This narrow, winding body of water looks more like a canyon-bound river than a lake. Nestled between forested canyon walls it provides picturesque water recreation in a secluded, wooded setting.
If fishing is your cup of tea, you can catch rainbow, brown or brook trout here, stocked by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. If your taste runs to other types of recreation, the sightseeing, wildlife watching, hiking, and mountain biking here in the canyon-carved uplands of the Mogollon Plateau will make you glad you chose to visit this out of the way lake. Click on the photo for three larger views. Position your curser inside the photo on the right to advance to the next photo. In the second view, you can see the road to the boat ramp on the right.
In 2018, C.C. Cragin Reservoir will become an important water source for the town of Payson, Arizona. Forest thinning and prescribed burning in the area under the Cragin Watershed Protection Project will help protect this valuable water source and improve forest health in the area. C.C. Cragin Dam was built in 1965 by Phelps Dodge, and later transferred to the Salt River Project (SRP). Learn more about the reservoir's history on SRP's history of C.C. Cragin dam and reservoir.
Access: Drive 55 miles south of Flagstaff to Clints Well on Forest Highway 3 (Lake Mary Road). Turn northeast (left) about 4 miles on AZ 87 to FR 751 then southeast about 6 more miles to the reservoir. All roads are paved except FR 751 which is graveled and suitable for passenger cars in most weather. In wintertime, FR 751 is closed and the reservoir is not accessible.
Click map thumbnail for larger view.
Campground Season: Memorial Day to mid-fall. (Rock Crossing Campground is 4 miles from the reservoir on FR 751.)
Facilities: 32 single unit campsites and 2 double unit sites with tables, fire rings, and cooking grills at Rock Crossing Campground, drinking water at the campgrounds, toilets (self-composting), boat ramp, hiking trails nearby.
Observe boat ramp rules posted by Arizona Game and Fish:
No parking on boat ramp. Wait for next available space.
Boat launch area has a 5 minute maximum vehicle use.
No swimming at the boat launch. Do not block or interfere with boat launching.
Use the make-ready area to prepare before using boat launch.