Garden Lakes, Arizona, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Arizona - Phoenix & Central -

Also known as:  North Garden Lake, South Garden Lake

Can Garden Lakes provide lakefront living in Arizona? Near Phoenix? Yes, it’s entirely possible to find lakefront homes in one of the urban lakes of the Phoenix and Central Region. Garden Lakes in Avondale is one of those lakefront communities. Consisting of the North and South Garden Lakes,the residential developments making up Garden Lakes line the quiet winding streets along the shores. The two lakes provide at total of three-and-a-half miles of lakefront living in the midst of the desert. The lakes did not appear where without man-made help however. This oasis was created by the ingenuity of city engineers attempting to assure a continuous water supply for Phoenix and surrounding cities.

Water sources in central Arizona are meager and carefully nurtured. The Hohokam Native Americans first settled the Salt River Valley around 300 AD. Farming would have been impossible but for the extensive system of hand-dug canals they built along the Gila, Verde and Salt Rivers. The canals dug by the Hohokam served their culture well for hundreds of years. A major drought finally caused the collapse of the culture and the remaining peoples moved on, perhaps as the ancestors of the Pima and Tohono O’odham peoples in Southern Arizona. In 1867, Jack Swilling of Wickenburg recognized the promise in the ruined canals and re-dug some of them to raise crops to sell to the US Army. Soon, a settlement grew around his enterprise which he named Phoenix. Canal building then began in earnest. Today, an extensive system of canals funnel water from the Agua Fria, Verde, Salt, Gila and Colorado rivers for the benefit of area residents. As the water must be treated to become usable, a system of artificial wetlands has been built in Avondale to purify and desalinate the water before treatment. The Garden Lakes developments are just north of that wetland called Crystal Gardens. The water in the lakes is pumped from canals leaving Crystal Gardens.

Water in the North and South Garden Lakes is actually still under treatment; aeration with fountains and the beneficial actions of sunlight and ‘working’ fish such as sterile Amur further cleanse the water. The water in the lakes is not used as drinking water on-site – household water needs are provided by the city water system. The lakes do however provide cooling action, lovely water vistas, small-craft boating and limited fishing to Garden Lakes residents.The South lake, at 19 acres, is the largest urban lake in the area. Slightly smaller, the North lake is 18 acres in surface area. The lakes are stocked with bass, catfish, bluegill, and crappie along with Amur and fishing is permitted to residents only with a permit. Catch and release is strongly encouraged to engender a larger population of bigger fish. Only electric motors are permitted and size restrictions exist for each type of craft. Pontoons are limited to 20 feet or less. No swimming is permitted in the lakes and many homes have swimming pools.

Several developments are constructed around Garden Lakes and not all are waterfront homes. At least two parks are located on each lake for the benefit of back lot residents. Here, off-lake residents can gain access to the water for fishing and boating. Begun in 1987, Garden Lakes is a mature community with many upscale homes managed under restrictive covenants. There are excellent schools and local professional offices located in specified areas of the developments for the benefit of residents. Only a 15 minute commute to downtown Phoenix, Garden Lakes is a highly-desirable residential community.

The advantages of living at Garden Lakes soon become obvious; Phoenix is a fast-growing metropolis with a large employment base. The city is well-supplied with cultural and sports venues and there is always something for everyone in the family to do. Avondale itself has nearly a dozen city parks and civic facilities. The city has easy-access malls and shopping, clear air and beautiful mountain peaks as a backdrop. Two NASCAR races are held annually at Phoenix International Raceway in Avondale. Several golf courses serve the city. And the desert is minutes away, in the form of Estrella Mountain Regional Park.

Located only 25 miles from Garden Lakes, Estrella Mountain Regional Park offers hiking and biking trails, guided nature hikes, gold panning, visits to mines, fishing, camping, horseback riding trails, baseball diamonds and a rodeo arena. Park rangers lead interpretive expeditions into the natural areas for all ages. Star gazing here, away from city lights is a spectacular way for children to explore the night sky and learn about our world.

A few short miles east of Garden Lakes, the city of Phoenix holds a wealth of cultural activities to suit all ages of visitor. Heard Museum showcases art, history and culture while the Phoenix Art Museum focuses strictly on art. The Pueblo Grande Museum and Archeological Park offers exhibits highlighting the Hohokam culture in Phoenix’s past and an on-going archeological dig. The University of Arizona Mineral Museum has displays of beautiful and unique mineral exhibits with explanations of how each was formed. Children and adults alike are amazed at the rich colors and unusual shapes these common and semi-precious minerals naturally form. And everyone will enjoy the Arizona Science Center with it’s hands-on exhibits and demonstrations. For sports, the US Airways Center is the home of the Phoenix Suns. Basketball, arena football, and ice hockey are all played at the Center, in addition to concerts, professional wrestling, ice shows, and other events. What fan wouldn’t enjoy the opportunity to see their favorite sports team live only a few minutes from home?

Vacation rentals at Garden Lakes are not common but occasionally residential properties are available for short-term lease. Commercial lodgings are plentiful in the Avondale area, although not usually at Garden Lakes. Real estate is often found in the developments surrounding Garden Lakes. A visit here to check out the area is time well-spent. Come to Garden Lakes and see if lakefront Arizona living is in your future!

Things to do at Garden Lakes

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Golf
  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • City Park
  • Museum
  • NASCAR
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Garden Lakes

  • Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Sunfish

Garden Lakes Photo Gallery

    Garden Lakes Statistics & Helpful Links

    divider

    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Vision Management

    Surface Area: 37 acres

    Shoreline Length: 4 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 1,017 feet

    Average Depth: 12 feet

    Completion Year: 1987

    Trophic State: Eutrophic

    Spread the word! Share our Garden Lakes article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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."


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    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.


    Lakes for Vacation and Recreation

    Except as noted, Copyright © LakeLubbers LLC. All Rights Reserved.