Skip to main content

Salt River Project from the air

Flying out of Sky Harbor International Airport this past weekend provided me a window view of the entirety of the Salt River Project east of Phoenix.






The Salt River Project is a series of reservoirs built along the Salt River in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix.  The Salt River Project dates back to the early 20th Century when the 1902 National Reclamation Act was passed.  The Salt River Project was one of five reclamation projects awarded in 1903.  The purpose of the Salt River Project was to stem the irregular droughts and floods of the Salt River, provide water for agricultural use and hydroelectricity.

The first dam to be built along the Salt River was Roosevelt Dam which began construction in 1904 and was completed in 1911.  The Roosevelt Dam portion of the Salt River Project is what spurred highway development along what is now Arizona State Route 88 on the Apache Trail.  More regarding AZ 88 and Roosevelt Dam can be found at these previous blog posts.

Bridge Monday; Roosevelt Lake Bridge and Roosevelt Bridge

Throwback Thursday; Arizona State Route 88 the Apache Trail 

The second reservoir in the Salt River Project was Canyon Lake located west of Apache Lake near Tortilla Flat.  Canyon Lake is impounded by Mormon Flat Dam which was built between 1923 to 1925.  Mormon Flat Dam is arch concrete dam that is 224 feet high.   

The third reservoir in the Salt River Project was Apache Lake immediately west of Roosevelt Dam.  Apache Lake is impounded by Horse Mesa Dam which is a 300 foot high arch concrete structure built between 1924 and 1927.

The fourth and final reservoir in the Salt River Project is Saguaro Lake which lies west of Apache Lake.  Saguaro Lake is impounded by Stewart Mountain Dam which was built between 1928 to 1930.  Stewart Mountain Dam is only 207 feet high but is the widest dam in the Salt River Project at 1,260 feet.

Flying over the Salt River Project eastbound Saguaro Lake is the first seen.  Below Stewart Mountain Dam can be seen on the left of the photo.


East of Saguaro Lake is Canyon Lake.  In the photo below Canyon Lake Marina Can be seen along with the 1925 one-lane Mormon Flat Bridge on AZ 88. 


Canyon Lake flows through the canyon lands of the Superstition Mountains eastwards towards Apache Lake.


Followed by Apache Lake itself. 


East of Apache Lake the waters of Roosevelt Lake were partially obscured by clouds. 


Towards the eastern end of Roosevelt Lake the Salt River is apparent along with AZ 288/Young Highway. 






Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Onion Valley Road; former California State Route 180 to Kearsarge Pass

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Onion Valley Road from Independence west to Onion Valley near Kearsarge Pass.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Onion Valley Road was once signed as California State Route 180 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway.


Onion Valley Road is located west of Independence of Inyo County and is 12.9 miles in length.  According to pjammcycling.com Onion Valley Road begins at an elevation of 3,946 feet above sea level in Independence and terminates at 9,219 feet above sea level at Onion Valley.  Pjammcycling rates Onion Valley Road with an average gradient of 7.8% and lists it as the 6th most difficult cycling climb in the United States.  Onion Valley Road also includes ten switchbacks which largely follow the course of Independence Creek.  Anyway you look at it the route of Onion Valley Road is no joke and is definitely a test of driving…

Trans-Sierra Highways; California State Route 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass

Back in late October of 2016 I had a long weekend off which coincided with a warm weekend in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  That being the case the winder in the weather gave me a chance to finish some additional Trans-Sierra Highways starting with California State Route 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass.  I would later return to Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass during the smoke filled summer of 2020. 

California State Route 4 ("CA 4") contains probably most infamous Trans-Sierra State Highway in Caltrans Inventory.  CA 4 from CA 207 in Bear Valley east over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass includes approximately 30 miles of one-lane highway which reaches gradients as steep as 24%. 
CA 4 is a 192 mile State Highway which originates at I-80 near Hercules of the San Francisco Bay Area and terminates at CA 89 in the remote Sierra Nevada Mountains of Alpine County.  CA 4 is probably the most diverse State Highway in California as it has; several freeway segme…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…