Tempe Town Lake is a popular recreational spot for people living in the Valley of the Sun. Each year almost 2.5 million people make use of the area and its facilities. The Lake also hosts many special events throughout the year including the Ironman Arizona, the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, Block Parties, Concerts and a major Independence Day fireworks celebration.
The lake was completed in 1999 concluding 10 years of planning – after the city of Tempe had adopted the Rio Salado Master Plan. The lake is part of the dry Salt River that runs through the city. It was constructed with a large rubber dam at one end to hold the water. The lake is 16 feet deep in places. It was officially opened on November 7, 1999.
In 2010 the dam broke releasing around three quarters of the lake’s water into the dry Salt River. The Salt River does occasionally flow if there is a lot of rainfall. During these times the water runs over the dams.
The lake is almost 2 miles long and incorporates a 5 mile long path that circles the lake for walkers, joggers and bikes with public art features along the way. Tempe Beach Park was built in 1931 and was renovated and incorporated into the lake area. This includes a children’s Splash Playground and an amphitheater for outdoor concerts which can hold 5,000.
Fishing and boating are both popular activities on the lake. The lake is stocked annually with rainbow trout, and has other species that live year round. Boats can be hired and the lake is home to sailing, yacht and rowing clubs as well as privately owned craft whose owner’s make use of the Tempe Town Lake Marina.
The skyline has developed around the lake and many businesses are now located in the vicinity which employ around 40,000 people. Tempe Center for the Arts lies at the south end of the lake and hosts many important cultural events throughout the year. The Loop 202 is close-by allowing easy access for vehicles.
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