Lakes of Arizona

Mexican Hay Lake

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  • Mexican Hay Lake is located off State Route 260 southwest of Springerville in the White Mountains (the usual route to Crescent Lake). It probably gets its name from the thick line of weeds that encircles the lake. It may not be hay, but in some sections it's thick enough to convince a road-weary fishermen.

    Because of the thick weedline, a boat is definitely a plus. But, shore fishermen regularly limit out when the "bite is on."

    The best boats to use are cartoppers or inflatable's. Electric motors are the most you can use here. There is a small boat launch. For shore fishermen, the highway past the lake offers two pullouts to probe Mexican Hay's wealth of finny residents.

    The lake was originally created in 1908 when Fred Colter constructed a dam in Baca Draw to store irrigation water for the Round Valley area. Currently it is owned by the Lyman Water Company; however, it is no longer used for irrigation.

    Probably the only drawback to this scenic little lake is the fact that it's pretty shallow, not much more than 6-8 feet deep. At the elevation it occupies in the White Mountains, that translates to regular freezes, and quite often kill-offs (as recorded in the winters of 1985, 1987 and again in the late 1990s). It also has a habit of all but disappearing during prolonged drought. -G.J. Sagi, from the essential travel handbook Fishing Arizona
  • Phone Numbers for more information::
    Game and Fish (602)789-3701
    Restrictions/Season of Use:
    The 261 closes in the winter call ahead if you plan on cutting it close.
    Road Conditions:
    Land Ownership:
    Lyman Water Company
    Ranger Station/District:
    Alpine Ranger District (928) 339-5000
    Entrance Fees/Permits:
    No unless the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest has it posted otherwise
    8800 plus feet
    Max Surface Acres:
    Mexican Hay Lake stays around 35 acres just at its max it can reach 185.
    Average Depth:
    6-8 feet
    Boat/Engine Restrictions:
    Electric Trolling motors only
    Boats to Rent:
    Launching Area:
    Yes Primitive
    Water Skiing:
    Cleaning Stations:
  • To get to Mexican Hay Lake take the 261 south of Eager and you will see it on the right or if your heading east on the 273 take a left on the 261 just past Crescent Lake and in two miles you will see the lake or signs for the lake to your left.

User Comments

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  1. AGFD bio
    Mexican Hay Lake has been dry or too low to stock for many years. No fish present in the lake. You can bet that fishing will be poor.