By Kate Wallace
Visitors bound for Mesa, Ariz. in the summertime have plenty of ways to cool off, especially with so many of the city’s hotels within minutes of the area’s lakes and rivers. It’s always surprising for visitors to discover that this desert destination is actually an oasis. There are three lakes and two rivers for desert boating, fishing, rafting, kayaking, wake boarding and jet skiing. Or, partake in tubing, a leisurely float along the cool waters of the Salt River via inner tube!
WET & WILD ADVENTURE
No boat, no problem. Guests can rent a variety of watercraft ranging from pontoon and fishing boats to personal jet skis and even wakeboarding boats. At Jet Action Rentals, visitors can rent jet skis already equipped on a trailer ready for towing to open waters. Daily rentals start at $125. At Az Power Toys in Mesa, visitors can rent a wakeboarding boat with all the gear necessary to have an adrenaline-pumping day on the lake. Precision Marine, located at both Canyon and Saguaro Lakes, offers hourly and daily rentals of their fishing boats. Anglers will want to consider getting their fishing permit as all lakes are fully stocked with bass, trout, walleye, catfish and more.
Set sail on the Dolly Steamboat at Canyon Lake and watch Arizona’s stars twinkle on the water. Take in either a Twilight Dinner Cruise or the popular Twilight Astronomy Cruise hosted monthly by astronomy expert Dr. Sky. Passengers will have the use of onboard telescopes to view the breathtaking beauty of the solar system. Each cruise runs for 2.5 hours and offers a buffet-style menu. Visit dollysteamboat.com for dates, details and summer pricing.
BEFORE YOU GO
As the fifth largest forest in the United States, the Tonto National Forest is one of the most-visited “urban” forests in the country and home to the Salt and Verde Rivers and Saguaro, Canyon and Apache Lakes all near Mesa. A Tonto Pass, a daily (24-hour) recreation pass for visitors, is required. Passes sell for $6 per vehicle plus a watercraft use fee of $4 per watercraft. Passes are available at 200 locations in the Mesa area, including nearby convenience stores.
For more information on planning your summer water-filled adventures head to visitmesa.com.
Start planning your water adventures at allegiant.com.