Pleasant Lake, AZ
Lake Size: 7,500 Acres
Deepest Depth: Average Depth 70 feet
Lake Level Above Sea Level: 1,700 feet (520 meters)
Counties: Yavapai County
Lake Management: Central AZ Project Aqueduct
Information: The cornerstone of the park is the 10,000 acre (40 km²), Lake Pleasant, one of the important artificial reservoirs surrounding the Phoenix metropolitan area. Created by the Waddell Dam, which was finished in 1928, the lake originally had a surface area of 3,700 acres (15 km²) and served as a private irrigation project. At 76 feet (23 m) high and 2,160 feet (658 m) long, the original Waddell Dam was, at its completion, the largest agricultural dam project in the world. The lake was filled by the Agua Fria River, capturing a large watershed throughout Yavapai County.
Construction of the Central Arizona Project Aqueduct, which began in 1973, soon diverted water from the Colorado River to the lake, converting the lake from an agricultural project into a storage reservoir for the project. The lake did not have enough capacity to fill this role, and construction of a new dam was authorized. Completed in 1993, the New Waddell Dam tripled the surface area of the lake, submerging the old dam beneath its waters. Shortly after the completion of the dam, the area experienced a prolonged drought, and while the lake grew considerably it would never reach full capacity until early 2005. Although still fed by the Agua Fria River, the CAP aqueduct is the primary source of water for the reservoir.
Lake Pleasant is used as a major water sports recreation center for the Phoenix metro area, as well as serving as an important storage reservoir for the rapidly growing region. A number of boat docks make the lake a popular destination for water skiing, jet skiing, sailing and other water sports, and the lake is stocked with a number of fish for angling purposes.
| || |
- Miscellaneous Info
| Boating Facility Features-facilities are maintained by the Maricopa County Parks Department.
Paved, Gravel, Dirt, Boat Access, Boats to Rent, Motors to Rent, Licenses for Sale, Groceries, Gas and Oil, Tackle and Equipment, Live Bait Fish, Restaurants, Swimming, Any Motor Size, 4 Public Launch Ramps,
Waterskiing, Parking Area with Trailer Spaces, Tables
Drinking Water, Handicap Barrier Free, Restrooms
Camping Allowed |
|Fish Species- Largemouth Bass, White Bass, Striped Bass
Crappie, Sunfish, Catfish (Channel), Tilapia, Carp, Buffalo fish.|
Campground - RV
Campground - Tent/Primitive
|The park covers a total of over 23,000 acres (93 km²) of mountainous desert landscape, including the lake, and boasts a number of other recreational activities, such as mountain biking, camping, and hiking. The park also has an educational visitors' center that provides information regarding the history of the lake, the construction of the Waddell Dam and the surrounding areas.
The presence of the lake has also attracted other recreational activities in the area, such as a dirt racetrack and a large glider school/airport.
The rapidly growing city of Peoria has annexed the park and surrounding lands with an eye on future development. The increasing popularity of the area is evidenced by rapidly growing subdivisions and skyrocketing real estate values, and the city has zoned much of the land in the immediate vicinity for both high-end residential neighborhoods and commercial opportunities. Several plans also call for expanding the existing airstrip to be expanded into a regional airport.