Courtesy of Arizona State Parks
Alamo Lake State Park is one of Arizona’s best kept secrets. The stark desert beauty is reflected off the water. Cacti dot the mountainous landscape that surround the lake. Nestled in the Bill Williams River Valley away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, Alamo Lake State Park offers outdoor fun, premier bass fishing, rest and relaxation. For nature lovers, spring rains bring an abundance of wild flowers and the lake environment attracts a variety of wildlife year round, including bald and golden eagles, waterfowl, foxes, coyotes, mule deer and wild burros. Stargazers are sure to enjoy the unbelievable view of the night sky with the nearest city lights some forty miles away!
Alamo Lake, located on the Bill Williams River where the Big Sandy River and Santa Maria River come together, was created with the completion of Alamo Dam in 1968. The Army Corps of Engineers designed the earthen dam primarily for flood control. During flood events, the lake basin is capable of “capturing” large amounts of water in a relatively short time. The lake has been recorded rising 11 vertical feet in one night! Unusually high flows during the late 1970s and through the 1980s have increased the average size of the lake, helping to create one of Arizona’s best fishing holes.
Fishing tournaments are common at the lake and anglers have an excellent opportunity to catch bluegill, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and black crappie. Remember, the desert can be harsh and dangerous, but it is also very fragile. Help us protect it, and yourself, by camping in the designated camp areas and keeping vehicles on maintained roadways.
Help protect the park. Please be aware of the following park rules:
- Camping is only permitted in designated sites. Maximum length of stay is 15 days.
- Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.
- Fires are only allowed at campsites in designated fire rings.
- Littering is unlawful. Trash should be packed out and disposed of properly.
- All dogs must be kept on leashes. Please pick up after your pet.
- Drive only on designated roads.
- OHVs must be licensed and street legal.
- Limit of two vehicles per site.
- Park fees are per vehicle.
- Leave something in your site to demonstrate occupancy at all times or site maybe forfeited.
- No reserving, paying for or saving sites for people who are not in the park. First come first served. Violators are subject to eviction.
- The use of firearms and weapons is prohibited.
- Vehicles arriving prior to 6 am (Arizona Time) must pay for previous night.
The Visitor Center is open from 8 am – 5 pm daily.
Restrooms are located in each campground, at the Visitor Center, and at each boat ramp. All restroom are handicap accessible.
Bait / Park Store
On January 2, 2009, Alamo Lake’s new Bait / Park Store opened. The Park Store carries fishing and camping item like fishing licenses, boating supplies (boating flags, life jackets, boat cushions, ropes, anchors, battery clamps, etc.), and firewood. We also have great park specific items like shirts and hats, patches, walking sticks, pins, books, and more. In addition, we offer a nice line of souvenir items.
Food items for sale include ice cream, soda, water, milk, eggs, canned vegetables, candy bars, condiments, hot dogs & buns, marshmallows & graham crackers, personal hygiene items, and more. The store also plans on selling Gasoline in the near future.
Interpretive exhibits are located inside the park office.
Group: Day Use Areas
The group day use areas have one 60 x 20′ ramada with one barbeque grill for use. There is a $25 per day facility use fee for this area, and standard per vehicle day use fee. For reservations, call the park at (928) 669–2088.
We have two group ramadas for day use. One south of Campground A and one in Campground E. The site in the group campground can be used for extremely large groups, contact the park for details.
Group: Camping Sites
One group camping area has a 60′ x 20′ ramada with one barbeque grill for use. There is a vault toilet, along with four chemical toilets located in the group use area. There is a $25 per day facility use fee for this area, and $15 per vehicle per night camping fee. This area can accommodate vehicles up to 60′ long. For reservations, call the park at (928) 669–2088.
There is also a second, smaller group camping area. It has a 20′ X 20′ ramada, chemical toilets, fire pit and large group grill. There is a $15 facility use fee for this group area, and a $15 per night per vehicle camp fee.
Campground A offers 17 basic sites with both back-in and pull-through sites. These sites are currently $15 per night per vehicle.
Campground B has expanded to 27 mixed-amenity sites at $15 to $22 per night per vehicle depending on amenities. Campground C offers 40 water and electric sites at $22 per night and there are also 15 full-hookup sites available at $25 per night.
Dry camping is located in Campgrounds D & E and each site has a picnic table and fire ring. The dry-camping fee is $15 a night per vehicle. There are convenient vault and chemical toilets located throughout the campgrounds.
There is a $15.00 per night fee for second vehicles. This fee can be paid with your online reservation or paid upon arrival at the park. Fee does not apply to vehicles towed behind a primary vehicle (RV) when the primary vehicle remains at the site and the RV is used for transportation.
Long Term Camping
Alamo Lake State Park blocks sites for Long Term Camping from October 1 through March 31.
To make a long-term camping reservation (longer than two weeks), call (877) MY-PARKS. We will find a site that is available for the length of stay you request. We’ll also collect camping fees for the first two weeks and block out the duration of your stay in two-week increments.
The minimum length of stay for a long-term site is 28 nights (four weeks). Maximum length of stay is 84 nights (12 weeks).
Upon arrival, the first two weeks of camping will have been paid in advance through the reservation process. After the first two weeks have ended, provide payment in two-week increments on the last day of each two-week segment. Make your payment at the contact station. If your should decide to depart earlier than planned, the standard reservation cancellation policy will apply. All other policies and rules governing camping will remain in effect.
There are two dump stations at the park. One is located at Campground C, and the other is located in campground B near the ranger station.
Showers are located in camp areas A, C, and in the main campground by campground B.
Group Ramadas are located in camp areas A and E.
Although there are not specific bike trails, cyclists use bikes to explore the park.
Alamo lake has large mouth bass, crappie, red eared sun fish, channel cat fish, Tilapia, and blue gill.
A valid Arizona fishing license is required for anglers fourteen and older. Licensing information is available online at Arizona Game & Fish, or purchase a fishing license at a local dealer.
Visitors are invited to swim in Alamo Lake, but safety is always our biggest concern. So before you head into the water, here are some tips to help keep you safe:
• Alamo Lake is surrounded by beautiful desert terrain, so the shore is made of desert shale. That’s why we recommend comfortable foot cover and a light mat to put under your towel.
• The lake does not have a designated swimming area, so make sure you swim close to shore and in full view of others.
• Do not swim near boat ramps, docks, or near the dam!
• 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.
There are two paved boat ramps in the park. One is located in the Cholla campground and the other is located in the main campground.
Non-motorized boats may launch at either boat ramp.
Although there is a variety of wildlife around the park, wild burros, coyote, eagles, pelicans, and Great Blue Herons are the most common.
Alamo Lake State Park has two seasons: Hot and cold.
From June until September the temps can go from 100° to 118° in the day with lows in the upper 90s. It’s usually over 100°. This is the time to bring sun block and shade. Some years are pleasant and we do not see the 100° mark until June; and other years we’ve seen it hit 100-plus in May. Although this is also monsoon season in Arizona we do not see much rain at the park. Humidity yes, rain no.
October through November bring more pleasant temperatures with highs in the 80s and lows in the 50s. From December until April you can count on 60° to 70° days with lows in the 30s and even 20s. Always be prepared with extra clothing.