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Roosevelt Lake offers pristine trip

Get Lost

By Adam Triplett ’10

Photo by Adam Triplett '10 - Roosevelt Lake is a relatively close location for camping.

As mountain snow melts and spring arrives, the desert comes alive with wildflowers and unbelievable growth.

Arizona’s lakes are some of the most beautiful places to visit; Roosevelt Lake is no different.

Roosevelt Lake is the largest lake in Arizona, boasting 115 miles of coastline and 22,000 acres of surface water.

The lake is located about 80 miles northeast of Phoenix, roughly a two hour trip up Highway 87.

From the North Valley, the easiest way onto Highway 87 is Shea Boulevard through Fountain Hills. Highway 87 can also be accessed off Loop 202.
The Lake is located along Highway 188, which is 45 miles north on Highway 87. The 45 miles on Highway 87 are both up and down hill at steep inclines for a highway.

As the summer heat approaches be sure to check your engine belts and coolant before taking the trip. It would be a good idea to carry a gallon of distilled water or 50/50 radiator fluid in your vehicle.

Along the 188 there are many camping locations as well as a gas station in Jake’s Corner.

When I was at the lake during spring break, my friends and I were able to find a good camping spot out along one of the many side roads branching off from the 188.

My advice to anyone headed out to the lake; explore the area a little bit before settling on a spot to make camp.

While driving on the dirt roads surrounding the lake take caution as parts of the roads have been washed or rutted out by the recent rainfall. Also, there are many sections of road that cross streams. Do not attempt these unless you know your vehicle can make it across and there is at least one other vehicle with you.

Where I pitched camp there was a crossing that would have stranded most two-wheel drive vehicles. Once you choose your camping spot, the lake is an excellent spot to fish. There is a marina that rents boats at $200-500 a day along with many coves and inlets that allow for a relaxing spot to spend an afternoon.

The lake is teeming with crappie, carp, sunfish, large and small mouth bass and many other types of fish. Although as a forewarning, they are very smart and, as expected, don’t like to be caught.

For more information on Roosevelt Lake, visit

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