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5 Must-Visit Lakes in Arizona for a Perfect Cabin Getaway

5 Must-Visit Lakes in Arizona for a Perfect Cabin Getaway

Olly Gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, full-time traveler for 6 years. I visit every place I write about & share real tips, photos, & advice from my trips.

From Death Valley to The Grand Canyon, Arizona has landscapes that look like another planet. Along with the red rocks and cacti, there are also beautiful lakes that offer a refreshing escape from the desert heat.

Located throughout the state, these lakes provide not only a break from the heat but also stunning views and outdoor activities. You can ski, fish, boat, or simply relax by the water. And what better way to enjoy these lakes than by staying in a cozy cabin rental or lake house?

Below I’ve listed my top five lakes in Arizona with cabins for rent to help you stay cool in the dry heat.

My personal favorite is Lake Havasu, with its built-up beaches, crystal clear waters, and luxurious retreats for big families like this Backyard Resort. Still, you can also find some otherworldly and unique lakes in the state, like Lake Powell for a romantic getaway.

1. Canyon Lake

Just 50 miles east of Phoenix is some serious natural beauty with Canyon Lake. This Central Arizona lake is nestled inside the Tonto National Forest near Christopher Creek and rests along the red canyon walls that make up the imposing Superstition Mountains. Tucked away, you'll be surrounded by peaceful solitude and wildlife, like bald eagles who call this lake home.

Canyon Lake is an excellent choice for anglers, with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and walleye that roam the waters. If great fishing isn't your thing, you can also enjoy a scenic boat ride through the canyon or hike along one of the many trails, including my favorite, the Boulder Canyon Viewpoint. You'll even find tours like The Dolly Steamboat that will take you through the lake's narrow waterways and up close to the towering cliffs.

Because of the remote area of Canyon Lake, waterfront properties are essentially nonexistent unless you want to stay on a campground, the best way to enjoy the lake is by staying in a cozy cabin or a mountain retreat in the Superstition Mountains.

Best cabins at Canyon Lake

  • Mountain View Getaway -  Just a short drive from Canyon Lake, this cozy cabin has stunning mountain views and easy access to hiking trails, plus a private deck to enjoy the scenery.
  • Luxury Holiday Home - Desert vibes and luxury collide in this spacious holiday home, with hot tub views of Flat Iron. Located just a few minutes from Canyon Lake, Lost Dutchman State Park, and grocery shops.
  • Casita - An adobe-style home with stunning mountain views, this casita is perfect for exploring the desert. Enjoy the enclosed sunroom with a ceiling fan overlooking the Superstition Mountains.
Canyon lake in arizona
Photo by Ian Dziuk on Unsplash

2. Roper Lake

A small but beautiful lake located in eastern Arizona, Roper Lake is the perfect destination for those who want to get out in nature and have some peace of mind. Inside the Roper Lake State Park, the lake sits near Mt Graham and is surrounded by stunning mountain views.

One of the main activities at Roper Lake is fishing, with a variety of fish, such as bass, catfish, and rainbow trout in its waters. This great lake also offers boat rentals, kayaks, and paddle boards at the boat ramps for those who want to explore the lake by water. In the winter months, some popular activities at Roper Lake include hiking, bird watching, and camping.

The state park offers cabins with air conditioning that will have you in the thick of nature, but if you're looking for a more luxurious stay, there are retreat homes on the outside of the park for big families and groups.

Best cabins at Roper Lake

  • Log Cabin by the Lake - Right on the water, this cozy air-conditioned log cabin offers a private patio, stunning lake views, and a cabin area with charcoal grills. It's a great budget option on the lake.
  • Historic Home - A historic home located in Safford, just a short drive from Roper Lake and centrally located. With a spacious kitchen area and elegant decor is perfect for larger families or groups.
  • Gila Valley Cottage - This charming cottage is in a quiet neighborhood near Mt. Graham and hot springs, and offers home comforts with easy access to Roper Lake State Park.
Lakes in arizona with cabins roper lake cabins
Roper Lake - Photo by: Arizona State Parks & Trails

3. Alamo Lake

Head west to see Alamo Lake's rural beauty, a scenic reservoir in La Paz County, Arizona. This hidden gem, nestled in a rugged desert landscape, had a population of just 25 in 2020! So, prepare for a few days off the grid, reconnecting with nature.

With its remote location, Alamo Lake is the perfect place for exploring. The lake has some of the best Bass fishing in the state, or you can paddle board and kayak in the crystal clear waters. You can also take to the trails in Alamo Lake State Park on foot or by bike, if you like adrenaline, try out the high-speed mountain biking trails.

After a day on the water, unwind at a nearby campground or in a cozy cabin. Enjoy your evenings stargazing and embracing the tranquil wilderness for a truly magical escape.

Best cabins at Alamo Lake

  • Alamo Lake Cabin - These rustic cabins offer a peaceful retreat with beautiful views of the lake for four guests. With a wooden porch, picnic area, and fishing right on the shore
  • Glamping Farm - A unique Glamping experience under the stars, just 30 minutes from Alamo Lake. Stay in a cozy tent with standard amenities, including a private bathroom and outdoor shower.
Alamo lake cabin - arizona state parks
Alamo Lake - Photo by: Arizona State Parks

4. Lake Havasu

For a desert oasis, Lake Havasu has everything you need for a fun and relaxing vacation. Located on the Colorado River in Arizona, the popular lake is the most built-up area for miles and is an excellent location for those coming from California, Nevada, and Phoenix.

Lake Havasu State Park is a busy destination featuring marinas, restaurants, golf courses, and shops, highlighted by the iconic London Bridge. It's a hotspot for water sports with its clear waters and sunny weather, perfect for boating, jet skiing, and parasailing. Visitors can enjoy public access to explore coves and beaches and relax on sandy shores for sunbathing, swimming, or picnicking.

Out of all the lakes in Arizona, the rental properties in Lake Havasu are the best. With large condos, cozy cottages, and luxurious cabins available with private docks for fishing and boat access, fire pits, and BBQ grills for outdoor cooking. Some even have hot tubs perfect for stargazing at night!

Best cabins at Lake Havasu

  • Lake House Getaway - This beautiful lakefront property has four bedrooms, three bathrooms, and a private pool. Its open living room layout, full kitchen, and stunning lake views make it ideal for a group or family vacation.
  • Backyard Resort - This luxurious lake house boasts a resort-style backyard complete with a heated pool, hot tub, and tiki bar for a year-round stay.
  • Waterfront Condo - Just a short walk to the golf course, marina, and downtown area, this waterfront condo offers the perfect combination of convenience and relaxation.
Lake havasu boat and family
Lake Havasu - Waterfront Condo / VRBO

5. Lake Powell

Discover Lake Powell, a unique and breathtaking spot in the US on the Utah-Arizona border. This man-made reservoir is an iconic destination for outdoor adventures. Close to the Grand Canyon State Park and Zion National Park in Northern Arizona, you'll have easy access to one-of-a-kind hikes like the New Wave and Horseshoe Bend. 

Lake Powell, with its nearly 2,000 miles of shoreline and perfect weather, is the ultimate playground with endless sunshine, warm water, and out-of-this-world scenery. You can enjoy wakeboarding, water skiing, tubing, and kayaking, all under the beautiful orange and red canyon walls.

Smack in the middle of the desert, Lake Powell has some of the coolest lake stays in the country. From luxurious hotels with pools and spas to cozy bed and breakfasts that make you feel like a local, everywhere you look is the great outdoors.

Best cabins at Lake Powell

  • Resort Style Holiday Home - A luxurious three-story home with boat parking and easy access to the lake. Enjoy your own private pool and hot tub as well as access to a nearby golf course.
  • Lake Powell Resort - A beautiful resort located on the shores of Lake Powell, you'll have direct access to a private beach and stunning views of the surrounding desert landscape.
  • Canvas Under the Stars - Just a short distance from the nearest town of Page, this glamping resort offers a unique experience with luxury tents and a true escape under the stars.
Canvas under the stars
Lake Powell - Canvas Under Stars / VRBO

FAQs About Arizona's Lakes

What is the best lake to visit in Arizona?

Lake Havasu is widely considered the best lake to visit in Arizona and is also my personal favorite. It's known for its clear waters and vibrant social scene and offers a variety of water sports and has excellent accommodations, including luxurious lake houses and cozy cabins. This is one of the best choices if you're looking for a getaway in AZ!

How old do you have to be to rent a cabin in AZ?

In Arizona, you generally need to be at least 18 years old to legally enter into a rental agreement for a cabin. Services like AirBnb and VRBO also have age restrictions for people under 18. That said, I've also noticed that some property owners and rental agencies might require renters to be at least 21 or 25 years old, especially for larger properties or those with more luxurious amenities.

How much does it cost to rent a cabin in Arizona?

The cost of renting a cabin in Arizona varies based on location, size, and amenities. For example, budget options like the cozy Log Cabin by Roper Lake might be available for around $100 per night, while more luxurious accommodations like the Lake House Getaway at Lake Havasu could cost upwards of $300 per night. Remember that seasonal variations can also affect pricing, with higher rates typically seen during peak travel seasons (Summer).

Unlike other states, Arizona has a way of sparking the imagination, and I hope the lakefront rentals in this guide have captured yours.

To turn that spark into a full-blown flame, check out my other guides digging into the best lakeside cabins across the United States below.

Featured image: Lake Powell by Olivier Chatel

Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure traveler from Australia. I’ve spent the last six years traveling the world full-time, sharing my first-hand experiences & photography in over 700 travel guides on We Seek Travel. I visit every destination I write about to bring you unique travel itineraries, epic hiking routes, fun tour ideas, travel & photography gear ideas, & interesting places to stay.

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.