We have traveled to the Theodore Roosevelt Dam twice in the last month with different relatives from back in Minnesota. They all loved the trip to the Dam and couldn’t believe the views along the way.
The Theodore Roosevelt Dam was started back in 1903 and finished in 1911. Then they did more expansion work on it in 1989. It is located North East of Mesa, AZ where we live. We too Highway 88 out of town and it took us over 2 hours to get there but some of the roads you have to travel slow and we stopped a lot and took many photos.
The Dam is part of the Salt River, Tronto Creek and Theodore Roosevelt Lake. The lake is like up to 188 feet deep. The Bridge is really cool that is next to the Bridge and a company that worked on it was from Minnesota and Wisconsin. My relatives thought that was cool also. The Dam is 357 feet tall.
We didn’t do any fishing while there but we did see some really big fish swimming in the water. They looked huge and a friend of mine thinks they are Carp. Growing up in Iowa and we didn’t eat Carp but we did eat a lot of Cat Fish. My Grampa would save the Carp and Smoke them.
On the way to the Dam on Highway 88 you go past a Ghost Mining Town that is fun to stop at. Then at the first big Lake you come on to then just a few miles past the lake is a place called Tortilla Flats. It used to be a Stage Coach stop back in the time. It is a must stop to go into the Restaurant/Bar there. They serve good food also I have heard. They also have a gift shop next door to it.
After you leave Tortilla Flats and head towards the Dam the road turns into a Gravel/Mud road. So, I would suggest not to take any vehicle that you think wouldn’t make it and any vehicle that you wouldn’t want to get dirty. It is a dirty and tight road. A very tight road at places with some one lane bridges. But the views are awesome. It you have a weak bladder be sure to stop at every outlook place to hit the restrooms. They are pretty much large Outhouse So don’t expect nice restrooms.
After you reach the Dam you get back on paved road. Then we took Highway 188 which runs into Highway 60 which takes us back to Mesa. At the intersection of 188/60 there is a place called Judy’s Restaurant. Again, if you have a weak bladder be sure to stop at each place to hit a restroom because there aren’t many stops close by. We stopped at Judy’s and then again at a gas station in Gold Canyon, then we made it home from there without stopping. It is a good day trip that only costs you some of your time and some gas. But the views are amazing. It is hard to believe you aren’t that far away from town.
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