Phoenix, Arizona has a wealth of water real estate with lakes and rivers to delight the senses. White water rafting is perhaps the most popular phoenix water sports, but you’d be surprised at just how much more these lakes and rivers have to offer. You can find vacation rentals and guided tours in the area or just head out on your own.

Phoenix Events And Then Some

Rafting on the Salt River is an exciting adventure for you and your family and one of the most thrilling Phoenix water sports. There are guided tours that run for half days, full day trips, and even week-long camping expeditions just about two and a half hours outside of Phoenix. There’s some world-class white water along this route, so this extreme adventure might not be for the faint of heart. With white water rafting, you have to work together with a crew in order to navigate the twists and turns of the Salt River. Peak times for white water rafting on the Salt River are during the Spring, so be sure to book your trip accordingly.

Scuba Diving

You might not think that Phoenix is a premiere location for scuba diving, but you’d be mistaken. There are several dive schools located near N. Black Canyon Hwy and they have dive pools with top-rated diving instructors on hand to help you get certified or simply enjoy the underwater sport of diving. Lake Pleasant has excellent lake diving available and the average depth is 70 feet. You can practice here for a Pacific Ocean dive or explore the underwater reservoirs and caves that make this are so mysterious and magical.

Power Boating

Lake Pleasant is also a premiere location for power boating. The lake is located 35 miles from downtown Phoenix and there are vacation rentals at the park if you need any gear. Power boating is super fun on Lake Pleasant because its the largest lake in the area and covers 10,000 acres of water surface to play on. You can crank up the speed on Lake Pleasant and launch from two different marinas. Memorial Day weekend is a very busy time on the lake, and it will most likely be too crowded for power boating. If you’re looking to feed your need for speed, then try to venture out during off-peak hours. The park is open 24 hours so you should be able to find your ideal time for power boating.


This might not be the most high-octane water sport, but paddle boarding sure is relaxing and fun. Sometimes called SUP, for Stand Up Paddle-boarding puts you right out on the water as you stand or kneel on a surfboard and use a long paddle to make your way across a body of water. Saguaro Lake is a fine destination for paddle boarding and you just might catch a glimpse of wild horses along the 22 miles of shoreline. It’s all part of the Tonto National Forest where you can find restaurants, picnic areas and plenty of new friends.


If you’re in the mood for some solitary water sports, then check out kayaking. You can find locations that are peaceful and serene or intense and adventurous. You can find vacation rentals for single or two-man boats all along Lake Pleasant and Saguaro Lake. If you want to get off the beaten path, then some advanced planning is required. If you’re up for it, you can find some of the most challenging kayaking spots at Big Lake, about a four drive from downtown. There aren’t any large water craft allowed in the area, but you can enjoy some quality time camping out under the stars.