• Of all Arizona's trout waters, this is my absolute favorite! I'll always fondly remember when I was young and my parents would drag me to its 260 surface acres of water in the early spring, when snow was still underneath the trees. If you visit the lake in April or early May, things can be pretty white, although it was at those frigid times when limits seemed easiest.

    Near the lake is a campground, a general store and a small chapel that was once occupied almost every Sunday in summer. Boats are limited to electric trolling motors. If you get your craft on the water, try trolling with cowbells, and in the middle of the summer get down deep.

    One of the best things about Hawley Lake is its accessible shoreline-nearly 10 miles. The lake is surrounded by thick stands of pines although you can drive to within 100 yards of the water at each corner because of the number of cabin access roads.

    Try salmon eggs, power-style trout bait or kernels of corn with a marshmallow to add buoyancy. The small finger of water between Earl Park Lake and Hawley Lake has been my favorite for years. If you prefer the action of lures, try slow rolling a red-and-yellow Z-Ray. For some reason, almost no other colors produce the same results for me here, so be sure to bring a generous supply since snags are just about as populous as the fish.

    If you prefer trolling, start near the thick weed beds. The best results usually come from using cowbells, and the action is almost always deep.

    If you're adventurous and own a truck, consider taking the back dirt road into Whiteriver. This drive is through one of the state's most pristine areas and the road is usually in pretty good shape. Look for wild strawberries in the summer. -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 Hawley lake often close in the winter so call ahead.
    Road Conditions:
    Paved to dirt
    Land Ownership:
    Hawley Lake is owned by the White Mountain Apache Tribe
    Ranger Station/District:
    Pinetop Game and Fish (928)3674281
    Entrance Fees/Permits:
    White Mountains Permit
    The elevation at Hawley Lake is 8200 feet
    Max Surface Acres:
    River Lake Impounds:
    Black River, White River
    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:
    Yes seasonal
    Trailer Spaces:
    Launching Area:
    Water Skiing:
    No marinas at Hawley Lake
  • Take Hwy 260 east of McNary to the 473 south, there will be signs posted

User Comments

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  1. HookedAZ
  2. Linda and Dan
    I heard that they were draining Hawley Lake. Is this correct? If it is when are they starting to drain it?
    Thank you, Linda
  3. HookedAZ
    Sorry I wish I had some more info for you. I don't know if it wen up to the Lake.
  4. Linda and Dan
    Thank you for this information! Was this area affected by the forest fires from last year?