Explore many ecosystems on Arizona’s Saguaro Lake via a sight-seeing cruise
Arizona has many lakes, most of which are man-made, formed by the creation of dams and reservoirs. Saguaro Lake, approximately 40 miles east of Phoenix, is one such lake, created by the construction of Stewart Mountain Dam on the Salt River. The lake is about 110 feet deep at its deepest point and has over 22 miles of shoreline, home to several different ecosystems. A ninety-minute narrated cruise on the Desert Belle is a great way to explore the lake and its ecosystems.
Saguaro Lake shoreline includes areas with rocky crags, deciduous trees, cacti and marshland.
Saguaro Lake is a popular spot for a number of water activities, including boating, kayaking, sailing, skiing, jet skiing and fishing. The Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks the lake with walleye, largemouth and yellow bass, rainbow and brown trout, catfish and crappie.
Many types of birds make their habitat in the Saguaro Lake area. You may also spot wildlife along the shore. Unfortunately I did not see much wildlife on the cruise I was on and have no pictures to share.
The Desert Belle is a two-level boat with bathrooms and a snack bar. Seating is available on an open deck or a more enclosed area on the lower level. The guide speaks over an intercom system and talks about floral and fauna along the way, pointing out items of interest. I found the cruise to be a pleasant, relaxing and informational outing.
The Desert Belle sails from Saguaro Lake Marina two to three times a day, depending on the day and the season. To guarantee a seat, it is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance on the Desert Belle website.