Arizona Vacation

Blue Ridge Reservoir and Rock Crossing Campground

By Tony Subia

Photo of Blue Ridge Reservoir Near Payson, ArizonaBlue Ridge Reservoir. © Keving Dooley

Only one way to describe Blue Ridge Reservoir. Strikingly beautiful. Located about midway between Payson and Flagstaff on the Mogollon Rim in the Coconino National Forest. Surrounded by thick forest Blue Ridge is narrow, long and deep. It's more like a winding, canyon-bound river than a lake. One thing for sure, it is one of the more picturesque places in Arizona.

Blue Ridge Reservoir

This is high country at about 6,700 feet and somewhat remote making it likely to be uncrowded even during peak season. Tranquility and solitude. It is great for kayaking and canoeing. Although about equal distance for Payson and Flagstaff, AZ, the closest small communities are Happy Jack where there is an information center.

Season. Open as weather permits. Closed during the winter.

Fishing and Boating at Blue Reservoir

Blue Ridge Reservoir

Boats are limited to 10 HP. There is a convenient boat ramp, toilets and parking. Fishing varieties include rainbow, brown, and brook trout which are stocked by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Fishing is best before the algae bloom which occurs in June and July. May, August and during fall is the best time to fish.

Rock Crossing Campground

Campground season is Memorial Day to Mid-Fall. The campgrounds are located about 5 miles from the reservoir. There are 32 single campsites and two double-units. Camping sites include tables, fire rings, and cooking grills. Drinking water and vault-type toilets are available. A scenic trail features moderate-level hiking that crosses two fingers of the reservoir.

Directions On How To Get There

See the map below. Forest roads are graveled.

From Payson. Drive North on State Route 87 about 9 miles past Clints Well and turn right on Forest Road 751 about a mile to the campground followed by the lake (reservoir).

From Flagstaff. Drive 55 miles Southeast on Lake Mary Road to Clints Well. Then turn left (northeast) to Forest Road 138. Turn right on 138 and drive about a mile to the campground and a few miles further to the lake.

From Phoenix. Take Loop 202 East to Country Club Exit. Turn left (north) on Country Club which will turn into Highway 87 (Beeline Highway). Continue north into Payson AZ. Then follow the above directions from Payson.

Location Map To Blue Ridge Reservoir

Map Directions to Blue Ridge Reservoir and Rock Crossing Campground

Fishing at Blue Ridge Reservoir

More Information and Interest

Schedules, season, restrictions, and fees are always subject to change without notice. Always verify with the Ranger District at the following phone number before visiting the reservoir or campground.

Coconino National Forest
Mogollon Rim Ranger District
(928) 477-2255

Payson Arizona Lakes
Flagstaff Arizona Lakes and Campgrounds
Other Arizona Lakes

Arizona Lakes



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