November 2007

Tonto National Forest Restricts Motorized Access On Canyon Lake

The Tonto National Forest has implemented temporary restrictions on access to Canyon Lake during the SRP drawdown.  Current restrictions include the prohibition of all motorized boats and vehicles on the lake surface or on the exposed lakebed. 

“At present, foot  traffic to the water’s edge is allowed, allowing access for hikers and anglers, stated Patrol Captain Larry Heady.  “Because of public safety considerations, it may become necessary later, during the drawdown process, to restrict foot traffic as well.”

The restricted area includes all submerged or exposed land of Canyon Lake from the high water line between Mormon Flat Dam and Horse Mesa Dam.  In addition, the following recreation sites are closed:  Acacia swim area, Boulder picnic area, Boulder trailhead, Laguna boat landing, Palo Verde boat landing, and the Pointe boating campground.  Acacia picnic area and Tortilla campground will remain open.

The scheduled maintenance will result in lower levels at Canyon Lake until about Jan. 26, 2008.

Canyon Lake will be gradually lowered to approximately 50 feet below the normal lake levels through normal water order during the four-month drawdown.

Because of safety concerns and the smaller capacity of Canyon Lake, Tonto National Forest District Ranger Arthur Wirtz said the lake will be closed to all recreational boating during the majority of the drawdown. “The potential for hazardous conditions, such as the steepness of the submerged canyon, will increase as the water goes down,” said Wirtz.

“The forest will keep foot access open as long as possible for recreation users such as anglers. We will be evaluating safety conditions daily and will consider closures and restrictions to lake access dependent on public safety needs.”

For further information about these restrictions, please call Mesa ranger district: 
(480) 610-3300 or visit the Tonto National Forest Web site see the closure order.

Status updates of the drawdown are available on the Canyon Lake Marina home page at During the drawdown, lake levels will be updated daily on the SRP web page at