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C.C. Cragin Reservoir

Colorado Plateau, Arizona

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C.C. Cragin Reservoir

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  • Sandstone cliffs line the reservoir and make for some great cliff jumping.- C.C. Cragin Reservoir
  • The 160-foot dam and its strangely shaped spillway.- C.C. Cragin Reservoir
  • Stand-up paddleboarding at C.C. Cragin Reservoir.- C.C. Cragin Reservoir
  • C.C. Cragin Reservoir.- C.C. Cragin Reservoir
  • A kayak view of the boat ramp. No swimming within 50 feet of the boat ramp.- C.C. Cragin Reservoir
  • The lake as viewed from the road in. This deep narrow lake snakes through the forest.- C.C. Cragin Reservoir
  • A wildfire burned some of the forest nearby within the last few years.- C.C. Cragin Reservoir
  • Banana Yucca (Yucca baccata) by the lakeside.- C.C. Cragin Reservoir
  • The gravel boat ramp.- C.C. Cragin Reservoir
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great fishing and boating. Cliff jumping.
Cons: 
Can be crowded. Few amenities.
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Region:
Colorado Plateau, AZ
Congestion: 
Moderate
Site characteristics: Water: 
Lake
Motorized watercraft allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Portage required: 
No
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Paddle Description

Paddle Description

Contributor

C.C. Cragin Reservoir, formerly known as Blue Ridge Reservoir, is an idyllic lake meandering through a narrow forested valley in Arizona’s Mogollon Rim country. C.C. Cragin’s serpentine character makes it feel more like a river than a lake. Fluctuating water levels often expose cliffs that make great platforms for jumping in. The calm, flat waters are excellent for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, or kayaking. If fishing is your forte, boats under 10 horsepower are allowed, and the lake is stocked by the Arizona Game and Fish Department.  Brook, brown, and rainbow trout can all be caught here.

Facilities at the lake are limited to a boat ramp and pit toilets. Be sure to bring your own water and pack out your trash. Although this lake sees moderate to heavy use, the long winding shape makes it easy to find a bit of solitude. Also, because this lake is located in the high country, expect it to be much cooler here than some of Arizona’s other reservoirs.

A short drive (high clearance required) or stroll down a gravel road past the pit toilets takes you to a picturesque dam and spillway. The dam was constructed in 1963 by the Phelps Dodge Corporation and is a barrel arch dam reaching 160 feet up. While there is no designated camping at the lake, Rock Crossings Campground is just 3 miles away, and dispersed camping is allowed in the forest just a bit further down Forest Road 751.  

Google maps has a history of leading people 45 minutes out of the way to the wrong side of the lake. Instead, follow the directions listed here. The last 5 miles of the drive are on an unpaved Forest Service road that is closed in the winter.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(1 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(3 within a 30 mile radius)

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