Scorpion Bay Marina is nestled into the spot where brown hills roll right up to sandy beaches blending into the blue expanse of Lake Pleasant. From the marina, boaters sail over glassy surfaces reflecting mountain landscapes to fish, water-ski, and tube. To make those aquatic adventures possible, the marina's attentive crew rents boats such as pontoons that ferry up to 10 passengers, as well as sport and fishing vessels, and kayaks. They also man a convenience store and deli where recreational mariners can stock up on supplies for on-the-water picnics. At day's end, boaters pull into reserved covered or uncovered boat slips and head to the marina's dockside eatery, Dillon's, to refuel with Kansas City–style barbecue brisket, fish tacos, and half-pound burgers.
Setting sail from Pleasant Harbor Marina, Lake Pleasant Cruises's sightseeing tours offer a unique waterborne view of the picturesque surroundings. Onboard the brand-new 65-foot boat named The Phoenix, up to 150 passengers can relax on the open-air, shaded top deck for sunny, breezy cruises or head to the climate-controlled main deck to enjoy music, beverages, and snacks. The boat is also available for private charters, which provide a full-service bar and bartender for corporate events, birthday parties, and weddings.
In the Phoenix area, budding mariners needn't look any further than Go Sail Arizona, a sailing school affiliated with the American Sailing Association. Owner Clint Sutter and his team offer a host of introductory courses, plus clinics on topics such as docking and spinnakers. Once students are comfortable out on their own, they're invited to rent a sailboat from Pleasant Harbor Boat Rentals and take it out on the water at a discounted rate.
The highly trained guides at Canyon Rio Rafting spearhead half-, full-, and multi-day expeditions down the Salt River, Rio Chama, and San Juan River. Certified in first aid and versed in advanced wilderness medical and rescue training, they ensure that trips run as smoothly over Class II–IV rapids as a mustache over the foam of a cappuccino. Following romps on oar rafts, paddle rafts, and inflatable kayaks, guides nourish excursionists with gourmet meals.
Alternatively, Canyon Rio Rafting's certified instructors help foster future whitewater navigation by staging courses for guides, rescue technicians, and kayakers.
Whether you're a sailor, fisher, or just a pleasure-cruiser, Monte Vista Marine in Flagstaff has many vessels for rent that are sure to float your boat.
Parking is plentiful, so patrons can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Sailboat Shop proprietor Tom Errickson first learned to sail at age 11, sparking a love for boating that turned into his life's work. After years of repairing sailboats and plying the waves of sometimes frigid Lake Michigan, Errickson returned to Arizona and assembled a crew of seasoned instructors to teach clients useful sailing skills through ASA-certified classes. By spending three relaxing hours on a 30-foot sloop during a sunset cruise, or learning the ropes during a keelboating class, Arizonans can experience the rare pleasure of sailing in the middle of the desert. Aspiring mariners can purchase craft ranging from an inflatable dinghy to a brand-new Catalina swing-keel boat, or charter a craft and experienced skipper for a memorable party on the water.