With approximately 10,000 surface acres of water, Lake Pleasant Regional Park is known as one of the most scenic water recreation areas in the valley. Each weekend, thousands of residents visit the park to camp, boat, fish, and hike.
Recently, the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department began limiting capacity in the regional park system to allow for physical-distancing. However, the repetitive closures on the weekends at the lake became time-intensive for staff as they closely monitored park resources to determine when additional park visitors could safely enter the area. It was also challenging for visitors who drive a relatively long distance only to find the park closed for an extended period of time.
“This has been a learning experience for all of us, and we’ve come to realize that the COVID-19 strategies that are working well in our mountain parks do not fully meet the lake’s needs. Over the past week, we’ve worked closely with the lake staff to develop a plan that will provide a safe environment for both our park visitors and my team,” said R.J. Cardin, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department Director. “The new changes we’re making take the guessing out of when we’re closing and will eliminate the long lines. This, in turn, will help park visitors better plan their outing at the lake.”
Effective Saturday, April 25, the department will be implementing several new weekend changes at the lake to provide a safer and more user-friendly experience for park visitors.
- The park will enter into a temporary mandated hard closure from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday at the main park entry.
- No new entries/re-entries will be allowed into the park during this period.
North Entrance (4-lane boat ramp)
- The north entrance will be open on Saturday and Sunday from 6 am to 9 am. Entrance into the area will close at 9 am, and all boaters must exit the area by 4 pm on these days.
- No new entries/re-entries into the area will be allowed after 9 a.m.
- A closure may be implemented before 9 a.m. if physical-distancing park capacity standards are reached in this area prior to the mandatory closure.
- The area will remain closed Monday through Friday.
- Staff will contact those with camping reservations to provide instructions on how the sites may be accessed during the closure.
- Campers are encouraged to enter the park after 4 p.m. to avoid closure protocols and to remain inside the park during the mandatory closure periods.
- Same day camping reservations for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday may not be booked at this time.
- There is no primitive, shoreline, or boat camping available at the lake.
- The Beardsley Trailhead is currently closed.
- Payment may be made via credit/debit card and/or annual pass.
Scorpion Bay Marina
- Marina slip renters and individuals with boat reservations should be in the park by 11 am or after 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday if at all possible.
- Individuals visiting Scorpion Bay Marina should contact the marina for further information on how the changes will impact their visit.
These changes only impact Lake Pleasant Regional Park and do not impact the rest of Maricopa County’s regional park system. All changes will remain in effect until COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. For additional COVID-19 regional park system updates, visit bit.ly/MaricopaCountyParksCOVID-19.
Lake Pleasant Regional Park is located at 41835 N. Castle Hot Springs Road. Castle Hot Springs Road is located roughly near Mile Marker 19 on the Carefree Highway (Hwy. 74). To learn more about Maricopa County’s regional park system, visit www.maricopacountyparks.net.