Projects at C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) reservoir will affect access and also lower level of water

Release Date: Aug 11, 2014  

Contact(s): Mogollon Rim Ranger Station: 928-477-2255, Salt River Project: 602-236-2500

Clints Well, Ariz. – The water level at C.C. Cragin Reservoir, formerly named Blue Ridge Reservoir, will slowly drop during the month of August as inspections and construction projects get underway.

Salt River Project (SRP), which operates and manages the reservoir and C.C. Cragin Dam on behalf of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, will be performing an inspection of the tunnel inlet that transfers water to the East Verde River. In order for the inspection to commence, the reservoir level will drop approximately 26 feet from its current level. The reservoir is expected to reach this lower level about Aug. 18.

Image of low water at Blue Ridge boat rampEven though the boat ramp will be open during this time, large boulders near the end of the boat ramp are exposed and launching a boat from a trailer is not possible. Hand-carried boats such as canoes and kayaks are allowed. Click on the photo to the left to see recent conditions of the boat ramp. Additionally, heavy trucks transporting material to the work site may restrict access to the reservoir and boat ramp for short periods during the day. SRP’s inspection of the tunnel inlet is expected to be completed by Aug. 20.

Additional projects planned for the immediate future which will affect access to the reservoir include the following:

  • Stabilize hillside adjacent to the dam spillway: The hillside adjacent to the spillway is subject to rainwater running off the canyon above. Due to the steep grade and loose soil, a concrete retaining wall will be constructed in the hillside near the spillway to prevent erosion and reduce the potential for a rock slide. Gabion walls will also be constructed above the retaining wall as an additional means of mitigating erosion. Contractors will begin moving in equipment and materials to the parking lot above the spillway approximately Aug. 15 and begin excavation and construction from mid-August until mid-September. The public is advised to take extra caution during this time, as heavy trucks and equipment will be using the roads back and forth to the reservoir, which can be narrow in many places. Access to the reservoir may be restricted during the day for short periods as these trucks transport materials to the work site.
  • Reservoir boat ramp improvement: In order to facilitate safer and more efficient access to the reservoir, the U.S. Forest Service and Arizona Game and Fish Department will work together to build a retaining wall and make improvements to the road used as the boat ramp, beginning Sep. 19. Vehicle access to the reservoir will be closed beginning Sep. 19 at the Rock Crossing campground. This means no vehicles will be able to access the reservoir after Sep. 19, as construction continues and seasonal road closures may take effect. Vehicle access to the reservoir is anticipated to open after the seasonal road closure, approximately April 2015. Check with the Mogollon Rim Ranger District on access status.

For more information about the reservoir status and Mogollon Rim Ranger District, please contact the district ranger station at 928-477-2255. In addition, recent information about C.C. Cragin water releases and status can be found on SRP’s website at