Created as an irrigation reservoir by damming the Little Colorado River, Lyman Lake State Park is a 1,200-acre park that encompasses the shoreline of a 1,500-acre reservoir at an elevation of 6,000 feet. It is fed by snowmelt from the slopes of Mount Baldy and Escudilla Mountain, the second and third highest mountains in Arizona. Water is channeled into this river valley from a 790-square-mile watershed extending into New Mexico.
Lyman Lake is one of the few bodies of water in northeastern Arizona with no size restrictions on boats. The west end of the lake is buoyed off and restricted as a no wake area (5 mph). This allows the angler a chance at a variety of fish without the proximity of speedboats and water-skiers. The fishery consists of walleye, channel catfish and largemouth bass. The large remainder of the lake is open for all other types of water sports.
Lyman Lake really comes into its own during the spring, summer, and fall. Summer days, with temperature highs in the 80s to low 90s, are perfect for fishing, swimming, leisure boating, water-skiing, hiking or just relaxing.
There are 16 picnic areas with shaded ramadas located at the day use area and the trailhead area for day use visitors.
RV & Tent Camping
Lyman Lake offers visitors a chance to experience the wild and free side of Arizona's backcountry, with the added bonus of amenities like showers, restrooms, and a park store. This large park can offer as much relaxation or adventure as you would like...Choose your own unique experience! Waking up to a sunrise over beautiful Lyman Lake is a great way to start the day...Imagine yourself here!
Lyman Lake has a designated swimming area between the park store and the petroglyph trail. Safety is always our biggest concern, so before you head into the water, here are some tips to help keep you safe:
- Lyman Lake has a designated swimming area, but the shore may be rocky. That's why we recommend comfortable foot cover and a light mat to put under your towel.
- There is no boating or fishing allowed in the designated swimming area.
- There is no swimming outside of the designated swimming area.
- The lake's temperature can vary from temperate in the shallows to near-freezing in open water. if you're concerned about temperature drops in the water, be sure and bring an insulated swimming outfit, like a thermal swimming suit.
- In all situations, swimmers should exercise caution. There is no lifeguard on duty, so swimming is at your own risk.
Visitors will find plenty of room to water ski, wakeboard, or cruise around this big eastern Arizona lake, and they can do so without motor size restrictions! Imagine wakeboarding at this scenic location knowing that the lake is large enough for you to enjoy safely! Lyman Lake State Park invites all watercraft users to enjoy the lake, but we ask that you do so responsibly. That means ensuring that your watercraft meets all of the state's regulations for motorized and non-motorized watercrafts.
Here are a few tips to help visitors "navigate" the use of watercrafts on Lyman Lake:
There are no restrictions on boat sizes.
Sailboats and sailboarders may take the opportunity afforded by light winds traveling down the valley.
Personal watercraft and jet skis are commonly launched from shore or ramp.
Skiing and wakeboarding may be done in the center of the lake and on the northwest end.
Lyman Lake State Park has two paved boat ramps available for use. Both ramps are located inside the park just north of the Ranger Station/Park Store:
The north boat ramp has a double wide lane.
The east boat ramp is a single lane ramp that only allows one boat to launch at a time.
Canoes, kayaks, and other non-motorized watercraft may launch at either boat ramp or from shore.
Lyman Lake gives anglers the chance at a unique mixed bag and holds some outsized specimens for those lucky enough to set the hook! Largemouth bass, channel catfish, carp, and walleye lurk in the clouded depths of Lyman and fishing opportunities are steadily on the rise! Walleye populations are currently experiencing exceptional growth, and soon a large amount of young fish will be keepers!
Although not widespread in Arizona, walleye are a very popular (and delicious) sportfish in much of the country. According to Arizona Game and Fish Department surveys, the Lyman Lake walleye population has a surplus of two-year-old fish ready to pounce on a crankbait or worm: timing and location are the keys to success!
Watchable Wildlife at Lyman Lake
imply because of the remote nature of Lyman Lake State Park, wildlife, birds, reptiles, and amphibians abound in this wide open beautiful Arizona destination. Wildlife has a way of making a trip even more special, with each sighting memories are made that can be called upon to reminisce about an amazing moment in time. Follow these tips to ensure your Lyman Lake adventure is filled with the sights and sounds of Arizona Wildlife!
If visitors arrive to the park with the right gear, some area knowledge, and the right attitude, finding the local animals is a much easier task. First and foremost, a good pair of hiking shoes is recommended to hit the trails in search of wildlife and birds. Binoculars are also a very important piece of your wildlife viewing arsenal and can become an invaluable piece of equipment when that rare bird is across the lake, or baby deer are playing in the flowers a couple football fields away.
Many of the birds and animals in the area are crespular meaning they are most active during times closest to sunrise and sunset. By exploiting this knowledge, both amateur and seasoned wildlife watchers and birders will be able to see many animals and birds during times of peak activity. Head afield with binoculars, a camera, and perhaps a field guide as a quick, easy resource. Scan the distance during low light periods with your binoculars to look for bird and animal movement and close the gap once spotted. Approaching animals as they are undisturbed gives viewers a much better chance of getting close enough for great photos and a memorable experience. Please keep both yours and the wildlife’s safety in mind during your approach and don’t get too close!
Peninsula Petroglyph Trail: This 1/4-mile self-guided trail is accessible from the campground and is open during daylight hours every day. The trail requires a mild climb. A number of petroglyphs (pictures carved on stone) and interpretive signs are easily visible from the trail. This trail connects to several loop trails totaling approximately a mile and ½ of additional trail around the edge and top of the hill.
Buffalo Trail: This trail is approximately two miles in length. It is named for a group of bison that were kept near the front entrance in the past. The trail has trailheads located at the park entrance and on the north and south end of the “C” campground. This hike requires accessing some steep, vertical inclines and steps.
Pointe Trail: This short trail is approximately one mile long. It starts at the north end of the day use area and joins two loops on top of the hill that overlooks the pointe near the group use area. Moderate inclines and some steps are found at the beginning of this trail.