We went with our friends from Canada, Ron and Patsy, and decided we would also like ride the Desert Belle Narrated Cruise this year. This cruise is on Saguaro Lake which is also home to the Butcher Jones trail in the Tonto National Forest. We bought our tickets on line and planned on the going on the 2:45pm cruise. The Desert Belle has public and private cruises every day of the week.
We drove to Saguaro Lake and waited for the boat to dock after the previous tour. This is a very relaxing, 90 minute-narrated cruise where you can see Arizona wildlife, towering canyon walls, and dramatic desert vistas. It’s the perfect opportunity to experience the magnificent desert beauty and natural wildlife of Saguaro Lake which is one of the Valley’s hidden treasures. For your pleasure on the cruise they sell beer, wine and soft drinks along with popcorn and candy. Of course Glenda had to have a Diet Coke and some popcorn which I helped eat. :-)
We got our seats on the port side (left side) along the outer rail on the upper deck. Great views and opportunities for numerous photos. The captain was very informative of the history of the lake and the surrounding desert landscape. The cruise started at the marina and headed up the lake through a canyon.
Click on the photos to enlarge
The boat moved slowly through the canyon with changing landscape but incredible views. It's easy to see how Saguaro Lake got it's name with the numerous saguaro cactus everywhere.
We cruised for about 45 minutes up the lake and then made a nice easy U turn and headed back to the marina. Along the way we saw boats traveling up and down the lake. Some fishing, some tubing and one guy on a wakeboard.
He wasn't holding onto a rope just using the wake to surf behind the boat. Quite impressive.
I just can't say enough about the desert landscape and it's beauty. The ride was truly relaxing and our captain was a wealth of information.
It was really cool to get a different perspective of the lake from what we saw when we hiked the Butcher Jones Trail the last two winters. This truly is a jewel of the desert.
At the end of the ride you could see the dam that was built to hold back the water to create the lake. The dam also generates electricity for the region. Beautiful and functional. We didn't get to see any wildlife on this cruise like we did on the Dollie Cruise last year but all in all it was well worth the ride. I know I've said this before and probably earlier in this post but I never get tired of the desert landscape. This is a perfect place to settle for the winter. So glad we had the opportunity to share this experience with our friends from B.C.
We only have about 5 more weeks here before we move on to Parker, AZ and 29 Palms, CA. Looking forward to seeing our RV friends, Steve and Debbie next week for the month of March. More adventures to come.