When one thinks of Mesa, Arizona, one thing immediately comes to mind – heat. It’s a common misconception that Mesa is a dry desert and doesn’t possess many other qualities. On the contrary, there are many lakes less than an hour away from the suburban city, and swimming in them is considered one of the only ways to escape from the scorching heat of the summer. Saguaro lake, the nearest reservoir to Mesa with only a half an hour drive, is always densely populated with surfers, wake boarders, and tubers, and provides a fun family environment for all who decide to jump in.
Long before Saguaro Lake was used for recreational activity and water storage, it was known as the Salt River. The Salt River runs through Mesa, Tempe, Scottsdale, and the southernmost part of Phoenix. Early settlers in Arizona were forced to rely on this river for their agricultural needs, running the risk of it overflowing or drying up in the event of a drought. This was a common occurrence, and one that the settlers sought to control. In 1903, the Salt River Valley Water Users’ Association was formed, and funding was set aside to construct the massive Roosevelt Dam. The dam was finished in 1911, and became the highest masonry dam ever built. This dam created what the SRP most likely regards as their crowing achievement: Roosevelt Lake. By far the largest of the lakes created by the Salt River Project, it feeds its water into the three smaller remaining lakes that are located below it.
Over the course of the next twenty years, the SRP continued to build more dams and create more lakes. The Salt River Reservoirs consist of four main bodies of water: Roosevelt Lake, Apache Lake, Canyon Lake, and Saguaro Lake. The Stewart Mountain Dam, completed in 1930, was the last dam to be built under the SRP, forming the third largest lake in the project. Saguaro Lake is downstream from Canyon Lake, and is the bottom-most lake that the Salt River feeds into. At the deepest point, the body of water reaches 110 feet, and stretches over 1.9 miles. It is located within the Tonto National Forrest, the largest of the six national forests in Arizona, and is protected by government laws that pertain to the forest.
Open for business every day of the week, Saguaro Lake packs in hundreds of visitors with the promise of a fun and enjoyable time. From wake boarders to fishers, wake boarders to kayakers, the lake holds an exciting new adventure for everyone who visits. Without the hard work and dedication of the early settlers of Arizona who poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the Salt River Project, the many lakes surrounding Mesa would never have come into being. The locals and visitors alike who enjoy the cool waters of Saguaro will forever be grateful to those hard workers and volunteers, and will continue to repay their service by using the beautiful lakes they’ve created every chance they get.
Monday, Wednesday Thursday :
8:30 AM – 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Tuesday & Friday :
8:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Walk-ins are Welcome!
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