Roosevelt Lake, Arizona, USA

Also known as:  Theodore Roosevelt Lake, Lake Roosevelt

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Roosevelt Lake — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

Topics we cover in this article:

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 our comprehensive list of favorite travel partners.

All About Roosevelt Lake

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

  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Jet Skiing
  • Water Skiing
  • Camping
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Hunting
  • Birding
  • National Forest

Fish Species Found at Roosevelt Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Catfish
  • Channel Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish

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.

Recommended Sites to Book a Roosevelt Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Roosevelt Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

Shop Roosevelt Lake Gifts

Custom Lake Tumblers

Captain / First Mate Custom 20 oz Tumbler

Custom Lake T Shirt

Personalized My Boat My Rules Unisex T-Shirt

Custom Lake Coffee Mug - On Lake Time

On Lake Time Custom Coffee Mug – 11oz or 15oz


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