Roosevelt Lake, Arizona, USA
Also known as: Theodore Roosevelt Lake, Lake Roosevelt
With 21,500 acres at full pond and 128 miles of shoreline, Roosevelt Lake is the largest body of water contained entirely within Arizona; the larger Lakes Powell, Mead, and Mojave cross Arizona’s borders with other states. Roosevelt Lake is impounded by the Roosevelt Dam – the world’s tallest dam early in the 20th century. Little commercial activity surrounds Lake Roosevelt; recreation is its reason to be. Located…
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Welcome to the ultimate guide to Roosevelt Lake! Article topics include:
- All About Roosevelt Lake
- Where to Stay
- Vacation Planning Tools
- Things to Do
- Known Fish Species
- Roosevelt Lake Map
- Statistics / Weather / Helpful Links
- Roosevelt Lake Gifts
Looking for Roosevelt Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.
All About Roosevelt Lake, AZ
With 21,500 acres at full pond and 128 miles of shoreline, Roosevelt Lake is the largest body of water contained entirely within Arizona; the larger Lakes Powell, Mead, and Mojave cross Arizona’s borders with other states. Roosevelt Lake is impounded by the Roosevelt Dam – the world’s tallest dam early in the 20th century.
Little commercial activity surrounds Lake Roosevelt; recreation is its reason to be. Located two hours northeast of Phoenix by car, Roosevelt Lake is a welcoming destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Camping, fishing, boating (including water-skiing and jet skiing), swimming, hiking, climbing, hunting, picnicking, photography, and the mountain and desert scenery share most visitors’ to-do lists. Winter months bring migratory birds; eagles and osprey are most visitors’ favorites.
The junction of Tonto Creek and the Salt River were the center of construction of Roosevelt Dam in 1903. Some major floods slowed construction progress. Roosevelt Dam was completed in 1911, providing water storage for the Salt River Project, flood control for the Salt River Valley, and hydropower generation. The dam contributed more to the settlement of central Arizona than any other dam in the state.
At their completion in 1911, both the dam and the resulting reservoir were dedicated by Theodore Roosevelt, and named in his honor. At construction completion, Roosevelt Dam was the largest masonry dam in the world, and impounded the world’s largest artificial reservoir. A dam improvement project in 1996 increased Roosevelt Lake’s water storage capacity by 20% by raising Roosevelt Dam’s height to 357 feet.
Many visitors bring their own boats to Roosevelt Lake. Launch sites include Indian Point, Roosevelt Marina, Cholla Recreation Site, Windy Hill, Grapevine and Schoolhouse. Roosevelt Marina, under contract to Tonto National Forest, provides boat rentals and fishing/camping supplies to its visitors. Rental boats range from 16-foot fishing skiffs to 24-foot deck boats.
Fishing is a popular Roosevelt Lake activity. There are many secluded coves and inlets that beckon angling enthusiasts. Game fish include crappie in the springtime, flathead and channel catfish, sunfish, and smallmouth and largemouth bass.
Camping is popular for anglers and for other outdoor enthusiasts. 700 developed camp sites include tables, fire rings with grills, shade ramadas, toilets and showers. Most are near boat ramps. Five undeveloped day-use fee sites include trash receptacles, portable toilets, and shoreline boat launching. Some small isolated islands and coves provide great opportunities for camping and relaxing in the unique Sonoran Desert environment. Geocachers can typically find more than a dozen caches within 10 miles of Lake Roosevelt.
Roosevelt Lake delights visitors looking for peace and quiet – with the added benefits of superb stargazing, desert scenery, and communing with nature. It offers some of Arizona’s best water-based recreation.
Things to Do at Roosevelt Lake
These are some activities in the Roosevelt Lake, AZ area visitors can enjoy:
- Jet Skiing
- Water Skiing
- National Forest
What Kind of Fish Are in Roosevelt Lake?
Roosevelt Lake has been known to have the following fish species:
- Black Bass
- Channel Catfish
- Largemouth Bass
- Smallmouth Bass
Find Places to Stay at Roosevelt Lake
If you’re considering a Roosevelt Lake lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.
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More Sites to Book a Roosevelt Lake Vacation
Our interactive Roosevelt Lake lodging map above is an easy tool for comparing VRBO rental homes and nearby hotels with Booking.com, but there could be times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodations. Here are some other lake lodging partners we recommend:
Roosevelt Lake Statistics & Helpful Links
Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed
Water Level Control: Salt River Project
Surface Area: 21,493 acres
Shoreline Length: 128 miles
Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 2,144 feet
Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 0 feet
Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 2,217 feet
Average Depth: 188 feet
Maximum Depth: 349 feet
Water Volume: 1,653,043 acre-feet
Completion Year: 1911
Drainage Area: 5,830 sq. miles
Trophic State: Eutrophic
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