Make your own way to Saguaro Lake to board the boat for your tour. Saguaro Lake lies within Tonto National Forest, about a 30-mile (48-km) drive from Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona.
Choose from a number of departure times throughout the afternoon for your 90-minute cruise aboard the Desert Belle, a restored double-decker boat that was originally built in 1964. You can enjoy excellent views from either beneath the upper deck’s shaded canopy or inside the air-conditioned cabin.
Take in views of classic Arizona desert scenery during your cruise, including mesquite, prickly pear plants and the iconic saguaro cactus, all set against the rust-colored mountains in the distance. You might spot a bald eagle soaring in the bright blue sky above you, or bobcats, coyotes and bighorn sheep trekking around the hills.
Keep your camera ready to snap photos as you cruise around the lake, which has 22 miles (35 km) of cactus-studded shoreline, with expansive views of the water in contrast to the dramatic desert canyons. Hear live narration from your captain about the sights you pass and look for points of interest that are only apparent at first to the trained eye.
Beverages such as beer, wine and soft drinks are available for purchase from the concession stand on board the Desert Belle. An optional upgrade is available that guarantees priority seating, and includes one drink and popcorn.
Desert Belle Cruises
Tonto National Forest