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Desert Belle Sightseeing Cruise on Saguaro Lake

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From US$23.00
  • 90-minute scenic boat ride across Saguaro Lake in Tonto National Forest
  • Relax on the Desert Belle’s sprawling deck as you take in the beautiful sights
  • Enjoy spectacular views of the Sonoran Desert as you coast along dazzling blue waters
  • See local wildlife such as bighorn sheep, bobcats and coyotes
  • Photograph beautiful desert scenery, mountains and canyons
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Tour options (4)
12:30pm; Standard Ticket
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12:30pm departure for the Desert Belle boat cruise
From US$23.00
2:45pm; Standard Ticket
2:45pm departure for the Desert Belle boat cruise
From US$23.00
5pm; Standard Ticket
5pm departure for the Desert Belle boat cruise
From US$23.00
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Enjoy a narrated 90-minute cruise on Saguaro Lake, an easy drive from Phoenix and Mesa. Hop on board the Desert Belle, a restored sightseeing vessel with spectacular views of the desert landscape. Snap photos of Tonto National Forest, and look for local wildlife such as bald eagles, coyotes and bobcats. Ride in your choice of an air-conditioned cabin or shaded open-air top deck, with great views from all seats. Drinks are available for purchase on board, or you can upgrade to include preferred seating and one drink.
What to Expect
Make your own way to Saguaro Lake to board the boat for your tour. Saguaro Lake lies within Tonto National Forest, about a 30-mile (48-km) drive from Mesa and Phoenix, Arizona.
Choose from a number of departure times throughout the afternoon for your 90-minute cruise aboard the Desert Belle, a restored double-decker boat that was originally built in 1964. You can enjoy excellent views from either beneath the upper deck’s shaded canopy or inside the air-conditioned cabin.
Take in views of classic Arizona desert scenery during your cruise, including mesquite, prickly pear plants and the iconic saguaro cactus, all set against the rust-colored mountains in the distance. You might spot a bald eagle soaring in the bright blue sky above you, or bobcats, coyotes and bighorn sheep trekking around the hills.
Keep your camera ready to snap photos as you cruise around the lake, which has 22 miles (35 km) of cactus-studded shoreline, with expansive views of the water in contrast to the dramatic desert canyons. Hear live narration from your captain about the sights you pass and look for points of interest that are only apparent at first to the trained eye.
Beverages such as beer, wine and soft drinks are available for purchase from the concession stand on board the Desert Belle. An optional upgrade is available that guarantees priority seating, and includes one drink and popcorn.
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Reviews (239)
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All reviews snack bar lower deck nice thing to do great narration beautiful scenery ample seating long horned sheep lakefront restaurant minute narrated tour board early great sightseeing rock formations true beauty out of state spend an afternoon light jacket bald eagles
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1 - 5 of 112 reviews
Reviewed 6 days ago

The cruise itself was good. We had a few issues however. They hold the cruises so close together that there is no parking when you get there. We had to wait approximately 1/2 hour for someone to leave the restaurant there so we could get...More

Date of experience: May 2019
1  Thank Tom H
Reviewed 1 week ago

This cruise was excellent. Great scenery, wildlife, very informative history of the lake and surrounding area and pleasant staff. A slow (90 minute) cruise with soft music and refreshments available for purchase. Get there early for general boarding - priority boarding is also offered.Will be...More

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank joemO767YO
Reviewed 1 week ago

The Narrated Desert Belle tour was very pleasant. 90 minutes is just right, and Captain Gino is a friendly and knowledgeable host. The staff are all friendly, you are welcomed warmly and the tour was very nice. It was not what I expected which was...More

Date of experience: May 2019
Thank erlebc
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

Local family members took us here for a relaxing sightseeing trip. It worked perfectly. We were impressed with Captain Geno's narration of the surroundings and the history of the area. Several animals were visible and all those mountain views.

Thank joe-chicago-23
Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

This was our first time cruising on these lakes. The weather could not have been any better. The scenery was breathtaking. All our visitors will be treated to this cruise!

Thank l0litay
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Questions & Answers
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24 March 2019|
AnswerShow all 8 answers
Response from TravelingFeather | Reviewed this property |
Yes, it is wheelchair accessible, and we saw many people using the ramp as well.
10 March 2019|
AnswerShow all 5 answers
Response from TravelingFeather | Reviewed this property |
It's a few dollars more to do this option. I personally didn't pay for this because we had plans to eat before and then after the boat trip. Though if you feel you are going to want a drink or a light snack I would go ahead... More
10 March 2019|
AnswerShow all 4 answers
Response from CZ1A | Reviewed this property |
When you click on the date that you want, a choice of cruise times comes up. Once you chose the cruise time that you want, you then have a choice of preferred or general tickets. The preferred tickets only cost $5 more. It... More
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