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Like all Mogollon Rim Area Lakes, Black Canyon Lake is scenically forested. Although the surrounding forest was adversely effected by the 2002 Rodeo-Chediski Fire and some trees around the lake were charred, a sizeable portion of the lake is lushly forested. Because of the danger of falling trees damaged by the 2002 fire, the entire area around the lake is limited to day use only until further notice. 

Black Canyon Rim Campground is near by and is sheltered among towering ponderosa pines and located in an area that is relatively flat and sandy. A herd of wild horses is often seen running through the area and stopping at Black Canyon Lake for water.

Fish Species

Primarily Rainbow Trout with some illegally introduced Largemouth Bass and Green Sunfish. Varying sizes of rainbow trout are stocked in the spring and early summer.

Fishing Strategy

The best way to catch the larger trout is fly fishing from a boat or float tube. Good surface bites are reported in the evening with dry flies. Trolling early and late in the day can produce larger trout. Try nightcrawlers off the lakes bottom. Children will have fun catching green sunfish with bobbers and nightcrawlers. Fishing licenses with a a trout stamp is required for all anglers 14 years and above. The daily bag limit is four trout, six bass and unlimited sunfish or three trout for unlicensed anglers under the age of 14.

Boating Options

Launching Area, 10HP Single or Less

Camping Options

Camping is permitted only at two nearby campgrounds with the closest being Black Canyon Rim Campground near the junction of Forest Roads 300 and 86. It includes 21 camping sites, water and chemical toilets. Gentry Campground is 2 miles further down FR 300 and has 6 camping sites with water and a vault toilet. The campgrounds are fee-based and you cannot make reservations. At the lake, there is one boat ramp and 2 barrier toilets.


Take Highway 260 northeast towards Heber-Overgaard to Forest Road 300. On Forest Road 300 go for about 2.4 miles. Turn east (left) on Forest Road 86 about 3 miles to the lake turnoff.

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