C.C. Cragin (Blue Ridge) Reservoir

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

NOTE!! The boat ramp at the reservoir is currently closed to trailers, as low water levels have exposed boulders and large rocks that make it unsafe and impossible for a trailer to be backed down the boat ramp. People may still access the water and carry kayaks and canoes to the water edge, but trailers with boats are not yet able to be backed down the boat ramp.

This narrow, winding body of water looks more like a canyon-bound river than a lake. Be aware that this is a canyon lake--meaning there is very little shore access around the entire reservoir. The sides of the canyon that create this reservoir are steep and there are not any sandy shores like you might expect at a traditional lake with shoreline, which makes this reservoir a destination mainly for people kayaking, canoeing, and fishing.

Fishers can catch rainbow, brown or brook trout here, stocked by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Other types of recreation include sightseeing, wildlife watching, hiking, and mountain biking, but don't expect any wide open shores for sunbathing and swimming.

C.C. Cragin Reservoir is an important water source for the town of Payson, Arizona. Forest thinning and prescribed burning in the area under the Cragin Watershed Protection Project is helping to 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.



At a Glance

Current Conditions: Be aware that this is a canyon reservoir--meaning there is VERY LITTLE to NO shore access around the entire reservoir. This is not an ideal lake for sunbathing and swimming.
Operational Hours: Closed during winter months.
Area Amenities: Boat ramp,Toilets,Parking
Usage: Medium-Heavy
  • Boats are restricted to a single electric motor or a single gasoline engine 10 horsepower or less.
  • No vehicles over 22 feet long on FR 751 in restricted area southeast of Rock Crossing Campground.
  • No vehicles with trailers in excess of 50 feet overall in restricted area.
  • No parking except in designated parking spaces on FR 751 in restricted area.
  • No swimming within 50 feet of a boat ramp or dock.
See the Forest Order for details, map, and background information on the parking, vehicle length, and swimming restrictions.
Closest Towns: Happy Jack, AZ
Operated By: Mogollon Rim District - 928-477-2255

General Information


Location: 63 miles south of Flagstaff on a graveled forest road.

GPS (Map): 34°33'16.6"N 111°11'47.4"W

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.

Blue Ridge Reservoir Map

CC Cragin Reservoir Parking Map

General Notes:

Campground Season: Memorial Day to mid-fall. (Rock Crossing Campground is 4 miles from the reservoir on FR 751.)

Attractions: Fishing, boating, hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, photography

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.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Lake and Pond Fishing

Nature Viewing

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Water Activities

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Toilets 1 vault type
Boat ramp for small boats
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6695 at boat ramp