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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. 






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