A desert oasis in the middle of the Phoenix Metropolitan area, Tempe Town Lake offers a variety of exciting events and activities to enjoy year-round. Tempe Town Lake, located adjacent to Downtown Tempe, provides a recreational haven for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, rowing, walking, fishing or picnicking.
Tempe Beach Park is the perfect setting for outdoor fun, picnics, festivals, concerts and relaxation. This 25-acre urban oasis offers more than five miles of paths and exercise trails, so you can enjoy some fresh air during a workout. Tempe Beach Park is home to several festivals and events, such as Tempe Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, Innings Festival, Aloha Festival and more. The park is open daily from 5 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Visitors can enjoy a sandy patch of beach on the north side of Tempe Town Lake. You can access the North Shore Beach on the north side of the lake, located off Curry Rd. and Lake View Drive. Parking is free, and is located under the 202 freeway. There are several walking and biking paths accessible from this area as well. The Tempe Town Lake Beach Volleyball Courts are also nearby, for those more inclined to break a sweat in the sand. And if you’re bringing the kids, don’t forget the sand toys!
NOTE: There is no wading or swimming allowed in Tempe Town Lake.
Boat Rentals of America – Tempe Town Lake, located on the south shore at Tempe Beach Park, offers visitors the opportunity to rent all kinds of watercraft.
Boats of all types can be rented here for 1-hour or 2-hour segments. Watercraft options available to rent include donut boats, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, pontoon boats, pedal boats and electric boats. Find pricing, hours and availability on Boats 4 Rent.
Have your own watercraft?
The City of Tempe allows the public to use their own watercraft such as a kayak or stand-up paddleboard on Tempe Town Lake. However, the City of Tempe requires a permit for each privately owned watercraft. Apply for a permit online to enjoy the lake with your own equipment.
There is a scenic 7-mile loop around the lake that is perfect for walking, running or biking. The path goes from Priest Drive to Mill Avenue to Rural Road and continues on a well-marked path on the north and south sides of the lake. If you want to shorten the loop, take the pedestrian bridge near the Tempe Center for the Arts, connecting the north and south shores of the lake. Paths can also take pedestrians and bicyclists to nearby areas, including Tempe Marketplace, Downtown Tempe’s Mill Avenue, the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt and Papago Park.
If you don’t have a bike of your own, you can rent one from The Bicycle Cellar at the Tempe Transportation Center in Downtown Tempe, near the Veterans Way/College Ave. light rail stop. Or, rent a surrey bike from Tempe Boat Rentals.
Paths around Tempe Town Lake are open from 5 a.m. to midnight every day.
Get back to nature and spend a relaxing afternoon casting a line in Tempe Town Lake. The lake is continuously stocked with trout, bass, catfish and sunfish. An Arizona Fishing License is all that is required to go fishing at Tempe Town Lake. Fishing licenses can be purchased online or at any Arizona Game and Fish office and at most fishing supply or sporting good stores.
Explore the Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA). The free Gallery at the TCA features rotating exhibits year-round. Also, check their calendar for their schedule of events, from comedy shows to art classes to live music.
Go for a quick hike up nearby “A” Mountain. At the top, enjoy scenic views of Downtown Tempe and a 360-degree view of the valley. The trailhead is located near Third Street and Mill Avenue.
There are several pieces of public art to enjoy on the path. Check out the public art that lines the lake on every side.
Q: When did Tempe Town Lake open?
A: On November 7, 1999, Tempe Town Lake opened to the general public.
Q: What is the water capacity of the Tempe Town Lake?
A: The water capacity of the lake is about 3,000 acre-feet or 977 million gallons.
Q: How big is the Tempe Town Lake?
A: The lake is 220 surface acres – 2 miles long and 800 to 1200 feet wide.
Q: How deep is the Tempe Town Lake?
A: The average depth is 12.5 feet, ranging from 6 to 19 feet.
Q: What is the water quality of the Tempe Town Lake
A: Water quality is maintained by the City of Tempe by frequent monitoring, using additives to maintain aquatic balance as needed.
Q: Besides adding beauty to the area, is there a reason why Tempe Town Lake was developed?
A: Tempe Town Lake is designed for the impact of a 100-year flood event or greater, which has a 1% chance of occurring in any year.
Q: Is there a bridge that connect the south to the north side of Tempe Town Lake?
A: The Pedestrian Bridge is a quarter mile long and connects the south and north shores near the Tempe Center for the Arts.
Q: Is swimming allowed in Tempe Town Lake?
A: No, swimming is NOT allowed in Tempe Town Lake.
There’s so much to do at Tempe Town Lake
Tempe Town Lake is the perfect spot to experience some fun and enjoy the outdoors. It’s a bit unexpected for visitors to find a large body of water right in the heart of the city, but that’s exactly what you’ll find at Tempe Town Lake.
Family-friendly hikes in the Tempe and Phoenix area
The mild winter and spring temperatures are an excellent time to bring your kids in tow and go for a family friendly hike in Tempe or nearby Phoenix. To help you narrow down your options, we’ve written this guide of trails that we think are a great fit for toddlers to teens.