Wild Logo v4

7 Awesome Recreational Lakes near Yuma, AZ

Despite its dry climate, Yuma has quite a few excellent lakes to offer. Most of the options are on the Colorado River. They provide decent fishing and camping, and some are fantastic boating destinations.
ItIsWild.com - Lakes near Yuma Arizona

With scorching summers and mild winters, you can enjoy Yuma’s lakes year-round. And luckily, there are quite a few of them on offer.

The nearest options are Redondo and Fortuna Lakes – community fishing ponds with camping and kayaking. And the rest are the Colorado River lakes which offer excellent fishing and boating.

All of the options provide camping facilities, so renting an RV to go on a lake trip, is an excellent idea here. Check out Yuma’s lakes!

Lakes near Yuma:

  1. Redondo Lake
  2. Fortuna Lake
  3. Mittry Lake
  4. Squaw Lake
  5. Senator Wash Reservoir
  6. Martinez Lake
  7. Ferguson Lake
Lakes near Yuma Arizona Comparison Table

1. Redondo Lake

Redondo Lake with mountains and an yuma lakes rv resort on the background yuma arizona
Source: depositphotos
  • Official Page: Redondo Lake
  • Distance from Yuma: 12 miles (20 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Camping, RVs

Redondo Lake is a small 11-acre reservoir in Buckshot. Although a no-thrills place, it’s the nearest lake to cast a rod and unwind.

The amenities here include a fishing pier, an unpaved boat ramp, and restrooms, but that’s really it.

The most popular activity at Redondo Lake is fishing. It’s a community fishing water, so it gets stocked occasionally with cats and trout. You can check the schedule on the AZGFD

Typical species at Redondo Lake are largemouth bass, bluegill, sunfish, channel catfish, and rainbow trout. The bank access isn’t great, so your best options are a fishing pier or a boat.

Boating is restricted to electric motors only, and frankly, the lake is too small for fast boats. Also, you can kayak and canoe here; it’s an excellent local spot to test new equipment and prepare for larger lakes.

The cool thing about this reservoir is that it’s home to Yuma Lakes RV Resort. It has over a hundred sites and plenty of amenities, including a jacuzzi and heated pool. 

Overall, it’s a simple cozy lake very close to Yuma. It’s best suited for short fishing expeditions and catching a break from the city.

Related: 11 Best Lakes near Tucson, AZ

2. Fortuna Lake

Bird on Fortuna Lake in Yuma Arizona
Source: unsplash
  • Official Page: Fortuna Lake
  • Distance from Yuma: 12 miles (20 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Camping, RVs

Fortuna Lake is another community fishing lake just 20 minutes from Yuma downtown. It’s a well-known spot that gets busy during weekends.

Fishing is the main activity here. Anglers report average results, although AZGFD stocks it. The typical catch is largemouth bass, channel catfish, bluegill, and carp. 

The shoreline access here is better than at Redondo Lake, and there is a long pier for fishing, too. Plus, there is access to Gila River, so really, you’re getting a two-in-one destination.

However, there are no launching ramps on the lake, but you can go kayaking and canoeing to enjoy this little oasis.

Also, this reservoir is a designated BLM campground, but the facilities are practically non-existent; all you get is a dumpster and a porta-potty. Yet, many folks make it their home for a week or two. (14-day limit)

Naturally, the biggest advantage here is the proximity to Yuma. It’s not a versatile recreational lake, but for evening getaways, it will do.

Related: 11 Incredible Recreational Lakes near Phoenix, AZ

3. Mittry Lake

Sunset on Mittry Lake on Colorado River near Imperial Dam Yuma Arizona
Source: flickr/CC BY 2.0
  • Official Page: Mittry Lake
  • Distance from Yuma: 17 miles (30 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Camping, RVs, Hiking

Mittry Lake┬áis a 750-acre reservoir on the Colorado River, just 30 minutes from Yuma. It’s a popular spot with excellent access for fishing and camping. You can rent an RV and join the local boondocking crowd to get a taste of road life.

The reservoir is a part of the wildlife area that is teeming with birds and reptiles. It’s connected to the Colorado River and adjacent ponds, creating a natural maze that’s fun to explore.

The best spot for visiting is the boat ramp area on the lake’s southern end. It has plenty of parking and several jetties for fishing. 

Swimming is allowed at Mittry Lake. It’s the perfect spot to cool off in summer, and the water is relatively clear, too.

When it comes to boating, there are no restrictions on motor size, but sports like skiing and wakeboarding are prohibited here.

However, fishing is just OK at Mittry Lake. Although there are reports of 6lbs+ largemouth, it can be hard to find. You can also catch bluegill, channel and flathead catfish, and smallmouth bass.

In addition to all the water activities, Mittry Lake is a popular boondocking spot. The max stay is 10 days; there are no developed facilities, but it’s free, and the area is gorgeous.

Overall, it’s an excellent option, especially for wildlife enthusiasts and boaters. And it’s close to home.

4. Squaw Lake

Squaw Lake on Colorado River near Yuma and Imperial Dam Arizona
Source: depositphotos
  • Official Page: Squaw Lake
  • Distance from Yuma: 24 miles (35 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Camping, RVs, Hiking, MTBs

Squaw Lake is a reservoir up the stream from Mittry Lake on the Colorado River. It’s part of the two-lake cluster that provides a wide range of activities and excellent camping.

The access area at Squaw Lake is a managed BLM facility with fees. You get a paved boat ramp, picnic tables, restrooms, and token showers for your money. The camping limit is 14 days.

Squaw Lake is a no-wake reservoir with a 5mph speed limit, so there is no skiing or wakeboarding here. However, the lake connects to the river, which has no restriction; just be mindful of the current there.

Swimming is allowed at Squaw Lake, and it’s a popular place to cool off in summer while grilling with friends and family. Also, paddling sports like canoeing and kayaking are excellent here. 

When it comes to fishing, there are just a handful of reports about this lake, but most of them are pretty good. Most anglers go for largemouth bass, but there are also carp and various types of catfish. Shoreline access is pretty good.

Also, it’s worth mentioning that the land around the lake has plenty of trails for hiking and biking. Although it has no shade or much vegetation, the views of the surrounding lakes and the river are breathtaking.

Related: 11 Best Lakes near Tucson, AZ

5. Senator Wash Reservoir

Senator Wash Reservoir on Colorado River Arizona and BLM Volunteer Couple
Source: flickr/CC BY 2.0 Photo: Jack and Sandy Gasser, long-term Senator Wash Volunteers
  • Official Page: Senator Wash Reservoir
  • Distance from Yuma: 24 miles (35 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Camping, RVs, Hiking, MTBs, Wakeboarding, Water Skiing, Tubing

Senator Wash Reservoir is right across the road from Squaw Lake. It’s the nearest lake to Yuma, with no restrictions on boating activities.

The reservoir has similar facilities to Squaw Lake. Its southern shore has a boat ramp, restrooms, and showers. But the northern access area is a lot more primitive and quiet.

Senator Wash is an off-stream reservoir, so you don’t have to worry about the current here. 

Unlike others near Yuma, it allows boating sports like jet skiing, wakeboarding, and skiing, making it a fun destination.

Swimming is allowed at Senator Wash, too. It’s a popular activity here due to the clear warm water and pebble beaches.

But when it comes to fishing, the reservoir is average. It’s not a well-known fishing destination, but you can catch a bass or two here. The typical species at Senator Wash are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, channel catfish, and crappie.

Overall, it’s a fun lake that can get pretty busy on weekends, but mind the water level; it fluctuates a lot.

Related: 11 Incredible Recreational Lakes near Phoenix, AZ

6. Martinez Lake

Martinez Lake on Colorado River Arizona during Sunset
Source: flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Official Page: Martinez Lake
  • Distance from Yuma: 35 miles (45 min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Camping, RVs, Hiking, MTBs, Wakeboarding, Water Skiing, Tubing

All things considered, Martinez Lake is probably the best destination on the list. It sits on the Colorado River, too, but it’s the most developed lake on the river. Plus, it has incredible fishing.

The best way to access the lake is to visit Martinez Lake Resort which has anything you may need. It’s a little town on the lake with marinas, lodges, and stores geared toward water tourism.

The lake itself has two distinct seasons. In spring, when the water is at its highest, it’s a boater’s haven. You can ski, wakeboard, tube, and race powerboats.

In winter, it’s a place for paddlers and nature enthusiasts who come to photograph the diverse wildlife teeming here.

In addition to fantastic kayaking and boating, it’s a well-regarded fishery with a wide selection of species and an excellent bite. You can expect largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, striped bass, bluegill, channel catfish, and many more.

In short, Lake Martinez is a lot of fun and the most versatile lake on the list. It will suit solitude seekers, powerboat fanatics, and everyone in between.

7. Ferguson Lake

Sunset on Ferguson Lake near Colorado River Arizona
Source: flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
  • Official Page: Ferguson Lake
  • Distance from Yuma: 32 miles (1h 15min)
  • Activities: Fishing, Boating, Kayaking, Canoeing, Swimming, Camping, RVs, Hiking, MTBs

Ferguson Lake is entirely different from Martinez Lake. It’s remote and uninhabited, with only a handful of visitors every month. It’s located on the Colorado River, away from the hustle and bustle of cities and other lakes. 

There are two ways to get here. One is the gravel road, unsuitable for RVs and low clearance vehicles – an adventure in itself. And the second way is to come by boat. You can put in at Martinez Lake, go up the river for a couple of miles, and camp. 

The main reason people come here is to boondock and enjoy the solitude. You can stay for up to 14 days. 

The area offers hiking and biking trails with stunning views over the lake. Kayaking and canoeing are exceptional here, too. You won’t be disturbed by boats or jetskis.

And when it comes to fishing, you can expect similar conditions as Martinez Lake. Most people target largemouth bass and catfish.

Overall, it’s a remote spot ideal for long-term travelers and seasoned adventurers. 

More Lakes in Arizona:

Hiking Trails in Arizona:

You Might Also Like: