This Crystal Clear Secluded Forest Lake Is in Arizona

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Looking down through the pines towards Knoll Lake in Arizona.

Knoll Lake in Arizona is not what you would expect when visiting Arizona. Many seek out the cacti and beauty of the vast desert when visiting here, and in doing so, miss out on the forested beauty that’s also home to Arizona.

Knoll Lake is an example of that forested beauty. This crystal clear lake is the perfect little mountain getaway tucked discreetly amongst towering pines. You’ll think you’ve been whisked away to the wilds of Alaska.

Well, maybe not quite that, but it’s a place of beauty and wonder.

Where Is Knoll Lake Located? 

Knoll Lake is located in the Coconino National Forest in central Arizona, approximately 80 miles southeast of Flagstaff. The lake is at an elevation of around 7,000 feet and is in the middle of tall pines and cliffs. 

Not only will you experience the beauty of the forest here, but it also sits at the base of the Mogollon Rim. The Rim is a massive cliff marking the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau, making Knoll Lake a great place to start your adventure.

Image courtesy of the US Forest Service

Traveler’s Tip: Let the Arizona landscape surprise you even more by visiting these refreshing waterfalls.

About the Coconino National Forest

Coconino National Forest is a 1.8 million-acre U.S. National Forest located in northern Arizona. It contains several distinct landscapes, including desert, ponderosa pine forests, piñon-juniper woodlands, and mixed conifer forests.

Above the Verde Valley lie the Mogollon Rim and the San Francisco Peaks, including Humphreys Peak, the tallest mountain in Arizona at 12,633 ft. 

Coconino National Forest is home to hundreds of animals, including black bears and bald eagles. With miles of trails to explore, many rivers to fish, camping sites to enjoy, and more, spending time at Knoll Lake in Coconino is only just the beginning.

A dirt road through the Coconino National Forest in Arizona where Knoll Lake is located.
Coconino National Forest

About Knoll Lake

Knoll Lake gets its name from an island of rocks and plant life located in the middle of the lake. This picturesque mountain lake covers approximately 75 acres and is around 50 ft at its deepest spot.

Offering a respite from the Arizona heat, it’s quite the popular destination, but far enough off the beaten path to not get too crowded.

What Can You Do There?

There’s plenty to do when visiting Knoll Lake. However, fishing just might be the most popular activity here. You’ll find many trout species, including rainbow, brown, and brook trout.

And with a boat launch provided for ease of boating, fishing has become even more popular. Keep in mind, though, that only electric motors or non-motorized watercraft are allowed on the lake.

Fishing not quite your thing? There are plenty of hiking, biking, and horseback trails along the nearby Mogollon Rim.

And what is a mountain like without a campground? You can camp here, too. Or simply relax from the stress of the day and enjoy the cool mountain air, watching the wildlife that calls the Lake home.

What Wildlife Can You See?

Knoll Lake in Arizona is home to various wildlife, including the typical squirrels, chipmunks, deer, and birds. But if you can visit in the winter months and the road into Knoll Lake is clear (it’s often covered in snow), you may just catch a glimpse of a few bald eagles.

Along with the elusive eagles are bears in this area. You may never see them, and that wouldn’t be so bad. But be aware.

The best time to see wildlife is early in the morning or late in the evening, including fishing. It’s is a great place to go fishing. With brown, rainbow, and brook trout calling Knoll Lake home, dinner might be just a catch away.

Whether fishing, birdwatching, or trying to keep your snacks away from the squirrels, it’s a beautiful place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.

Can You Camp at Knoll Lake?

Camping at Knoll Lake is one of the best ways to experience this pristine mountain lake. With 30 single sites (up to eight people) and three double sites (up to 16 people), enjoying time with friends and family in the great outdoors is easily accomplished by spending time here.

Knoll Lake Campground

Knoll Lake Campground features a variety of amenities, including picnic tables, fire pits, and cooking grills. While there are no hookups, potable water and vault toilets are available onsite.

RVs under 32 ft and tents are welcome. Sites are first come, first serve and start at $20 per night, with discounts offered for certain National Park passes.

Knoll Lake Campground is a nature lover’s paradise. So if you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, be sure to check it out.

Is Visiting This Secluded Forest Lake in Arizona Worth It?

Located in Coconino National Forest at around 7,000 ft, surrounded by pine trees, mountain peaks, and the Mogollon Rim, there’s no lack of beauty here. Combine that with fishing, wildlife sightings, boating, hiking, and camping, and it’s a visit well worth your time.

What are you waiting for? Grab your fishing pole, your tent, and your hiking boots. There’s never a better time to head there than now.

Will you put Knoll Lake on your list?

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