Black Canyon Lake

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  • Black Canyon Lake covers 78 surface acres along the Mogollon Rim. At an elevation of 7,100 feet above sea level, it features comfortable summer time temperatures and is managed as one of the states's coldwater fisheries.

    Expect to catch brook, rainbow and brown trout at Black Canyon Lake. Most of the fish remain active throughout the summer, as the lake has an averaged depth of 40 feet. Fingerling and catchable-sized rainbow trout were stocked on November 19, 2002, after water sampling determined the summer's fires had not negatively impacted the waterway. -G.J Sagi, from the travel handbook Fishing Arizona

    I visited this lake on May 21 2010. My buddy and I caught 4 between 6-8 inch rainbow trout within the first ten minutes on the lake trolling at medium speeds with Silver Fox Spinners and a Mepps Spinner around the island and near the dam in deep water. The wind picked up and we tried some Rainbow Power Bait mixed in with some Marshmallows and some salmon eggs next to the dam. We didn't have any luck there bait fishing, maybe I should have tried worms I guess spinners are the way to go at Black Canyon because they worked for use and I saw some old timers with spinners set up on three poles in there boat. I tried Castmaster spoons of gold and silver, small Z-Rays, and Bronze Super-Dupers, only the spinners worked. This lake has bass and catfish as well but I was looking for the browns and didn't give the bass a chance.

    You will see the results of the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Fire on the way to the lake. This pic was taken in 2010.

  • GPS:
    the gps for Black Canyon Lake trail is Latitude: 34° 07' 56.2"N Longitude: 110° 42' 14.2"W
    Phone Numbers for more information::
    Game and Fish (928)367-4281
    Restrictions/Season of Use:
    Open all year "all roads on the rim are open as of last week"
    Road Conditions:
    Paved to dirt with a concrete boat ramp
    Land Ownership:
    Black Canyon Lake is owned by the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest
    Ranger Station/District:
    Pinetop Game and Fish (928)3674281 or the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest at (928)333-4301
    Entrance Fees/Permits:
    There is no access fee for Black Canyon Lake or most of the lakes on the Mongolian Rim in the Apache Site greaves Forest
    The elevation at Black Canyon Lake is 7100 feet
    Max Surface Acres:
    Average Depth:
    40 ft
    Bag Limit:
    Unlimited Bass and Catfish 6 trout for licensed anglers.
    Boat/Engine Restrictions:
    Electric Only
    Boats to Rent:
    Black Canyon Lake has a several nearby campgrounds. You will see trailer spaces on the left when you turn on to Black Canyon Lake Road and then some place to tent camp along the road further up. I saw a few nice fire pits set up on the south side of the dam.
    Barrier free Access:
    No. The roads basically end at the boat launch. There is a trail that goes along the lake for a while to the North you can hike and set up shop.
    Trailer Spaces:
    Not along the lake but within 5 minutes
    Launching Area:
    Yes one concrete launch
    Water Skiing:
    Cleaning Stations:
    No marinas at Black Canyon Lake
  • Take the 260 to the Black Canyon Lake turnoff forest service Rd 300. Then just follow the signs to the lake about 5 minutes away. You will pass Willow Spring Lake about 5 minutes before you see the Black Canyon Lake turnoff if your coming from the west. The lake's turnoff is just near mile-post 291 on the south side of the road. The road is not bad at all, all gravel and maybe a few potholes here and there.

Recent User Reports and Reviews

  1. HookedAZ
    May 19, 2017
    Fishing is good. Last stocked in late April. The lake is full and has a new boat ramp. Accessible on Forest Road 86. Try PowerBait for rainbow trout. Recent survey found 16-inch holdover rainbow trout and many large >3 lb largemouth bass. Use flashy lures for
  2. Reports
    Fishing is poor and the water is low. No ice and the road is open.

User Comments

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  1. AGFD bio
    There are no brown trout at Black Canyon Lake. They were last stocked in the mid 1990s. Rainbow trout are stocked regularly when the water quality allows (every spring and early summer at the least). Black Canyon also contain illegally stocked largemouth bass and green sunfish, but there are no catfish here.

    Do not need a trout stamp, that program ended several years ago. Only a valid fishing license is needed (no stamps).