Stand Up Paddling and Kayaking Saguaro Lake!

Saguaro Lake is an easily accessible body of water is located on the outskirts of Mesa, in the southeast valley, with direct access from Tempe, Phoenix, Chandler, Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and the surrounding areas.

Saguaro lake has 22 fun-filled miles of scenic shoreline, and is a favorite to paddle at sunrise, during the day, or at sunset when the colors on the canyon’s walls become brilliant and golden. Paddle Boarding and Kayaking at Saguaro Lake wonderful to enjoy year round, with cooler temperatures around December, and of course, during summertime, it can be a perfect place to cool off and have a relaxing day with family or friends. Saguaro Lake paddle boarding is a favorite for an invigorating exercise paddle, full-moon paddles, SUP picnicking directly on your board secured up to friends, special occasions, or just a leisurely solo SUP, if that is what you prefer.

Sup Paddleboard Saguaro Lake

Saguaro Lake offers a couple popular locations to launch. The Saguaro Lake Marina and Butcher Jones Recreation Site. At both locations will require you to display a your National Parks Pass or Tonto National Park Pass. The daily Tonto Pases can be bought at the kiosk onsite, or at a local convenience store or supermarket, which is recommended so you are prepared.

Saguaro Lake Marina 

During a busy weekend, launching at one of the boat ramps may be a little busy with boaters, kayakers and paddle boarders. One of our favorite locations to launch at the marina is the Saguaro Del Norte Recreation Site, where you will find shaded ramadas and other random areas to drop in, at several ‘beach spots’ that hug the parking areas. At the end of the parking area, you will find a less congested dock to drop in easily.

Butcher Jones Recreation Site, Saguaro Lake, AZ

Driving further on Bush Highway, you will come upon Butchers Jones Picnic Site and Swimming Beach. There is a large open beach area, still part of Saguaro Lake, with occasional meandering wild horses! This is a pleasant area to picnic or drop in with larger groups. Also at Butcher Jones, there is an easy to moderate hiking ‘Trail 463’, where you can backpack your iSUP, and hike for approximately 30 minutes (or longer if you choose) to discover a beautiful cove. You can then unload, hand pump your inflatable board, and paddle back. That is a great total body workout!

During the summer months, Riverbound Sports offers Saguaro Lake paddle boarding and kayaking rentals with onsite pickup at this location.

(*TIP: safety reminder, you must have a PFD when paddle boarding or kayaking at Saguaro Lake.)

Kayak or SUP Camping on the Lake

Bagley Flat is a great spot for camping on Saguaro Lake. About 4 miles up the lake and it offers a perfect place to go kayaking or SUP Camping. The site offers open grills and tables, as well as shade from the mesquite trees for plenty of shade in the summertime. It’s even got an easy to access courtesy dock for easy entry and exit from the water. The dock also provides a great place for the fishermen to relax and throw in a fishing line. You can explore the hiking trails that lead across dry riverbeds full or cacti flowers rich with color during springtime blooms.

This is also a great place for a day camping location, Boat Rentals Saguaro Lake offer motorized boats to explorer the lake, try wake surfing or just explorer the lake for the day with family and friends.

Paddle Board and Kayak Rental Saguaro Lake

Riverbound Sports Saguaro Lake Kayaking rentals are available year-round for pickup at local paddle shop in Tempe. Riverbound Sports offers both standard hard or inflatable paddle boards and kayaks and can supply all the equipment you need to get on the water starting at $40 a day. Check out our pricing and options for Paddleboard Rentals in Arizona.

Rent A Paddleboard or Kayak Now
Kayaks on the lakeside at Butcher Jones Recreation Site for Riverbound Sports Saguaro Lake kayak rental.

Saguaro Lake FAQ’s

Can you rent kayaks at Saguaro Lake?

Saguaro Lake does not offer kayak or paddleboard rentals onsite. However, during the summer months, Riverbound Sports provides weekend lakeside rentals at Butcher Jones Recreation site for a convenient way to paddle without transporting SUPs or kayaks. Another convenient option year rounds is our easy grab and go pickup options from our shop location. Both hard or inflatable kayak and paddleboard options are available.

How much does it cost to get into Saguaro Lake?

Saguaro lake is in the Tonto national Forest Pass and requires Tonto Daily Pass – $8.00 good for a 24 hours from Retailers such as Riverbound Sports. Onsite kiosk – $12.00 good for 24 hours and available at both the launch ramp and Butcher Jones Recreation Site. Tonto Discovery Pass – $80.00 are an annual pass sold at Tonto National Forest Offices. Other Options: America the Beautiful Annual Passes (Nationals Park Pass) – $80.00

Where to SUP paddleboard in Arizona?

Here is a list of our 5 favorite places to paddle around Phoenix, Arizona.

• Saguaro Lake- Butcher Jones Recreation Site

• Salt River – Water Users to Phon D Sutton (Summer Only)

• Canyon Lake – Boulder Recreation Area

• Bartlett Lake – Bartlett Lake Flats

• Lake Pleasant – Fireman’s Cove

Do I need a life jacket on a paddleboard at Saguaro Lake?

The US Coast Guard classifies a paddleboard or kayak as a vessel and requires: Adult Paddlers over the age of 12 must have a “USCG-approved Personal Floatation Device (PFD). Although life jackets are not required to be worn on paddle crafts, a PFD for each person must be carried on the vessel. We suggest for your safety that life jackets be worn at all times. Children under the age of 12 years must wear a well fitted life jacket while on the water paddling. Safety Leashes are not required to be worn by law but have proven to save lives in conditions that may be found on Saguaro Lake. #wearit #leashessaveslives