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Lake Pleasant Regional Park

Located northwest of Phoenix, Lake Pleasant Regional Park offers a multitude of outdoor recreation opportunities as the only water-based unit administered by Maricopa County Parks and Recreation. The lake is part of the Central Arizona Project, and its surface area varies throughout the year, to a maximum of almost 10,000 acres in the early spring. Originally territory of the Hohokam and Yavapaiv Apache, it was established as a park in 1965 and comprises 23,362 acres.

The 10 Essentials

ACTIVITIES:

  • bird-watching
  • camping
  • fishing
  • hiking
  • mountain biking
  • paddling
  • picnicking
  • scenic drive
  • stargazing
  • swimming
  • trail running

HIGHLIGHTS:

Water-based recreation opportunities from jet skiing, to fishing, and even scuba diving!
Desert Outdoor Center education facility and event venue
Bald Eagle program and live cam
Agua Fria Conservation Area (non-motorized use only)
100+ cultural resource sites
Fourth of July fireworks

HABITAT:

Arizona Upland & Lower Colorado River Valley Sonoran desert; saguaro / paloverde & desert wash communities, riparian. Elevation ranges from around 1,380′ – 2,660’ (Wild Burro Mesa); the water surface elevation is 1,702′

AVAILABILITY:

Open year-round; 6a – 8p.
Check park website or call for current open hours.

AMENITIES:

Discovery Center (10a-4p Friday – Sunday)
Classes, guided walks, paddles, and interpretive programming
Scorpion Bay full-service marina (private concessionaire)
2 boat ramps
2 fully-developed campgrounds
30 boat-in camping spaces
15 primitive camping spaces
Fishing tournaments
14+ miles of multiuse trails
2 group picnic ramadas with grills, outlets, bins, and parking
Multiple day use / picnic areas with more than 50 total sites. Water, cover, parking, and restroom availability depend on the area.

PERMITS / FEES:

Park entry is $7/vehicle or annual passes are available for $85.
Hike / Bike entry is $2 or annual passes are available for $30.
Annual passes include access to all Maricopa County Parks.
Camping fees range from $15 – $40 / night (not including group options), a $7 non-refundable reservation fee may apply.
Additional fee information can be found here.

SPECIAL DESIGNATIONS:

Lake Pleasant is the only white bass fishery in Arizona.
The 315-mile Maricopa Trail passes through the park.

ACCESSIBILITY:

Kid-friendly
Dog-friendly (must be leashed and licensed)
ADA: Some facilities are accessible. The 1.9-mile Honeymoon Cove trail is barrier-free.
Transit: N/A

NEAREST SERVICES:

Peoria is the closest full-service city.

HEADS-UP!

Risks include: extreme heat, dehydration, exposure, flash flooding, rattlesnakes, numerous species of spiny cacti.. do NOT hug the teddy bear cholla!
Fire bans are in effect seasonally; gas stoves and grills are not allowed when there is an ‘extreme fire ban.’
Fires are not allowed anywhere outside of designated places.

Flora & Fauna

Lake Pleasant is home to a wide variety of native flora & fauna, and hosts many migratory waterfowl as well. During your visit, you may see:

  • Southern willow flycatcher (ENDANGERED)
  • Gila monster
  • Bald eagle
  • Harris antelope squirrel
  • Sonoran desert tortoise
  • Longfin dace
  • Hohokam agave
  • Gila woodpecker
  • Night-blooming cereus
  • Wild burro
  • Lowland leopard frog
  • Desert sucker

Explore Lake Pleasant!

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