“Enjoy the manmade lake”
Theodore Roosevelt Dam, the first major structure constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation on the Salt River Project (SRP), spans the Salt River to form a huge reservoir. The dam is 280 feet high and 723 feet long. Once the largest man-made lake in the world, Roosevelt Lake is still the biggest of the six SRP lakes and offers the most recreation opportunities. When full, the lake covers more than 17,000 acres near the confluence of Tonto Creek and the Salt River. Game fish in Roosevelt include largemouth and smallmouth bass, bluegill, channel catfish and crappie. The Lake contains a wildlife area and as a wildlife refuge, is posted to permit hunting at certain times of the year. The Roosevelt Lake is reputedly haunted. Many claim that the manmade lake was built on top of an Indian Burial Ground, and the displaced spirits roam about the lake to this day. The experiential aspects of these hauntings typically include an uneasy feeling. Gas or ghosts? You be the judge.
Once passing through the Salt River Mountains, you’ll slowly begin ascending into the Sierra Ancha where you’ll catch incredible views of Theodore Roosevelt Lake. For a longer stay at the lake, stay left and stay on SR 188 to cross the Roosevelt Lake Bridge before turning around and heading back to the junction with SR 288. The lake, the result of the National Reclamation Act of 1902 which allowed federal money to be spent on massive reservoirs such as this one, was dedicated in 1911 and named for the president who pushed for the passage of the act.
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