Trip Ideas - 14 min read

15 BEST Lazy Rivers in Arizona (Relax And Float Down Stream!)

Kimberly Anne

Kimberly Anne, Updated October 9, 2022

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Although laziness frequently has a bad name, sometimes it’s the best way to escape the Arizona summer heat. Arizona lacks an oceanfront position and the beaches that go along with it. Therefore, inhabitants and visitors must rely on hotels with cool pools and entertaining water parks. 

These are Arizona’s greatest lazy rivers, so embrace your lazy attitude and the summer heat. Phoenix’s rivers provide breathtaking scenery and serene surroundings that will entice you to visit again and again. Enjoy these five-star encounters that you can only have at these incredible locations in Phoenix! Phoenix experiences summertime temperatures that reach 99 °F almost daily. 

Most water parks have lazy rivers, which are floating water rides. In essence, it’s a tranquil float down a shallow river that moves slowly. A lazy river should, in ideal circumstances, provide the rider with a leisurely descent. This usually takes place along a picturesque path. The best part is cruising the lazy river while you laugh with family and friends along the way.

1. River Ranch Water Park at Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix

Credit: Hilton

You can spend a day that is both relaxing, and invigorating at River Ranch Water Park. The waterslides and the lazy river are only two of the attractions at this park. Your whole family will appreciate the trip to River Ranch. 

This venue is perfect for any event. Guests have access to delectable food and refreshing beverages. The River Ranch Water Park has many pools, cascading waterfalls, and a lazy river for your enjoyment. 

Participate in a round of miniature golf with your family. The special golf course was designed to circumnavigate the River Ranch and the meandering river.

You can relax and unwind with a refreshing beverage at the restaurant and saloon, Hole in the Wall. Your family will enjoy a fun-filled day spent at River Rich. With numerous pools, a slide, and a lazy river your family will never become bored.

There are plenty of cabanas there as well. You may get away from the sun and relax in the comfort of the Cabanas at River Ranch Water Park. Consequently, you’ll likely cool down, relax, and dine all near the main pool and waterslide. 

The cabanas also provide convenient access to the children’s pool and the lazy river.

2. Oasis Waterpark at Arizona Grand Resort & Spa, Phoenix 

Credit: Resort Pass

The Arizona Grand Resort & Spa has an outstanding collection of water activities to offer its guests. 

There is a side-by-side lazy river and a wave pool. Adults can also enjoy a hot tub. Additionally, you won’t want to miss the 8-story tower with three gigantic slides, to name a few of the attractions. These attractions will surely get your adrenaline going!

Enjoy a relaxing day on one of the most enjoyable lazy rivers in Arizona. Book your stay at the Grand Resort and Spa. Here you’ll find a variety of activities and amenities that are suitable for children, teens, and adults alike.

For your next family trip, the enormous, exhilarating, and thrilling Oasis at Arizona Grand Resort & Spa is the right location. Additionally, The Travel Channel rated it one of the country’s Top 10 Water Parks. This unique waterpark offers something for kids of all ages.

Wild Cat Springs is a top-notch facility with a 7-acre footprint that’s perfect for kids.

Related Read: 40 BEST Things To Do In Arizona

3. The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale

Credit: Marriott

This adventure park features heated pools and a lazy river. At the Westin, you will also have access to lifeguards who are on duty. This is to ensure your comfort and safety as you enjoy the park’s many activities.

The beautiful whirlpool hot tub is available to you at any time of the year for your convenience. Your family will have a ton of fun at this Resort and Spa. The Westin Kierland Resort and Spa is packed with exciting activities.

The Kierland FlowRider flow-board simulator is one of the most popular attractions at the resort’s Adventure Water Park. The waterpark of course has a lazy river too. We can’t forget to mention the 110-foot-long water slide, and a variety of other exciting water activities.

Rent a family-friendly poolside cabana to relax in covered luxury. If not you can always take advantage of your very own little “island” at the Tommy Bahama Relaxation Reef. Both are available for rent.

The Tommy Bahama Relaxation Reef is a secluded “island” inside the lazy river. There you’ll find one-of-a-kind lounge spaces and cabanas. Your family will have plenty of room to relax in private cabanas and lounge areas.

4. JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa, Phoenix

Credit: AZ Central

The JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa stands out from the competition among the other hotels in the region. This is due to the wide number of pools and other facilities that it offers.

Visit either the Mesa Outdoor Pool or the Grifin Bay Exclusive Pool Experience. At those parks, you will be in for a one-of-a-kind swimming experience that you won’t find anywhere else.

Guests staying at the JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa may make use of the resort’s year-round Whirlpool. There is also the Wildfire Outdoor pool for guests to enjoy.

The location in North Scottsdale is surrounded on all sides by breathtaking vistas of the mountains and skylines.

Additionally, there is a profusion of possibilities to travel across the region. This includes the limitless exhilaration of shopping as well as opportunities to go trekking and riding horses. Among the many options, traveling may be done in a variety of ways.

Related Read: 25 BEST Things to Do in Sedona, AZ with Kids

5. Phoenix Marriott Resort Tempe at The Buttes, Tempe

Credit: Booking.com

Take a plunge in the outdoor pool at the Phoenix Marriott Resort Tempe in The Buttes, Tempe, and take in the most breathtaking vistas.

Take pleasure in the tranquil setting and have a memorable vacation. Additionally, you may choose from a range of splash pools and lazy rivers in the lovely Phoenix Family-friendly enough for everyone, but laid-back enough for a romantic break.

Visit these fantastic locations to have fun. The Phoenix Marriott Resort Tempe at The Buttes has a pleasant small lazy river tunnel that connects the resort’s two pools. This makes it the ideal place to unwind and take it easy while you’re in the water.

This is a fantastic water feature in a first-rate resort, despite the fact that its “river” is not as lengthy as the rivers at some of the other resort pools included on this list.

In addition to hiking paths, this location has two pools with gin-clear water and a water slide, as well as four tennis courts and two beach volleyball courts.

Take some time to unwind in the water while taking in the breathtaking vistas of the hillside butte and the desert sunsets.

The Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is about five kilometers (three miles) away from this hotel. 

6. Salt River                       

Credit: Visit Phoenix

The Salt River is, without a shadow of a doubt, the most well-known location in the state of Arizona for the activity of tubing, and in our opinion, there is a good reason why this is the case. 

Float tours with Salt River Tubing can last anywhere from two to five hours, but regardless of how long you’re on the water, you’ll always get to see the same calm current, spectacular canyon views, and a wide variety of animals.

It sounds like a good time may be had by tubing down the Salt River this coming summer. However, it is Surprisingly close to the heart of Phoenix is the Salt River, a source of nourishment for the surrounding desert that receives water flow from distant mountains.

Swimming, floating, and paddling are all options for getting about this area, which features towering cliffs, giant cacti, and a herd of wild horses.

Related Read: 15 BEST Brunch Spots in Scottsdale, AZ

7. Verde River                           

Credit: Wikipedia

Are you visiting Sedona or the Verde Valley and looking for some outdoor activities to enjoy in the sun? The Verde River’s Tubing Madness is the ideal activity for the whole family to participate in and enjoy together.

The Verde River is one of only two rivers in Arizona to be designated as “wild and picturesque,” and it gets its name from the distinctive blue-green color of its waters.

Its rough beauty is something that has to be seen to be believed; it is reminiscent of a tropical paradise, with its lush flora and protruding cliffs.

Additionally, You have the option of going on a guided tour of one of the most enjoyable floats in Arizona, or you may choose your own route. You can have a guided tour with Verde Adventure River Trips by Sedona Adventure Tours. 

8. Colorado River

Credit: Wikipedia

Tubing is something that may be done in Arizona rather often. From Yuma all the way up to Lake Mead and everything in between is a fantastic area to go tubing on the Colorado River. A public park called The West Wetlands Park can be found on Yuma, Arizona’s northwest outskirts. It is situated inside Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area alongside the Colorado River.

Likewise, Rentals are available, as well as van trips, from West Wetlands Park (which, by the way, has a new beach) all the way to Gateway Park or the junction of the Gila and Colorado Rivers. Yuma River Tubing operates out of this location.

However, you have the option of going on a journey that takes either 60 minutes or 3.5 hours.

Yuma River Tubing is an experience that you won’t want to miss out on. Especially, if you’ve ever been curious about what it would be like to float down the Colorado River.

You will get the opportunity to float for up to three and a half hours with your family while taking in the sights of the area.

Related Read: 20 BEST Restaurants in Scottsdale, AZ 

9. Golfland Sunsplash (Mesa)     

Credit: Phoenix New Times

Mesa, Arizona is the location where the Golfland-Sunsplash family of water parks and family entertainment parks first opened its doors to the public.

Within the boundaries of the bigger park are now located two distinct parks. This unique waterpark is open all year. In addition to the lazy river, Golfland has tons of amenities. Golfland has three miniature golf courses, an arcade, and a pizza restaurant. You’ll also find a go-kart track and bumper boats among its array of attractions.

Consequently, as both a waterpark and a family entertainment center, there are plenty of things for everyone in the family.

The Endless River in Arizona is one of the best lazy rivers for some low-key sunbathing, and it is 800 feet long. Additionally, there are water buckets distributed throughout the river as a nice surprise for visitors.

10. JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa (Tucson)

Credit: Marriott

The JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass is a top-rated hotel. This establishment is one of the best in Tucson. The Star Pass is home to one of the best Arizona resorts with lazy rivers. During your stay, you will also find a water slide and a multi-level pool.

This is the perfect spot to get some sun!

11. Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale

Credit: Raising Arizona Kids

After an exciting day at the water park, visitors may unwind on the lazy river. Make the most of the downtime as you and your loved ones float along the river.

Feel free to float along the peaceful river for as long as you want. When visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, bring the kids to the Crooked Creek Lazy River at the Great Wolf Lodge.

Swimming, strolling, or floating in the river’s shallow depths is entirely up to you. There is nothing more relaxing than floating along a placid river for as long as you want.

Additionally, it has more than 30 rides and attractions on-site. It’s perfect for hosting family-friendly events, such as birthday parties and activities for fostering teamwork.

12. Waylon’s Water World, Yuma

Credit: Yelp

Yuma, Arizona’s excellent location for this lazy river makes it deserving of inclusion. Consequently, the park has more than 15 pools and water slides. These have been created and built with children and adults in mind.

An 850-foot lazy river at the water park is ideal for cooling down on a hot summer day. Grab a drink, and then relax on a transparent tube. The Big Bowl, Mat Racer, and Syd’s Zone for small children are other entertaining water elements at this location.

Additionally, there is a play area for children. You’ll also find a snack bar, tables with umbrellas for shade, and private cabanas that may be rented.

13. Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix 

Credit: Six Flags

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor Phoenix is in Phoenix, Arizona. This waterpark spans a vast 35 acres of land, making it the largest in the state.

There are several things in Hurricane Harbor that will leave you exclaiming “WOW!”

To name a few, there are water slides that will make your heart race and play areas for kids. Additionally, there are lazy rivers that will allow you to relax.

14. Chandler Aquatics 

Credit: Chandler, AZ

Recently, Chandler Aquatics was presented with the Best of Aquatics Award by Aquatics International. This honor was bestowed on the club in recognition of its efforts to educate members of the local community. Chandler offered the program during Drowning Impact Awareness Month.

This swimming pool is not only safe to use, but it also provides a lot of entertainment. The Aquatics Center is one of the best because of its playgrounds (or spraygrounds). Additionally, there’s the famous lazy river and other amenities that are of the highest quality.

The Mesquite Groves Aquatic Center and Arrowhead Pool both have lazy rivers. Additionally, once you’ve finished the lazy river, you can take advantage of aquafit classes or lap swim sessions.

15. Marble Canyon Lodge

Credit: Marble Canyon Lodge

The expansive Arizona desert landscape is right outside your door at Marble Canyon Lodge. The lodge is situated along the Colorado River in Marble Canyon just past Bitter Springs and Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.

This lodge was once a trading post for the Navajo Nation. It has developed into the neighborhood’s best-kept secret.

The Marble Canyon Lodge has easy access to the riverwalk. Likewise, the Navajo Bridge and Lee’s Ferry are nearby attractions. You also can’t forget the famous Vermilion Cliffs.

The beauty of the area’s natural landscape is demonstrated by the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and the Colorado River. Enjoy the outdoors by going on rafting and kayaking adventures or by hiking and biking.

Additionally, their hotel offers you access to the best of Arizona’s outdoors. Likewise, Marble Canyon is in close proximity to the Grand Canyon!

Take a look at what is just around the corner for yourself.

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