Park Itinerary

Maricopa County's regional park system attracts thousands of visitors each year. With over 120,000 acres in the park system, there is plenty to see and explore. However, sometimes visiting a new place can be a little overwhelming when you don't know what's available. To make sure your visit to Lake Pleasant Regional Park is a pleasant experience, we've pulled together a couple of basic itineraries to get you started on your journey.

I have this much time available

Here's what I can experience

1 - 2 hour visit:

  • Drive through the park scouting for our many wild burros, they love to hang out near the shoreline, but you can spot them just about anywhere they decide to be seen.
  • Go for a swim in our many little coves.
  • Have lunch on the patio at Scorpion Bay Marina. Afterwards take a stroll on the dock and look for fish and water birds.
  • Stop by the visitor center and journey through the many displays and learn about Lake Pleasant. Also remember that special person back home with a desert surprise from our gift shop.
  • Attend one of the many informational interpretive park programs presented at the visitor center or throughout the park.
  • Sign up to shoot a recurve, compound and cross bow in our Archery 101 Class. Look in the schedule for the next upcoming classes.
  • Take a hike along the scenic shoreline of Lake Pleasant by way of the Roadrunner Trail. This short hike starts at the visitor center.
  • During the spring, the place to look for beautiful wildflowers in the park is from theSouth Pipeline Canyon Trailhead.
  • Take a drive up to Sunset Ridge Day Use Area and view the sunset with that special person in your life!

2-3 hour visit:

  • Picnic at Bobcat Day Use Area and enjoy playing on the beach below. The kids will love exploring the shoreline!
  • During the warmer months sign up for a kayak class. During the cooler months sign up for an orienteering class.
  • Try fishing from the shore around Lake Pleasant. The park also offers fishing clinics from time to time.
  • Grab your bicycle and ride the challenging roads throughout the park, while you enjoy the views of the lake.
  • Come out to the park early and search for birds and other wildlife in the park.

3 hour visit:

  • Rent a jet ski near the 10-lane boat launch area and keep cool in the summer heat.
  • Explore on the Pipeline Canyon Trail, which has a number of scenic views.
  • Rent a kayak at Scorpion Bay Marina and set off for some fun exploring of the coves on the west side of the lake.
  • Come enjoy Lake Pleasant in a kayak, as the ranger leads the Pleasant Paddlers Program tours on the lake. The most popular kayak tour is our Sunset and Full Moon Paddle Tours.

4-5 hour visit:

  • Contract ahead of time with one of the many fishing guides in the park and go catch the big one!
  • Rent a pontoon boat from Scorpion Bay Marina and spend time searching the many coves of Lake Pleasant.
  • Rent a ski boat and some water toys. Reward your family to a fun time on the water.
  • Learn to SCUBA in Lake Pleasant through one of the park's many underwater diving vendors.

Ranger Picks:

  • Take a picnic lunch up to the Cottonwood Day Use Area and enjoy some nice solitude while looking out across the scenic bay of Lake Pleasant.
  • Take a short self-guided hike from the visitor center on the Nature Trail and learn all sorts of interesting things about the lake area. (ask the visitor center attendant for a copy of the self-guided hike map.)
  • Grab your boat and camping gear and set off for your own island to set up camp. There is plenty of shoreline around the lake to camp on too.
  • Attend one of our live animal shows or star gazing nights at the visitor center amphitheater on special days.


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