Blue Ridge Reservoir

Car Camping / Trailhead Camping

Moderator: HAZ - Moderators

Linked Guides none
Linked Areas none
User avatar
Cozalcoatl
Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 12 2010 10:11 am
City, State: Flagstaff

Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by Cozalcoatl » Jun 12 2010 10:52 am

Hi
I just found this place while searching for a place to hike. Wish I knew about it earlier. Great information and seems pretty active.

I'm a Aussie who just loves living in Flagstaff. My husband and I are pretty experienced hikers/backpackers and are always looking for new places to explore.

My question is next weekend we want to do a overnighter down near the Reservior. Are there any good secluded camping areas so we can take the dogs and not bother anyone else? I'd rather not stay in the established sites. Car camping or hiking in is fine either way. We have a jeep so we can do some off road driving.

Thank you
Coz

User avatar
Nighthiker
Posts: 1443
Joined: Feb 03 2002 6:59 am
City, State: Payson

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by Nighthiker » Jun 12 2010 5:15 pm

The campground Rock Crossing is usually full during the weekends (my brother is camping up there right now) and the road into the campground allows dispersed camping but it also has a lot of campers during the weekend. Once you get past the campground the road descends down to the lake. The lake is very popular and last year during several visits it had extremly heavy traffic and was quite busy. Few places to camp adjacent to the lake and they are usually taken.
jk

User avatar
te_wa
Posts: 2486
Joined: Aug 22 2003 9:16 pm
City, State: 221b Baker St.

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by te_wa » Jun 12 2010 5:23 pm

I drove the dead end road out to Blue Ridge (or whatever they call it now) and had a great camp spot right near the water. Search the maps for the fr 123 across Battleground ridge - and you will see some nice spots looking over the canyon. a trail will take you to the water. That is to say, if you want the best campsite you have to walk down the side of the canyon maybe 1/4 mile..
:D

User avatar
chumley
Posts: 6992
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by chumley » Jun 14 2010 12:17 pm

What te-wa said.

The trail leads down from just past the pumping station. You can car camp anywhere along the road on the ridge, or take the very short backpack trip down to the lake. There's a couple of very nice spots at the bottom near the spot on the map labeled Rock Crossing.

Though the map indicates a trail leading down to the south/east fork of the lake, I've never found it. Nonetheless, you can descend the hill off-trail and explore down there as well. There are numerous "boat-accessible" campsites on both forks of the lake, which you can hike to from above as well.

The catch of course, is that this area is accessed from the south side of the lake, which makes the trip from Flagstaff considerably longer. I'm not familiar with similar spots on the north side of the lake.

The pumping station/trailhead is centered on this map:
http://hikearizona.com/location_g.php?L ... =15&M=6&G=
Profound observer

User avatar
Nighthiker
Posts: 1443
Joined: Feb 03 2002 6:59 am
City, State: Payson

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by Nighthiker » Jun 15 2010 6:28 pm

Brother came back from camping and he camped (casita travel trailer) at Blue Ridge Campground. He said not many campers at Rock Crossing and a cold front moved thru and it was chilly and some sleet on one of the days while he was camping. Usual lots of wildliife and a bear walked thru the campground.
jk

User avatar
Nighthiker
Posts: 1443
Joined: Feb 03 2002 6:59 am
City, State: Payson

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by Nighthiker » Jun 30 2010 3:53 pm

Brother is camping again in the area for a week long trip. I was to join him with my popup (Quicksilver) but I could not get off from work.
jk

User avatar
outdoor_lover
Posts: 1666
Joined: Aug 19 2011 7:49 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by outdoor_lover » Jul 09 2012 7:23 pm

Just thought you all might like to know, there are going to be major changes in store which have already started, for Blue Ridge Reservoir....Enjoy it now, it won't be the same. http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOC ... 339846.pdf
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

User avatar
Nighthiker
Posts: 1443
Joined: Feb 03 2002 6:59 am
City, State: Payson

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by Nighthiker » Jul 10 2012 7:07 am

The reservoir will go back in operation as it had in the past. The camping in the area will be good (along with mtn. bike riding). I prefer Blue Ridge Reservoir over C Craigin though.
jk

User avatar
mcontreras
Posts: 67
Joined: Aug 12 2004 8:34 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by mcontreras » May 14 2013 9:36 am

Looking for a non-developed camp spot on the south side of blue ridge reservoir. We have a high clearance pop-up trailer. On Google maps there is a road that leads from the Rim Road to the pump station, but not sure what the road is called. Anyone??
JJ & Michelle Parents of 3

User avatar
Grasshopper
Posts: 1649
Joined: Dec 28 2006 5:06 pm
City, State: Scottsdale, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by Grasshopper » May 14 2013 10:48 am

mcontreras wrote: On Google maps there is a road that leads from the Rim Road to the pump station, but not sure what the road is called. Anyone??
Looks like FR123 --> http://hikearizona.com/map.php?QX=2737 (from FR300/FR123 up FR123 to end at Pump Station). You can zoom-in and move around to check it all out and in the map upper right you can change the map overlays if you like :)
(Outside.. "there is No Place Like It!!")

User avatar
Nighthiker
Posts: 1443
Joined: Feb 03 2002 6:59 am
City, State: Payson

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by Nighthiker » May 14 2013 11:09 am

Also review the 2013 forest travel map (last year's edition has changed) to check if the road and area is ok to camp. The battleground ridge area is an area you may be interested in. What type of camper, I have a Livinlite Quicksilver 8.
jk

User avatar
chumley
Posts: 6992
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by chumley » May 14 2013 11:10 am

It is FR123, Battleground Ridge, and it is accessible with 2wd high clearance. Sedan possible if you're careful. I wouldn't think it would be any problem getting a popup out there.

On the point by the pump station it is really rocky and unpleasant for camping, but a little bit south of there you will find better spots. The side road to the Battle of Big Dry Wash Historical Marker also leads to relatively good camping, though that road is a bit rougher.

There is a hiking trail that begins at the pumping station and leads down to the lake at a very popular boat-camping spot. It's a short hike and not too steep. I've seen people carry their cooler down there, but that is a serious chore in my opinion.

Please note that under the new travel management rules, you are not permitted to take your vehicle or popup more than 30-feet off this portion of FR123 for camping. Basically, you can only park your vehicle on the side of the road and camp there. Though you will likely see previous side roads and camp sites that have been used in the past, it is no longer permitted to do so in this area. (The southern portion of FR123, nearest to FR300, allows dispersed camping up to 300-feet from the road, but not the northern half closest to the reservoir).

Maps and travel rules are available here: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino/ ... rdb5356224
Profound observer

User avatar
mcontreras
Posts: 67
Joined: Aug 12 2004 8:34 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by mcontreras » May 14 2013 12:29 pm

Nighthiker wrote:Also review the 2013 forest travel map (last year's edition has changed) to check if the road and area is ok to camp. The battleground ridge area is an area you may be interested in. What type of camper, I have a Livinlite Quicksilver 8.
We would like to camp around the battleground ridge area, but looks like we can't with the new map. We are taking our mountain bikes, so maybe we can camp right around 9724V area. We have a 2009 Coleman E2 ( I think)... It has extra trailer room in the front to put ice chests and bikes. I love it. We usually camp/hunt around 139G.

Now I have no idea where to camp now. I really had my heart set on that area.
JJ & Michelle Parents of 3

User avatar
chumley
Posts: 6992
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by chumley » May 14 2013 2:42 pm

Make sure you understand the travel management rule. You are still allowed to camp absolutely anywhere! The restrictions are on where you may park your car or trailer. You can still camp at the north end of battleground ridge with a pop up camper... But only adjacent to the road. Since there is virtually no traffic in this area, that shouldn't be a big deal. Even if your fire ring and "camp site" is in the woods a short walk away. The key is only that your vehicles must be parked within 30 feet of the road. There's no reason why you. Can't set up a camp site out of view of the road, and walk to it from your vehicle. (Wheeled coolers are not subject to travel management rules :)
Profound observer

User avatar
ASUAviator
Posts: 122
Joined: Nov 06 2010 12:12 pm
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by ASUAviator » May 14 2013 3:47 pm

@Chumley - I thought it was 300 feet??? Gotta look into that. That would totally blow

User avatar
chumley
Posts: 6992
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by chumley » May 14 2013 6:07 pm

@ASU Aviator-

It is 30 feet from a road unless in a specified dispersed camping area which then allows 300-feet. Coconino publishes the 300-feet areas on their map by way of little dots next to the road. A-S does not have such a map, but they have numerous signs as you drive indicating the camping restrictions where you are.

As far as I know, Tonto has yet to finish their travel plan, but it will eventually have the same kind of restrictions.
Profound observer

User avatar
mcontreras
Posts: 67
Joined: Aug 12 2004 8:34 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by mcontreras » May 15 2013 8:25 am

@chumley

What if the road is not on that pdf map?? Does the 30 feet still apply? There are roads all over the place, but not on their map. I think we will camp at the end of FR123 past the pump station somewhere, 30 feet from the road.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino ... urn false;

Thanks for the help with this!
JJ & Michelle Parents of 3

User avatar
chumley
Posts: 6992
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by chumley » May 15 2013 9:17 am

mcontreras wrote:@chumley

What if the road is not on that pdf map?? Does the 30 feet still apply? There are roads all over the place, but not on their map. I think we will camp at the end of FR123 past the pump station somewhere, 30 feet from the road.
http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coconino ... urn false;

Thanks for the help with this!
No! Only the roads that are on the PDF map are open to motorized vehicle travel. All the other roads up there (not on the PDF map) are now closed to motorized vehicle use. You may walk, hike, bike, or camp on the old roads, but you may not drive on them.

Motorized vehicle travel is now restricted to ONLY the roads shown on the PDF map. And of the roads shown on the map, vehicles are allowed only 30-feet off any road except in the specific areas where designated by the dots which extends the off-road parking to 300-feet.
Profound observer

User avatar
mcontreras
Posts: 67
Joined: Aug 12 2004 8:34 am
City, State: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by mcontreras » May 15 2013 9:24 am

@chumley

Sounds good. Then the end of FR123 will still work, cause it's on the map and the battleground area is still an option. I'll be sure and take my tape measure...lol

We will also be taking our mountain bikes, so it's should be fun. Going on Wednesday the 29th after the Memorial weekend.
JJ & Michelle Parents of 3

User avatar
chumley
Posts: 6992
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by chumley » May 15 2013 9:44 am

It's a nice area up there. Keep an eye on the the forest website (http://www.fs.usda.gov/coconino/) before you go (or here on HAZ) to double check on fire restrictions. For now there are none, but they often are implemented by the end of May so there's a chance that fires will no longer be permitted by the 29th.
Profound observer

Post Reply

Return to “Camping”


cron