Lakes of Arizona

Drift Fence Lake

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  • Nearby Hurricane Lake, once home of the worlds record Apache trout, steals most of the notoriety from Drift Fence Lake. It's a real shame too, since Drift Fence Lake is scenic, with a road curvy and cliffy enough to spawn its own legend, and by the fall it has enough lunker rainbows to attract a near fanatic following.

    Perhaps the only problem with the 15-acre impoundment is the simple fact that its depth of only 22 feet at 8,970 feet above sea level can translate to winter freezes and kill-offs.

    Take heart though, the White Mountain Apache tribe stocks early in the spring, and by fall the rainbows are big enough to fill any frying pan. There's also a campground at the lake with roughly a dozen sites, so you are guaranteed a tremendous waterside experience if you're staying overnight. -G.J Sagi, from the essential travel handbook Fishing Arizona
  • Phone Numbers for more information::
    Game and Fish (928)338-4385
    Restrictions/Season of Use:
    Open all year Stocked first in May when weather permits, The roads to Drift Fence lake often closed in the winter so call ahead.
    Road Conditions:
    Paved to dirt
    Land Ownership:
    Drift Fence Lake is owned by the White Mountain Apache Tribe
    Ranger Station/District:
    Pinetop Game and Fish (928)3674281
    Entrance Fees/Permits:
    White Mountains Permit
    Elevation:
    The elevation at Drift Fence Lake is 8900 feet
    Max Surface Acres:
    15
    River Lake Impounds:
    Black River, White River
    Average Depth:
    22 max
    Bag Limit:
    Trout: 5 for adults (15 and over) 3 for juveniles (10-14) 2 for kids (under 10) Bass and Catfish: 15 for adults, 8 for juveniles, 8 for kids All other species "No limit"
    Boat/Engine Restrictions:
    Electric only
    Boats to Rent:
    No
    Swimming:
    No
    Camping:
    Yes
    Trailer Spaces:
    Yes
    Launching Area:
    Yes
    Water Skiing:
    No
    Marinas:
    No marinas at Drift Fence Lake
  • Take Hwy 260 east of McNary to the 273 then south on Forest Service Road 116 leading to Reservation Lake and Hurricane Lake. The turnoff for Drift Fence Lake will be after the turnoff for Hurricane Lake.

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