River adventures in Scottsdale

An exhilarating Scottsdale adventure is not simply about the desert. It has several rivers and waterways where you can go fishing, jet skiing and parasailing to river rafting, shore-side hiking and historic steamboat tours.

So what are you waiting for? Get out of your comfy Scottsdale rental house with a newly installed garage door and take part in the different river adventures that the place has to offer.

Where to head off?

Go to the scenic Salt River

Located about 30 miles east of Scottsdale, the Salt River offers calm-water rafting, tubing, kayaking, canoeing and fishing. If you are up for a wild adventure, head off to the wild-child Upper Salt River which offers whitewater thrills on class III and IV rapids called “Maytag,” “Overboard” and “Mescal Falls.”

Get a relaxing adventure at the Verde River

The Verde River is another popular spot for rafting, kayaking, fishing and birding. The Verde’s peaceful waters and riparian surroundings make it an excellent spot to relax and enjoy the beauty of the Sonoran Desert.

Enjoy some water fun at the Saguaro River

Located 35 miles northeast of downtown Scottsdale, the Saguaro River boasts more than 22 miles of shoreline and plenty of on-the-water-fun, including power boating, water skiing, sailing, jet skiing, kayaking and fishing. At the marina, you can rent a runabout, fishing or pontoon boat, or take a 90-minute guided tour on a double-decker paddleboat, the Desert Belle. The Lakeshore Restaurant offers tasty cuisine and panoramic scenic views.

Jetski at Bartlett Lake

Located in the heart of the Tonto National Forest just 50 minutes north of downtown Scottsdale, this desert gem offers a full-service marina with pontoon and ski boat rentals, a general store, and dock-side grill (seasonal). Water skiing, jet skiing and fishing are all popular pastimes at Bartlett Lake.

Have a pleasant day at Lake Pleasant

One of the largest lakes in the area, Lake Pleasant offers more than 50 miles of shoreline and 10,000 acres of clear blue water perfect for boating, house boating, sailing, water skiing, parasailing, jet skiing and fishing. Twelve species of fish are stocked in Lake Pleasant, including large-mouth, white and striped bass; bluegill, tilapia and crappie.

Enjoy the view at Canyon Lake

Canyon Lake provides amazing views of red-rock canyon walls and unusual rock formations. This lake lies in the Superstition Mountain Wilderness area and is the gateway to the Apache Trail, which leads to both Apache Lake and Roosevelt Lake. Recreational options include scenic hiking around the shore, as well as well as boating, water skiing, fishing, jet skiing. For a real treat, take the Dolly Steamboat cruise and listen as your captain narrates the legends and lore of the mysterious Superstition Mountains.

Take in the wonderful landscapes in Apache Lake

High canyon walls and deep mountain valleys accent one of the most beautiful landscapes in Arizona. There are several miles of dirt road leading to Apache Lake, but it is accessible to passenger cars. Though small, this lake is a spectacular site for boating, fishing, water skiing and hiking. The marina offers pontoon and fishing boat rentals.