Lyman Lake, Arizona, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - Southwest - Arizona - Northern -

Also known as:  Lyman Reservoir

Mount Baldy and Escudilla Mountain hug Lyman Lake. Ridges from the second and third highest mountains in Arizona surround the 1500-acre reservoir. Located in northeastern Arizona, Lyman Lake is smack dab in the middle of the 1200-acre state park bearing the same name.

Lyman Lake was created by damming the Little Colorado River. The first dam, built of earth and rock, was completed in 1912. It was rebuilt in 1915 after a collapse.

The water stored in the reservoir was originally intended for irrigation. It is fed by snowmelt from the surrounding mountains which are a part of a 790-square-mile watershed that reaches into New Mexico.

In addition to irrigation, Lyman Lake has also become a big draw for water sport enthusiasts. It is one of the only bodies of water in northeastern Arizona that does not have size restrictions on motor boats. The west end of the lake is designated a no wake zone (5 miles per hour) so anglers have the opportunity to reel in one of the lake’s legendary largemouth bass or channel catfish without being disturbed by speedboats or water-skiers.

In addition to largemouth bass and channel catfish; anglers have a chance to reel in green sunfish, carp and a few walleye.

In 2002 the Arizona Game and Fish Department issued a mercury warning in reference to eating fish caught in Lyman Lake. Check with the Arizona State Parks for conditions and any warnings at Lyman.

Water levels fluctuate at Lyman Lake because the water is drawn down for irrigation. At full pond the average depth of the warm water reservoir is 22 feet. At its deepest, the lake is 57 feet.

Water-skiing and pleasure boating are popular pastimes on the wide open portions of the lake. Canoeists and swimmers also enjoy the Lyman Lake waters. On shore there is horseback riding and hiking.

The Lyman Lake State Park Visitors Center details, in its exhibits, archeology sites and prehistoric ruins found in the park. Petroglyphs, rock art, dating from 6000 BC to 300 AD, are visible via the trails. Some are even accessible by water.

Lyman Lake State Park is open all year. Arizona’s first state park opened in 1961. It has grown to include 23 tent camping sites, 38 RV sites with water, sewer and electric, four cabins, and four tent-like structures called yurts. Restrooms and bathhouses are also included in the amenities.
More vacation rentals are available in and around the cities of Saint Johns and Springerville.

Lyman Lake is located 11 miles south of Saint Johns and 17 miles north of Springerville in the White Mountains area of Arizona. The area is rich in history. Just five miles away is the Raven Site Indian Ruins. Springerville is home to the Casa Malpais ruins, occupied by the Mogollon People for 200 years until they mysteriously abandoned their homes around 1400 AD.

The Kinishba Ruins are accessible by visiting the White Mountain Cultural Center and Museum. The ruins area located about four miles west of Fort Apache. They were occupied by Zuni and Hopi ancestors until around 1400 AD.

The White Mountains area is a four season destination. 47 miles south of Lyman Lake in Greer, is one of Arizona’s premiere snow skiing resorts. If you head about 55 miles north of Lyman Lake to the City of Holbrook, you will find The Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert.

The climate is pleasant year round. Temperatures in the mid-40s to lower 50s are the norm in the winter. The lower 80s are the normal high during the peak summer season.

Things to do at Lyman Lake AZ

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Downhill Skiing
  • Horseback Riding
  • State Park
  • National Park
  • Museum
  • Ruins

Fish species found at Lyman Lake AZ

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Carp
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Sunfish
  • Walleye

Lyman Lake AZ Photo Gallery

    Lyman Lake AZ Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Water Level Control: Lyman Irrigation Company

    Surface Area: 1,500 acres

    Shoreline Length: 20 miles

    Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 5,980 feet

    Average Depth: 22 feet

    Maximum Depth: 57 feet

    Water Volume: 30,810 acre-feet

    Completion Year: 1915

    Drainage Area: 790 sq. miles

    Trophic State: Eutrophic

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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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