Dawn Lake, Arizona, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Arizona - Phoenix & Central -

Dawn Lake sits in the sunny Sonoran Desert of Arizona, in the master-planned development of one of the first and largest retirement communities in the United States: Sun City, Maricopa County. The small lake, surrounded by stuccoed condos, desert plants and palm trees, and a community bursting with life, is a sweet oasis about 15 miles northwest of Phoenix.

Sun City is aptly named. Vibrant, radiant and full of happy people, it is like no other retirement community. Built by renowned master builder, Del Webb, Sun City was designed for older adults who still have that spark of youthfulness and creativity. Changing times see a more flexible retirement lifestyle with some residents still working in the Greater Phoenix area. Del Webb built the amenities of the community before he built the homes, a smart move that guaranteed new residents satisfaction and the community’s eventual national success. Sun City is self-sufficient with shopping centers, businesses, medical facilities and other services that were incorporated into its planning. A true community, it is also known for its volunteer spirit. Most of the community’s efforts are volunteer-based and a great deal of support funds comes from residents. The Del Webb Development Company (DEVCO) opened the first model homes in January of 1960 attracting crowds and many purchases within the first hour. By the end of the first weekend, 237 homes were sold. At once a buzz of social and recreational fanfare, the community blossomed in the next few months with a sale of 2,000 homes.

Today, the many social and arts clubs, activities and special events are the life vein of the community. There are golf courses, country clubs, bowling centers, churches and libraries. Several recreation centers and clubs offer music and theater, exercise, dance, cards and games, swimming, and sports. Classes and programs offer training and workshops for a variety of craft skills and hobbies: weaving, china painting, photography, woodworking, silversmithing, painting, stained glass, pottery and more. You can play horseshoes, take to the tennis or racquetball courts, keep fit roller skating, walking and jogging, or relax in one of the therapy pools. Services and resources include the Sun City Fire Department, a hospital, and the Sun City Homeowners Association magazine. The Mineral and Gem Museum, West Valley Art Museum, and Deer Valley Rock Art Center are points of interest. There are dozens of concerts, special events, and famous celebrity appearances. The lakes of Sun City introduce a wealth of water activities to residents. Dawn Lake and its neighbor Viewpoint Lake are each around 35 surface acres and provide fishing, boating, canoeing, swimming, and paddle boating.

Sun City combines the excitement of Phoenix with the vista of mountains and deserts. Experience rich culture, art, history, architecture and delectable food in Phoenix’s major areas of attractions collectively called the Valley of the Sun. In downtown Phoenix, visit the Bentley Projects, a warehouse turned art gallery for world-class contemporary paintings, photography, prints and sculpture. Taste the unique flavor of the wood-fired “best pizza in America” at the famous Pizzeria Bianco. Experience Native American art and history at the Heard Museum or at the Basha Salmeri Gallery of Western American and Native American Art in Chandler. Visit any one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpieces in Scottsdale or Tempe. Also in Tempe, the Desert Botanical Garden has a wondrous collection of desert flora. Go dancing, shopping or take in some performing arts. Visit the Goldfield Ghost Town and find yourself back in time in a wild, wild west mining town, or visit a working ranch in the remote romantic desert enclave of Wickenburg.

Part of the extensive Agua Fria Watershed, Dawn Lake is surrounded by a land not only rich in biological diversity, but replete with prehistoric records. The watershed boasts one of the most key networks of prehistoric sites in the entire American Southwest. Spend your time getting in touch not only with the simple beauties of a breathtaking landscape but with a way of life that has all but disappeared.

Vacation rentals and real estate possibilities in Sun City include waterfront homes that reflect the flat, one-story desert style designs, with cacti and palms, stonework, and a path that leads to your recliner and umbrella right in front of the water. The sunrise is amazing over Dawn Lake, with the dark silhouettes of tall palms impressed against an orange-blue sky. Rise every morning at Dawn Lake, smiling because you will live your days in a sweet oasis.

Things to do at Dawn Lake

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Museum
  • Shopping

Dawn Lake Photo Gallery

Dawn Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Sun City Homeowners Association

Surface Area: 36 acres

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,160 feet

Drainage Area: 464 sq. miles

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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