Valley officials give tips for spending Memorial Day weekend at lakes near metro Phoenix

May 26, 2023, 11:00 AM | Updated: 11:00 am

(KTAR News Photo/Balin Overstolz-McNair)...

(KTAR News Photo/Balin Overstolz-McNair)

(KTAR News Photo/Balin Overstolz-McNair)

PHOENIX — County officials have a message for those planning to spend their Memorial Day weekend at any of the lakes near metro Phoenix.

“[We] just want to keep reminding people, wear your life vest and keep hydrated on those trails,” Maricopa County Supervisor Thomas Galvin said.

Galvin was joined by Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office deputies who specialize in water search and rescue Thursday, as well as others who monitor the trails around Lake Pleasant.

They want to make sure you’re aware of some of the dangers present at the Valley’s most popular and easiest to access lake.

MCSO Detective Robert Marske, who looks into water incidents, shared the grim reality of ignoring safety tips.

“The hard days for me … seeing people’s happy day go dark and tragic in an instant,” Marske said.

“And then having to report that tragedy to the family. It’s happened way too much.”

Last year, there were 11 drownings and several deaths on Maricopa County trails.

Marske and other deputies explained Lake Pleasant is a hotspot for incidents because it’s close to the Valley, does not require a boat to access much of its shoreline and attracts less experienced swimmers, such as kids, teens and adults overconfident in their swimming abilities.

The Lake Pleasant Regional Park has also indicated that the park may unexpectedly close due to capacity limits. Shoreline camping is currently prohibited.

“I would just let people know that if they’re excited to have fun with their friends and family this weekend, just to pause and take stock of what they’re doing,” Galvin said.

Unexpected weather like high winds and lack of safety awareness among other boaters are other risks to be aware of at Lake Pleasant this weekend.

The higher water level also reduces available shoreline, which leads to more crowding and a higher risk of an incident occurring.

“With the higher water level, boaters need to be more aware of debris in the waterway,” Marske said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Phoenix firefighters work to extinguish fire. (Phoenix Fire Department)...

Brandon Gray

At least 21 displaced after alley fire spreads to Phoenix homes

At least 21 people have been displaced after two house fires Tuesday evening near the area of 16th and Oak streets. 

5 hours ago

(Pixabay photo)...

Brandon Gray

‘Hate has no place in Tempe:’ City Hall Pride Flag burned, police investigating

Tempe police are investigating an incident where the City Hall Pride flag was taken from a flagpole and burned Wednesday. 

5 hours ago

(Facebook Photo/City of Apache Junction Government)...

Delaney Penn

Apache Junction rehabilitates monumental sign that was damaged due to wildfires

Apache Junction has rehabilitated a monumental sign on the northeast entrance of State Route 88 that was damaged by wildfires.

5 hours ago

(Twitter Photo/@azfooodbanks)...

Maricopa County resource directory to be absorbed by 211 Arizona

Maricopa County resource directory Find Help Phoenix will soon be absorbed by 211 Arizona to continue providing resources to individuals.

5 hours ago

Aerial view of Riggs Road and State Route 347 interchange. (Arizona Department of Transportation Ph...

New bridge considered for SR 347 at Riggs Road in south Chandler

Transportation officials are looking for ways to improve traffic flow and safety on State Route 347 between metro Phoenix and Maricopa.

1 day ago

Gavel (Pexels Photo)...

Associated Press

Ex-teacher sentenced to prison for making death threat against Arizona legislator

A former Tucson middle school teacher was sentenced Tuesday to 2 ½ years in prison after pleading guilty to making a death threat against Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles



Why drug-free weight loss still matters

Wanting to lose weight is a common goal for many people as they progress throughout life, but choosing between a holistic approach or to take medicine can be a tough decision.

(Photo: OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center)...

OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

Here’s what you need to know about OCD and where to find help

It's fair to say that most people know what obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders generally are, but there's a lot more information than meets the eye about a mental health diagnosis that affects about one in every 100 adults in the United States.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.

Valley officials give tips for spending Memorial Day weekend at lakes near metro Phoenix