Located just outside of Phoenix, Saguaro Lake is the westernmost lake in the Salt River Project – a series of reservoirs on the Salt River, which include the famous Roosevelt Dam, built in order to sustain agricultural activities in the area and to provide drinking water to the Phoenix metropolitan area. Today, the lake is a recreational area famous for its fishing and its stunning scenery, characterized by Arizona’s signature cactus trees (the lake was, after all, named after the Saguaro Cactus) and dramatic landscapes of Stewart Mountain.
Saguaro Lake is the fourth reservoir of the Salt River Project, and is formed by the Stewart Mountain Dam. At 1264 hectares large and 90 feet deep, Saguaro Lake makes for a prime destination for fishing enthusiasts; rainbow and brown trout, several types of bass, crappie, sunfish, channel catfish and carp are found abundantly in the lake, which is regularly stocked by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The lake is home to a quaint marina which includes the Lakeshore Restaurant and a boat concession, as well as picnic tables, boat ramps, narrated double-deck boat tours, restrooms and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s station.
The Stewart Mountain Dam as such is a 1,260-foot-long and 207-foot-high concrete, thin-arch dam built in 1928. It contains a hydroelectric generating unit mainly operated in the summer months. Saguaro Lake is located 41 miles outside Phoenix, Arizona in the municipality of Mesa. It can be reached in 50 minutes by car via routes 202 and 87. The area is open daily until 8pm from April through September. There are free, year-round camping facilities onsite.