Dolly Steamboat Cruises Canyon Lake

Take a Relaxing Scenic Cruise on Arizona's Canyon Lake

The Dolly Steamboat Scenic Cruise
Judy Hedding

The Dolly Steamboat is a 103-foot replica of a riverboat that has been pleasing Arizona residents and visitors for more than 20 years with tours on Canyon Lake. Although Dolly Steamboat doesn't travel the entire length of the 10-mile long Canyon Lake, you will pass Mormon Flat Dam on your leisurely and enjoyable lake cruise.

Canyon Lake is one of the lakes closest to the Greater Phoenix area, southeast of Phoenix in Apache Junction, Arizona. It is on the Apache Trail, probably the best known scenic drive in central Arizona. A ride on Dolly Steamboat is a relaxing and very scenic way to spend the afternoon. Combined with other attractions, like that drive along the Apache Trail or a visit to Goldfield Ghost Town, or just as a destination in itself, Dolly Steamboat is an excellent destination for locals and visitors of all ages.

The Dolly Steamboat has a 1.5-hour minute-narrated nature cruise, a 2.5-hour twilight dinner cruise, and a 2.5-hour astronomy/dinner cruise. The trip takes place on a popular, lovely lake through the scenic canyon. If you are lucky, you'll see some local wildlife on the daytime cruises! From time to time, there are lunch cruises, astronomy cruises, and other special events.

When and Where the Dolly Steamboat Operates

The Dolly Steamboat operates all year long, rain or shine and cruises Canyon Lake in Apache Junction. It will take you about 1-1/2 hours from most points in Phoenix, longer from the northwest parts of the Valley. You should plan to be there half an hour early. There is a restaurant at the  Canyon Lake Marina if you want to eat before your cruise.

Buying Tickets For the Dolly Steamboat

You can purchase tickets online or by phone to 480-827-9144. There are several cruise options available including a Narrated Nature Cruise, Twilight Dinner Cruise, and an Astronomy Cruise. Check their website to make reservations and for current pricing. Parking is free. 

10 Things To Know About Dolly Steamboat

  1. If you don't pay for or guarantee your tickets in advance, you can go directly to the Dolly Steamboat ticket office at Canyon Lake. Be warned, though, that tickets sell out often, and you might not get on without a prepaid ticket.
  2. People who don't have prepaid tickets or advance reservations start to line up at the window at least half an hour before cruise time. People online will be offered any available tickets, or tickets for no-shows, on a first-come, first served basis.
  3. Dolly Steamboat does not accept credit cards at the ticket booth.
  4. Dolly Steamboat is popular for parties and corporate events, so make sure they will have public tours before you drive out to stand in line.
  5. Food/beverages are not allowed on Dolly Steamboat. You can bring water onto Dolly Steamboat, but they have water available on the boat. Alcoholic beverages are available to purchase. Bring cash. You may not bring your own alcohol.
  6. You'll be able to find shade on Dolly Steamboat. Dolly Steamboat has A/C in the summer and heat in the winter.
  7. Snacks and soft drinks are available for purchase on Dolly Steamboat. Bring cash.
  8. There are restrooms on Dolly Steamboat.
  9. The Captain of Dolly Steamboat does a great job pointing out interesting sights along the tour. On the way back, people will mostly relax.
  10. Dolly Steamboat is handicapped accessible, and strollers are permitted.

All dates, times, prices and offerings are subject to change without notice.

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