canyon walls for you to take in while you hang out. Visitors can enjoy sailing, waterskiing, jet skiing and kayaking during their time here. The lake is divided into two main sections by the canyon walls, with the lower section having better water surface and the upper section being better for boating and camping. Even if you’re just sitting on the water taking in the views, Saguaro Lake is sure to leave you feeling refreshed.

Canyon Lake – Another lake that is only an hour drive away from the heart of Phoenix, Canyon lake is surrounded by greenery and a landscape dotted with cacti. There is plenty of space, even on the busier days during the summer. There are also more private coves located around the edges of the lake, so you can relax with your friends and family away from the main traffic on the lake. For those who like to fish, the lake has trout and bass, amongst other varieties for you to catch.

Apache Lake – One of Phoenix’s hidden gems, Apache Lake is one of the best Salt River lakes in the state and offers visitors great views all around. Located in the Superstition Wilderness and the Three Bar Wildlife Area, it’s a definite treat for those who enjoy boating and fishing. Unlike the other lakes, this one is a bit more off the beaten path, making it more likely that you’ll be one of few out on the lake. The tranquility and pristine surroundings make this lake one worth checking out.

Bartlett Lake – Located an hour away from Tempe, Bartlett Lake is certainly one of Arizona’s best kept secrets. It’s situated in the heart of the Tonto National Forest, and spans over 2800 acres being fed by the clear and sweet waters of the Verde River. Being in Tonto, you are bound to see some wildlife, and it’s especially good for birdwatchers that might get to catch a glimpse of a bald eagle. There are plenty of opportunities to hike and camp for those who don’t want their trip to just be out on the water.

While you’re enjoying your time at the lake, you can look forward to coming back to your cozy Shea Home. To learn more about Shea Homes®, visit sheahomes.com.

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