Tamara C. shared this photo overlooking Roosevelt Lake and bridge from a rocky shoreline. Click to view a larger photo.

Roosevelt Lake was created in 1911 after the completion of Theodore Roosevelt Dam on the Salt River as part of the Salt River Project. The dam enabled early settlers to grow citrus, cotton, and even farm animals. The dam continues to provide a means of flood protection, generation of electricity, and a long-term water storage supply for metro-Phoenicians today. Roosevelt Lake is the largest lake and man-made reservoir in central Arizona, located within the Tonto National Forest.

In addition to providing many functional uses, the lake is also a popular destination for recreation. With over 128 miles of shoreline, plenty of hidden coves and small isolated islands, camping and boating at Roosevelt Lake are sure to satisfy anyone looking to spend some quality time outdoors. Imagine lying on a sandy beach near the clear blue water’s edge with saguaros in the Sonoran Desert as your backdrop.

Determined anglers from all levels of skill are welcome to fish at Roosevelt Lake. It is well-known for its bass fishing. According to the AZ Game & Fish Department, the lake currently holds the state record for the largest smallmouth bass caught in 1988. A flathead catfish weighing up to sixty pounds was recently caught by a fisherman – now that is good eating! Of course, the master “fishermen” Osprey and Bald Eagles that use the lake during the fall and winter probably get the best dibs on what they catch.

A highly recommended route is the Apache Trail, one of the most scenic drives in Arizona to get to Roosevelt Lake.  However, there are easier ways to get to the lake a lot faster. No matter which path you plan to take, your desert oasis awaits!


This photo by Tamara C. is just one of over 1,000 submittals for our Spring 2014 Celebrate AZ Water Photo Contest. It provided a stunning opportunity to celebrate the importance and wonder of water in Arizona and to reflect on one of our region’s most precious resources. View more of our favorite submittals at our Celebrate AZ Water Photo Gallery.

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