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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.


  • 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

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Desert Belle Sightseeing Cruise on Saguaro Lake

Desert Belle Sightseeing Cruise

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.

Customer Reviews

William C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

Another great thing to do have to book in advance and again well worth to see a little hard to find signage could be better

Remona L P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

All friends and family that come to Tucson, AZ to visit me will have to experience this cruise. I have taken two people so far and they both sat in awe of the beauty of the land as well as the knowledge of the captain of the cruise. It is a 2-1/2 hours drive for me but well worth it!

George M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2016

Wonderful cruise with our grandchildren. The captain did an excellent job of informing us of the history of the lake and region it's located, as well as strange and unusual stories. We were able to get seats on the top deck, which I highly recommend.

Francis K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

Was a very nice tour on a very nice day with no problems. My guests and I really enjoyed it.

ilene c

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

A beautiful experience. Never would have seen this much via car or hike. Worth every penny plus some. The staff were friendly and very knowledgeable. Signed up for this trip 1 day in advance and to our surprise the only opening was 12:30pm Love it so much. Do Not Miss!

Karen T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Very enjoyable trip.

Keith J United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Well worth going on 90mins long


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Beautiful landscape and very interesting narration made this a great excursion. Definitely recommend!

Carey N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great tour threw very scenic area and a great Narration by the Captain! Very friendly crew

Joan W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

I truly enjoyed this tour. I thought the price was very reasonable. There was a lot of interesting information learned from our excellent guide. The staff was beyond nice and professional. I definitely recommend.

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