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Lyman Lake State Park, in east-central Arizona, is a wonderful place to visit when you book an RV in Apache County. Lyman Lake was originally created to be an irrigation reservoir by damming up the Little Colorado River and has grown into a popular recreation destination. The lake covers 1,500 acres at regular levels and typically rests at an elevation approximately 6,000 feet. Motorhome camping near the lake will put you between St. Johns and Springerville, both good towns to visit for supplies and activities when visiting Lyman Lake State Park.
Lyman Lake is fed by the Little Colorado River, which in turn is part of a 790-square mile watershed that extends throughout Arizona and even into New Mexico. The lake has no restrictions on boating, thanks to its size, and supports water sports of a wide variety. Fishing is also popular, and small hiking trails surrounding the lake help round out the recreational opportunities. During the summer, the air temperatures near the lake can reach the low 90s, on average, which makes swimming extra refreshing.
RV camping at Lyman Lake State Park will reward you with a selection of outdoor activities. Most of the popular activities at the lake include the water, which should come as no surprise. Fishing in Lyman Lake is permitted from both the shore in addition to boats, but no matter how you plan to cast a line, you’ll have to have an active fishing license. The most common types of fish caught in the lake include walleye, channel catfish, and largemouth bass.
Boating of many varieties is permitted, so be sure to bring your boat if possible when renting an RV and driving to the lake. There is a modern boat launch with many lanes to make getting your boat in and out of the water a breeze, and the majority of the lake has no boating restrictions. A small no wake area is present on the west end of the lake, but water sports lovers have the rest of the water to enjoy water skiing, tubing, wakeboarding, and similar activities.
During the hot summer months swimming in Lyman Lake is a fabulous way to cool off, especially while camping with an RV nearby. There is a designated swimming area on the west end of the lake, but swimmers should be aware that there is no lifeguard on duty unless otherwise posted. The lake becomes moderately warm during the summer months, but the fresh river water helps keep the temperatures refreshing even on the hottest days.
Lyman Lake State Park is home to a state park RV campground, which makes it easy to stay the night when you rent a camper near here. The park is home to a large Camping Group Building, which covers over 1,000 square feet and has two restrooms, a storage room, foldable tables and chairs, power outlets, water, bbq grills, picnic tables, a heater, and more. Additionally, there are over 60 RV compatible campsites at the park, 38 of which have electric and water hookups.
Of those 38 sites, 13 of them have sewer hookups too, and the additional 23 RV compatible campsites are non-hookup sites. When you plan on staying at the park and prefer a site with hookups, be sure to reserve your campsite ahead of time after you arrange the details of your RV rental. The campground is adjacent to the lake, making it easy to walk to and fro to enjoy a day swimming, sunbathing, boating, and more.
While exploring the area surrounding Lyman Lake State Park, be sure to head to St. Johns to see the Apache County Historical Society Museum. This museum is home to some regional-specific exhibits that will help you learn not only the human history of the area but also the natural history, too. The museum holds regular hours and even has some interactive exhibits and artifacts to help young children learn better.
St. Johns isn’t huge, but it still has plenty of unique and diverse restaurants to enjoy while in town. Most of the restaurants can be found along the main street in town, which is Highway 180, and range from Mexican to modern Italian. There are family-centric restaurants, sandwich shops, cafes, buffets, and more. Additionally, St. Johns is home to a decent selection of fast food and chain restaurants for those campers looking for a taste of something familiar.
Springerville to the south of the park also has museums and restaurants to offer, including the Casa Malpais Archaeological Park and Museum. This museum explores archaeological discoveries in the area and has some children-centric exhibits to keep the little ones entertained.
When these two smaller towns aren’t quite enough, Flagstaff, AZ, is just a few hours to the northwest and has far more big-city features to offer those that visit during their outdoor adventure at Lyman Lake State Park.