Secluded Lake in Arizona
Chevelon Canyon lake is a quiet, secluded lake that is set deep in the canyon. Chevelon Canyon is northeast of Payson and west of Heber. This is the place to go if you truly want to get off the grid. To access the lake, you have to walk a steep 3/4 of a mile down. The hike back up is pretty intense, especially if you are carrying a boat with you. When we visited the area, we took our inflatable kayak which weights about 35 lbs. Trust me, if you are going to haul a kayak down, consider an inflatable. I don’t know how we would have been able to survive bringing anything heavier. The only boats allowed on the lake are electric or 10 hp or fewer gas motors and you must carry your boat in.
We are fairly new to kayaking, and our 2-Person Intex has suited our casual kayaking needs, held up great, and didn’t break the bank. If you’re looking for a suggestion, we got ours off of Amazon:
They also offer a 1-Person version of this kayak, for anyone that would rather steer solo:
The area is known as a great spot for anglers and fishing. I’m not a fisherman, but we ran into some very nice guys out there that looked like they were having a great day. One man was nice enough to pump our kayak up for us so we didn’t have to do it manually. We also noticed a plethora of crawfish out there that were decently sized. Some children were having a grand ole time baiting them with chicken livers and putting them in buckets. I’d love to return here to catch some of those and do a crawdad boil at the campsite.
The lake itself has a surface area of 208 acres and an average depth of 35 feet. When we went out on the water, we only paddled around for a 1/2 mile or so, but it was enough to find a cool little spot to pull off at and have a few beers and a nice picnic lunch we packed.
Camping at Chevelon Canyon Lake
We did not camp directly at the campground site on near the lake, since we went with a larger group of people, but we did some dispersed camping only a few miles away off of FR 169. The campground near the lake has six established spots and are first-come first serve. There are vault toilets but no running water for those curious.