Canyon Lake on the Apache Trail - $349 + Tip - Tour Time 5 hours.
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Canyon Lake is the smallest of the Salt River Projects lakes.
The lake is 45 miles east of Phoenix and a popular spot for swimming and boating. It has a designated swimming site and a pair of boating ramps.
The three recreation sites at the lake -- Acacia Picnic Site, the Palo Verde Recreation Site and the Boulder Creek Recreation Site -- are open year round and available at no charge.
The Canyon Lake Marina and Campground is open year-round offering a variety of marina services, food, a beach area, and 46 spaces. Located nearby is a Maricopa County Sheriffs aid station. Two miles from the resort is the Tortilla Campground with 77 spaces. Open October through April, the campground offers individual units with water and sewer hook-ups. A fee is charged for use.
For fishermen, Canyon Lake offers walleye, largemouth bass, yellow bass, rainbow trout, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie. Seclusion-seeking boaters can travel three miles up the lake, between steep cliffs, to the Point Campground. It is open all year at no charge, but has only three units.
Canyon Lake has 28 miles of shoreline and is 10 miles long.
There is a cost of $6.00 per vehicle and $4.00 per watercraft, per day to boat Canyon Lake. Golden Age/Golden Access passes receive half off. Contact the Mesa Ranger Station about permits.
Be sure to go early to Canyon Lake on weekends and holidays, from April through October. The lake usually reaches capacity in the morning. On summer weekends in general, even in the morning, expect delays to reach boat access points.
Note that LaBarge Cove (which is south of Highway 88's second bridge) is closed to all motorized watercraft. The lake's upper neck is closed to waterskiing.
Group events require a permit. Contact the Mesa Ranger Station. For lake tour boat trips, call 480-827-9144. To check Canyon Lake's water level, call Salt River Project at 602-236-5929.
Keep in mind that the direction of travel on the lake is counter-clockwise.
Picnic areas are available at Canyon Lake Marina and Laguna Boating Site and near Palo Verde Boating Site.
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