Alamo Lake State Park: Fishing, Camping, Wildflowers & More

Offering a scenic, cacti-studded landscape with a mountainous backdrop, Alamo Lake is tucked away in the Bill Williams River Valley.

In addition to picturesque desert scenery, Alamo Lake State Park has much to offer its visitors recreationally. The area is known for its exceptional bass fishing opportunities, as well as canoeing, kayaking, and camping.

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. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

For nature lovers, spring rains bring an abundance of wildflowers 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 too will be in awe when the sun sets and the desert sky becomes aglow with stars, uninhibited by nearby city lights or smog.

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 handling 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.

The lake is enclosed to the south, west, and north by low hills and beyond by mountain wilderness areas, and is a good place for a few days relaxation, or as a base from which to explore the surrounding lands.

A great time to visit Alamo Lake State Park is during spring because of the profusion of wildflowers and cactus blooms. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

A great time to visit Alamo Lake State Park is during spring because of the profusion of wildflowers and cactus blooms. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

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.

Despite its rather remote location, Alamo Lake State Park receives relatively large numbers of visitors in the mild seasons of spring, winter, and fall, mostly because of the good fishing it offers—bass and catfish are especially plentiful. The desert setting and low elevation (1,230 feet) result in uncomfortably hot conditions in summer.

Fishing tournaments are common at the lake and anglers have an excellent opportunity to catch bluegill, largemouth bass, channel catfish, and black crappie.

Individual and group camping is available at Alamo Lake State Park. There are 19 full hook-up RV sites with 50 amp electric, water, and sewer located in the Main Campground. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. There is no limit to maximum RV length at these sites. Additional sites have 30/50 amp electric and water at each site.

Individual and group camping is available at Alamo Lake State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Individual and group camping is available at Alamo Lake State Park. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Campground B has 27 electric sites. The Ramada Area has 12 electric sites. Cholla Campground area has 41 electric sites with 30 amp service. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring.

Dry camping is also available in Campgrounds D and E. Also Campground A has 21 sites while Campground B has 15 sites. Site reservations are available.

Ideal for snowbirds, Long Term Camping Sites are available from October 1 through March 31 with the minimum length of stay 28 days (4 weeks) and the maximum 48 days (12 weeks).

A great time to visit Alamo Lake State Park is during spring because of the profusion of wildflowers and cactus blooms beside the lake and in the desert along the 33 mile Alamo Lake Road. Starting at the small and rather forlorn town of Wenden on US-60, the route heads north, climbing gradually into the Harcuvar Mountains.

Passing a few mines and side tracks, the road enter the wide Butler Valley. The land along this long straight road is undeveloped with numerous wildflowers and cacti including saguaro and distant mountain scenery.

Alamo Lake State Park offers outdoor fun, premier bass fishing, rest and relaxation. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Alamo Lake State Park offers outdoor fun, premier bass fishing, rest and relaxation. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

At the far side of the valley, the road curves around the edge of the Buckskin Mountains and gradually descends towards the lake.

The main route leads to the dam and an overlook just before winding eastwards between distant shores and even more remote hills in the distance. The very end of the road is private but open to foot travel, and from here begins the hike down the Bill Williams River Canyon.

Worth Pondering…

Alone in the open desert,

I have made up songs of wild, poignant rejoicing and transcendent melancholy.

The world has seemed more beautiful to me than ever before.

I have loved the red rocks, the twisted trees, the sand blowing in the wind, the slow, sunny clouds crossing the sky, the shafts of moonlight on my bed at night.

I have seemed to be at one with the world.

—Everett Ruess

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