Desert Harbor Lake, Arizona, USA

Located in the private community of Desert Harbor, Desert Harbor Lake is just minutes from picturesque Sun City and Phoenix. Part of the Phoenix & Central Arizona Region, the lake is in Peoria, a city that was established in the 1880’s after the completion of the Arizona Canal. William J. Murphy, who had a vision of fertile farmland in the area, went east to bring settlers to this new region – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Desert Harbor Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Desert Harbor Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Desert Harbor Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Desert Harbor Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Desert Harbor Lake

Lake Locations: USA - Southwest - Arizona - Phoenix & Central -

Located in the private community of Desert Harbor, Desert Harbor Lake is just minutes from picturesque Sun City and Phoenix. Part of the Phoenix & Central Arizona Region, the lake is in Peoria, a city that was established in the 1880’s after the completion of the Arizona Canal. William J. Murphy, who had a vision of fertile farmland in the area, went east to bring settlers to this new region of the country. With over 5,000 acres of land being purchased by citizens of Peoria, Illinois, it seemed only fitting to call the town Peoria. Home to over 155,000 residents, it is the ninth largest city in Arizona just minutes northwest of the much larger city of Phoenix.

Originally dug as a one acre lake for migratory birds and wildlife by private owner O. R. Recker, Desert Harbor Lake was sold in the 1970’s as a residential development with 1,000 oversized lots. The lake was expanded to 46 acres. With a maximum depth of 20 feet, Desert Harbor Lake is ideal for leisurely boating (electric motors), sailing, and kayaking/canoeing. Jet skis and swimming, however, are not permitted. Other activities around the lake include biking, hiking, fishing, and picnicking. Anglers should expect to catch tilapia, catfish, Florida hybrid bass, and black crappie. Fishing permits are not needed by waterfront homeowners fishing from their backyards or on the lake in an approved, registered boat with a DH/HOA decal. Fishing from shore is allowed in the two park/picnic areas adjoining the boat ramps but is not allowed in the stream beds or greenbelts.

Other points of interest close to Desert Harbor Lake include Lake Pleasant, the Lake Pleasant Regional Park, White Tank Mountain Regional Park, and the Challenger Space Center of Arizona. Lake Pleasant is a 10,000 acre lake located on the north end of Peoria. It is the state’s second largest lake and offers activities such as camping, boating, sailing, water skiing, jet skiing, fishing, and wildlife viewing. Situated along the shores of the lake is the Lake Pleasant Recreational Park. This county park, which is an oasis in the middle of a desert, offers a boat launch, picnic tables, campsites, hiking trails, swimming, and fishing.

White Tank Mountain Regional Park is a 30,000 acre park in Maricopa County located in the rugged White Tank Mountains south of Desert Harbor Lake. Peeks over 4,000 feet rise out of the desert floor in White Tank offering stunning views of the desert below. Activities in the park include mountain biking, camping, hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, and star gazing. There are 25 miles of excellent shared trails with lengths from 1 mile to 7.9 miles. Overnight backpacking is permitted in designated camping sites but some of the trails to these sites can be difficult to hike. Make sure you are in good shape, have plenty of water, and try not to hike during the summer months. For a more sedate day, head to the Challenger Space Center of Arizona, a working memorial to the astronauts that crashed in 1986 on space shuttle Challenger STS. Affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute, the memorial offers very high quality exhibits in the small town of Peoria. There are educational programs, school camps, stargazing, and the Galaxy Gift Shop.

A stay on Desert Harbor Lake would not be complete without a visit to Phoenix, the largest city in the state and capital of Arizona. The Japanese Friendship Garden, Pioneer and Military Memorial Park, Pueblo Grande Museum and Archaeological Park, Shemer Art Center, and Steele Indian School Park are just some of the activities in this city located in the “Valley of the Sun”. The Japanese Frienship Garden features 1,500 tons of rock, 50 varieties of plants, a 12-foot waterfall, a Koi pond, and several flowing streams. For a taste of history, head to the Pioneer and Military Memorial Park to see the avenue of flags, historic cemeteries and houses, and benches for contemplations. A monument to the pioneer families of Arizona, the park honors historical figures such as John T. Alsap, the first mayor of Phoenix. To get a feel for the art and cultural history of the area, check out the Pueblo Grande Museum and the Shemer Art Center. Before driving back to Desert Harbor Lake, stop by the Steele Indian School Park, a 75-acre park with a 2.5-acre lake, amphitheater, 15-acre Entry Garden, and three historic buildings in the middle of the park.

Real estate at Desert Harbor Lake is still available for that winter retreat or retirement home of your dreams. And if you plan on just staying for a short time, vacation rentals are readily available in Peoria and the Desert Harbor area. Desert Harbor Lake is a great home base for visiting the central part of Arizona and all it has to offer.

Things to Do at Desert Harbor Lake

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Waterfall
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • Museum

Fish Species Found at Desert Harbor Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Crappie
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Tilapia

All About Desert Harbor Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Desert Harbor Lake

The Desert Harbor Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Desert Harbor Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Desert Harbor Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Desert Harbor Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Desert Harbor Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Desert Harbor Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Desert Harbor Homeowners Association

Surface Area: 46 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,167 feet

Maximum Depth: 20 feet

Completion Year: 1985

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Desert Harbor Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Desert Harbor Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Desert Harbor Lake photos coming soon!
  • You’re invited to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!
  • Share this Desert Harbor Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Desert Harbor Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Desert Harbor Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Desert Harbor Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Desert Harbor Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Desert Harbor Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Desert Harbor Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Desert Harbor Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Desert Harbor Lake forum group? Click Here

New Desert Harbor Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi