Water Fun and More at Lyman Lake State Park
Lyman Lake was created as an irrigation reservoir after the Little Colorado River was dammed. Here at Lyman Lake State Park, you can enjoy water activities and the surrounding desert all year round and some of the best camping in Arizona. Here are three reasons you need to get to Lyman Lake State Park during your Arizona vacation.
1. Lyman Lake is Gorgeous
Lyman Lake is one of Arizona’s best bodies of water. Not only is it one of the biggest; it’s also one of the state’s highest. It’s nestled in the mountains among the mesas and slopes at 6,000 feet. It’s fed by the snowmelt from Mt. Baldy and Escudilla Mountain, which provide the water for its 1,500 acres of surface. The lake is surrounded by pinyon pine and juniper woodland. Because of the Arizona sun and high elevation, it maintains moderate temperatures all year round for visitors to enjoy.
2. Watersports Fun
One of the great things about Lyman Lake is that because of its size, there are no power restrictions on boats. If you’re into boating, Lyman Lake State Park is the best Arizona has to offer. It’s one of the only lakes in the state big enough that it can allow boats of any size. This makes it perfect for leisure boating, speed boating and water skiing.
3. Great Birding
There are several places on and around the lake that are exceptionally good spots for birding. There’s a small, marshy area near the ranger station where summertime sees yellow warbler, black phoebe, Virginia rail, yellow-breasted chat and other colorful birds gather. There are birds to be seen in several areas of the lake, near the dam and near the picnic areas and campground. Birding guides and checklists are available at the ranger station.
Things to Do at Lyman Lake State Park
In addition to enjoying the lake, boating and watching the birds, there is a wealth of other things to do at Lyman Lake State Park. Although the lake is popular for boating, there are several great areas for angling where you can catch trout, walleye, channel catfish, largemouth bass, crappie and more. The west end of the lake is blocked off as a “no wake area,” offering a quiet place for swimming and fishing.
All around the park there are excellent hiking trails. Most of them are pretty rugged but you can get trail information at the ranger station. The country around the lake is beautiful and there are petroglyphs located throughout.
Lyman Lake State Park boasts a variety of wildlife that includes elk, deer, eagles, and a number of interesting reptiles like the plateau striped whiptail and sagebrush lizard.
If you want to stay at the park, there is a campground with a wide variety of sites from very rugged to full-service. It has some of the best camping in Arizona. Beach camping is available and there are cabins, cabana-type shelters and yurts. The park has horseshoe pits, volleyball courts and other facilities for fun.
At Lyman Lake State Park, you can enjoy not only the park itself but also nearby attractions like Petrified Forest National Park, the White Mountains, the Sunrise ski area, and more.