Friday, February 13, 2015

Salt River boondocking by Roosevelt Lake, Arizona

If sharing campgrounds with others isn't your thing, and/or if you want to camp free, there are dispersed camping spots around Roosevelt Lake. One is called the Diversion Dam area, along the Salt River where it comes out of a canyon and feeds into the lake.

The view from my campsite. Please ignore the power lines spoiling the shot.

"Rafter Take-out" is not drive-thru service for roofing supplies

There are a series of river access points, one where rafters, kayakers and such can exit the water before tumbling over the dam. Besides the paved roads to the access points, there are dirt roads (tire tracks, actually) running across the bluff to de facto campsites among the brush and cacti. I got an excellent spot, no one around, with three bars of 4G cell service. Sweet. I imagine the area is more crowded during rafting season.

Turn from highway 188 onto 288. After a couple of miles, look for the river access sign on the left before heading down the hill to the bridge. There's a parking lot (and toilet) on the right shortly after the turn. After that, start watching for turn offs into the brush..

There's also space to camp downstream of the H-Z Wash river access point, to the left of the dam and boat ramp. It's mostly river rock, though, and it's susceptible to flooding. But very handy for boaters.

The road to the EADS Wash river access point looked kind of dicey, so I didn't make the drive. I stared at water flowing over the dam instead. Very mellow.

It's all water over the dam, Dude


  1. I suspect that dam is higher than the picture implies. Otherwise I can imagine rafters deciding to go over it. The color of the water at the bottom of the dam says that's probably not a good idea.

    1. It's not that high. Maybe eigth or ten feet. I imagine rafters do try to take it, even though (or because) there are signs telling them not to.