Have you ever heard of Alamo Lake State Park? If you’ve visited Alamo Lake State Park, it’s likely you find yourself wondering why more Arizonians aren’t constantly raving about this hidden treasure. Located roughly 40 miles from Lake Havasu City, Alamo Lake State Park is an undisturbed oasis for fishers, boaters, hikers, bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts in general.
For those who are just learning about this state park or simply need more information, this article will cover what Alamo Lake State Park is known for, the park’s must-see spots, hiking trails, parks, and camping information, and nearby accommodation.
1. What Alamo Lake State Park is Known For
Alamo Lake was created with the completion of Alamo Dam in 1968. Today, the park’s glistening water, mountainous terrain, and bustling wildlife remain as one of Arizona’s best-kept secrets. Indisputably located away from the noise and stress of city life, the park offers its visitors a lovely area to retreat, relax, and reconnect with nature.
Among the state park’s frequenters, Alamo Lake is best known for fishing, boating, swimming, hiking and biking, off-roading, and viewing wildlife.
Alamo Lake State Park is arguably one of the best places to fish for bass and crappie in all of Arizona. The park’s lake spans 3,500 acres and is booming with largemouth bass, crappie, red ear sunfish, channel catfish, tilapia, and bluegill. Rumor has it, Alamo Lake’s best fishing conditions are from February through July.
A valid Arizona fishing license is required for fishers who are 10 years and older. Licensing information is available on the Arizona Game and Fish website, but visitors can also purchase their fishing license from the Alamo Lake park store.
This lake does experience changes in water level. Therefore, it’s always best to call the park office to check on the current lake levels before your visit.
All watercraft users (including non-motorized boats) are more than welcome to responsibly enjoy the beauty of Lake Alamo. There are three lake boat ramps located inside of the state park:
- Main Boat Ramp – Located just inside the park, always open.
- Cholla Boat Ramp – Located in the park’s Cholla Campground, generally open for use but can close if water levels become too low.
- High Water Boat Ramp – Located just east of the Main Boat Ramp by the boat parking lot, only available if the water levels are high enough that launching from the ramp is safe.
Alamo Lake State Park requires boaters to be properly registered before utilizing the lake. To learn more about the necessary registration and recommended safety gear, visit the Arizona Game and Fish Watercraft Information Page.
Alamo Lake State Park allows visitors to swim freely. However, please note that you must swim at your own risk. The park does not have a designated swimming area or lifeguards. To stay as safe as possible, consider these safety tips:
- Wear closed-toe water shoes to avoid cutting your feet on desert shale.
- Stay close to shore and where others can see you.
- Do not swim near boat ramps, docks, or the dam.
Hiking and Biking
Hikers and cyclists are encouraged to explore the park and its marked trails that provide far views of the surrounding lake and land, as well as up-close looks at native desert plants.
There are hundreds of miles of off-roading trails located near Alamo Lake State Park. Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts frequent the area. However, OHV use is not allowed inside the park unless the OHV is street legal. A good number of OHV trails are shown on the Alamo Lake State Park map.
Arizona requires any riders who are not Arizona residents to display an OHV decal. More information about purchasing this decal can be found on the Arizona State Parks website.
Alamo Lake State Park is located within the Sonoran Desert, which is well known for its wide range of wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors can often spend their morning or afternoon watching wild burros, coyotes, eagles, pelicans, and Great Blue Herons. There are several other varieties of wildlife around as well. Kick back with your coffee or lunch and see what shows up!
2. What Are the Top Spots to See in Alamo Lake State Park?
Two of Alamo Lake State Park’s lesser-known gems are the unmatched view of the night sky and the park’s Visitor Center. Be sure you stay long enough to see both!
The Night Sky
Visitors who stay until dark will find themselves under a vastly dark sky full of stars. And it is certainly a must-see attraction! Considering the closest city lights are over 40 miles away, Alamo Lake State Park is known as one of the best dark sky spots for watching the night sky in the entire Sonoran Desert.
Alamo Lake’s Visitor Center invites visitors to view impressive exhibits that showcase interesting finds from across the state park as well as a small aquarium with local and exotic fish.
Kids will be thrilled to know that they can become Junior Rangers at Alamo Lake State Park’s Visitor Center! They can begin the program by downloading and completing the Junior Ranger Activity Sheet. Once you’re at the park, ask for a full Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitor Center. If kids complete these activities and report back to a Park Ranger, they can be sworn in as a Junior Ranger and receive a coveted Junior Ranger button.
3. Hiking/Trails Information
Alamo Lake State Park offers a number of hiking trails that offer challenges and breathtaking views for hikers of all skill levels. Bikers and hikers are both encouraged to explore the park far and wide. However, only three short hikes fall on the map of the park:
- Crosscut – just under 1.0-mile round trip.
- Rattlesnake Overlook – 0.2 miles round trip. Good for young children or the elderly.
- Wild Burro – 1.4 miles round trip. Great for possible wildlife viewing.
The Alamo Lake trails above follow the shoreline then offer hikers a chance to branch off into the desert backcountry. For more information regarding Alamo Lake State Park’s longer hiking trail opportunities, contact the park office or a park ranger and ask about hikes like the Lake Alamo Radio Towers Loop. You can also always check out the hiking opportunities at other Arizona State Parks!
4. Park and Camping Information
Park and Facility Hours
Alamo Lake State Park is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. The park’s Visitor Center and Park Store are open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. Please consult the Alamo Lake website to check the changing status of the Main Boating Ramp.
Park Entrance Fee
- Per vehicle (up to 4 Adults): $7.00
- Per Individual/bicycle: $3.00
Considering Alamo Lake State Park is 43 miles from the nearest town, the Alamo Lake Park Store is your go-to spot while visiting! The Park Store carries fishing and camping items like bait, lures, fishing licenses, boating supplies, lifejackets, and firewood. Food items for sale include ice cream, soda, water, milk, eggs, canned vegetables, candy bars, condiments, hot dogs, buns, s’more ingredients, personal hygiene items, and more.
The Park Store also offers a souvenir section where visitors can snag Alamo Lake t-shirts, sweaters, hats, patches, walking sticks, pins, books, and a number of other collectible items.
If you’re hoping to host a group event at Alamo Lake State Park, you should look into reserving a Group Ramada. These day-use ramadas are located in camp areas A and E and will provide your guests with gorgeous desert views from a shaded area.
Each of the Group Ramada’s comes with tables, a large barbecue grill, and close access to vault toilets. For reservation, call the park at +1 (928) 669–2088.
The best way to round out your Alamo Lake State Park visit is to stay the night inside of one of the park’s many campgrounds!Each site in the park has a picnic table and a fire ring with toilets located nearby.
- Campground A and Campground B – offer a combined 63 sites with mixed amenities. Sites with electricity and water are $22 per night, while dry camping sites are available for $15 per night. (Tip – most Campground B sites have a lake view!)
- Campground D and Campground E – offer several dry camping sites for $15 a night per vehicle.
- The Ramada Area – offers 12 electric sites.
- Cholla Campground – offers 41 electric sites.
- Main Campground – This one is for the RV campers! Here, you’ll find 19 full hook-up sites with 50 amp electric and water. There is no maximum RV length limit at these sites.
There are two dump stations located within the campgrounds; one at the Cholla campground and one in the main campground. You can reserve your Alamo Lake State Park campsite online with the Arizona State Parks department on their Alamo Lake Camping page.
5. Where To Stay
For those of you who are hoping to sleep indoors during your trip, you’ve still got plenty of options. Alamo Lake State Park has four cozy air-conditioned camping cabins available for rent inside the park. These cabins each offer a covered porch with great views of the park and have a maximum capacity of six people. Cabin users will have a picnic table, fire pit, and charcoal grill at their fingertips as well. Quality restrooms and hot water showers are a short walk away from the cabins. You can reserve a cabin on the Arizona State Parks website under Alamo Lake Cabins.
If Alamo Lake’s cabins are full or your group has more than six, there are a number of hotel accommodations available relatively close to the park as well. Many of these hotels have restaurants in-house as well.
No matter where you stay, Alamo Lake State Park is the perfect getaway destination. Whether you are looking to fish, off-road, hike, swim, bike, photograph wildlife, stargaze, boat, or just enjoy some plain and simple solitude, you will find all of that and more here any time of year. We can’t recommend choosing Alamo Lake State Park as the next Arizona park to cross off your list enough!