Kayak Saguaro Lake

Added by Laura Hill

Kayaking on Saguaro Lake is the perfect way to spend a sunny day in Arizona!

If you want to enjoy some paddle time on the beautiful Saguaro Lake, launching from Butcher Jones Recreation Area is your best bet. 

If you don’t have your own kayak, you can rent from the nearby Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch and they’ll bring the kayaks to the launch point for you (as well as provide your PFD and paddle).  Note that if you bring your own kayak, you need to bring a PFD (it's Arizona law), and buy a Tonto Pass to park.  If you rent through Saguaro Lake Guest Ranch, they’ll provide you with a parking pass.

As you paddle out from Butcher Jones, I typically try and cross the lake immediately (look to the left as you reach open water, there are a pair of bald eagles that nest there).  There are a couple cool little coves on the opposite side of the lake - one has a secluded beach (depending on water level), which is a great snack spot.  But BE CAREFUL and watch for speed boats.  The boat wake can be a bit challenging to maneuver if you’re a kayaking novice, so I recommend paddling fast :)

Great way to enjoy some time on the lake!

What to bring:

  • Phone for photos (but don’t drop it!)
  • Snacks
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat

GPS: 33.5767655, -111.5148951

Read More


Stand Up Paddle
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great Lake for a Paddle

Saguaro is a great place for a paddle, just watch out for boats! If you paddle out from Butcher Jones and go to your left, there are some nice coves to explore and even a small cave. Depending on water levels, you can kayak into the cave. Also keep an eye out for longhorn sheep, they can often be spotted around the lake.

Stay Nearby

Apache Junction, Arizona

Mesa / Apache Junction KOA

Roosevelt, Arizona

Burnt Corral Campground

Overview Burnt Corral Campground and Recreation Area (elevation 1914') is about 5.8 miles south of Roosevelt Dam along the Apache Trail (AZ Hwy 88) along the shoreline of Apache Lake. It is nestl...

Tonto Basin, Arizona

Cholla Campground

Overview Cholla Campground at Roosevelt Lake, is one of several campgrounds on the shores of the largest lake/reservoir located entirely in the State of Arizona. It is situated within a lush sono...

Roosevelt, Arizona

Frazier Group Campground

Overview The campground overlooks Roosevelt Lake and is nestled in the saguaro cactus-studded Sonoran Desert.Recreation In addition to camping, horseback riders, hikers, and mountain bikers can acc...

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Butcher Jones Trail Around Saguaro Lake

    Butcher Jones Recreational Area truly has a little bit of everything. However, the highlight of the area is the Butcher Jones Trail, a 4 mile out and back trail that is suitable for all skill levels. With minimal elevation gain and beautiful views...

    4 miles 300 ft gain

  • Kayak the Lower Salt River

    It's not an Arizona summer without time spent on the Salt River!  And there's no better way than by kayak.  Summertime on the Lower Salt is full of people, mostly in tubes and on SUP's.  Getting on the river in the early hours of the morning help ...

  • Hike the Goldfield Ovens Loop

    A Tonto Day Pass is required for this hike as you will park your vehicle at the Blue Point Picnic Area. The trail starts North of the restrooms which are located at the backside of the parking lot. The trail takes you through a mesquite filled are...

    7.5 miles 575 ft gain

  • Hike the Boulder Canyon Trail

    Parking for the trailhead is actually in the same lot as the marina.  There is a restaurant, campground, and restrooms all in the vicinity of the parking lot.  The actual trailhead is on the other side of the street opposite the parking lot entran...

    10 miles 1500 ft gain