Kayak season is here, and there are some seriously awesome spots to paddle down. C. C. Cragin Reservoir in Arizona is perfect for kayaking (or canoeing, tubing, and swimming), so suit up and grab your paddles. Are you ready for a day on the lake?

C.C. Cragin Reservoir (formally Blue Ridge Reservoir) is an eight-mile-long lake in the Mongollan Ridge area of Arizona. This sparkling oasis is bordered by cliffs and gorgeous trees, making for a super scenic paddle the entire way. 

If you don't own one, you can stop and rent a kayak in Payson if you're coming from Phoenix since it's right along the way.

Camp Verde is another option if you're coming from Northern Arizona. 

Paddleboards are another popular option on this lake, as it's incredibly calm and tranquil. 

The boat launch to put your floating device in the water is at the 3-mile mark on the lake. From there, you can go in either direction or do both if you're hoping for a full-day excursion

It's recommended to arrive early because the parking lot at the boat launch fills up quickly, or you can opt for a sunset float and get there in the late afternoon when the crowds die down. 

Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and water for your long day on the lake. 

If you don't have a kayak, you can still bring your pupper or your S/O and explore the excellent hiking trails nearby and take a swim!

There are nearby campsites in the Coconino National Forest if you want to turn it into a weekend excursion, too. There are tons of ways to enjoy the great outdoors in this area. 

Whether you're paddling, swimming, hiking, or all three, this is the perfect weekend getaway for everyone. 

C.C. Cragin Reservoir

Price: Free - $50 (depending on kayak rental service)

Address: Happy Jack, AZ

Why You Need To Go: Paddle down this idyllic canyon lake with gorgeous emerald water! 


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment, and obey any local laws.

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