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Will Blue Ridge fill? Looking good!

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montezumawell
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Will Blue Ridge fill? Looking good!

Post by montezumawell » Mar 25 2003 4:15 pm

(See most recent post for latest update.)

Blue Ridge Reservoir is now an "odds on" candidate to "fill and spill" sometime soon.

The level was a tad less than 90 feet today and rising at a pretty good clip. It is full when the gage level reaches 100 feet, so it is still 10 feet below the spillway. HOWEVER, there are still over 3 inches of water equivalent at the Baker Butte SNOTEL as of 03/25/03.

There is a 71 square mile watershed above Blue Ridge Reservoir. It is within the realm of "the possible" that there is enough water in the remaining snow to "fill and spill" Blue Ridge.

So what does this mean to you?

BOAT CAMPING! SEA KAYAK CAMPING!

Blue Ridge Reservoir offers some of the best boat and sea kayak camping in Arizona. When it is full (or nearly full) there are a many easy-to-reach campsites on both arms of the lake.

Due to its elevation, the north facing slopes there are covered with vegetation normally associated with mujch higher mountainous elevations. You are likely to think you suddenly were transported to the Pacific Northwest. The geology is sandstone.

Late April and the first half of May are the best times to go there. There will be no one there. The Fish Guys won't be there because the fish won't be biting. School's still in session and the weather can get real "iffy." In summary, it's some of the best camping that we know of in Arizona.

We have a little 12-foot aluminum boat and a 6 HP motor we call our "Blue Ridge Boat." It's sole purpose in life is to go to Blue Ridge in May when the reservoir is full.

J&S

PS--There's a LOT of great hiking up on those ridges that surround the lake. Check your Coconino NF map for more insight.

PPS--Here's the URL for the gage level: COME ON BABY--GO!
http://az.waterdata.usgs.gov/nwis/uv/?s ... 0065,00060
Last edited by montezumawell on Apr 02 2003 6:56 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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joebartels
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Re: Blue Ridge Reservoir

Post by joebartels » Mar 25 2003 8:18 pm

montezumawell wrote:COME ON BABY--GO!
:lol:
Hike Arizona it ROCKS!

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Nighthiker
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Post by Nighthiker » Mar 26 2003 3:53 pm

I have thinking the same thing and planning on a visit (camping) in April.
jk

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montezumawell
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Misc info

Post by montezumawell » Mar 27 2003 10:01 am

As of Friday morning, March 28, there was only 1.5 inches of "snow water equivalent" above Blue Ridge Reservoir at the Baker Butte SNOTEL. The reservoir level stood about 5 feet below the spillway. It now appears unlikely that the reservoir will fill to the top of the spillway. Expect another 2-3 feet of gain.

However, while not technically "full," this will be an excellent level at which to experience Blue Ridge.
The many great campsites there will be very close to boat or sea kayak mooring spots. Gear carry distance will be minimal--certainly nothing like the major "grunts" necessary when the level is lower.

The USFS opened the locked gate on the road to Blue Ridge on March 26.

Here is a link to the section of the Arizona Trail that runs practically on the edge of the reservoir:

http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/mogoll ... ge_tr.html

The Rock Crossing Campground fee has increased from $5 to $8 this year.

We will add other info and links to this post from time-to-time.

J&S

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Nighthiker
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Post by Nighthiker » Mar 29 2003 10:17 am

Where do you find the info on the snotel ?

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montezumawell
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Gonna DO IT

Post by montezumawell » Apr 02 2003 7:01 pm

Well, we were right then wrong and now maybe right again. At first, we said it would fill. Then we backed off and said it wouldn't. Now we say it will. In fact, we are heading out before sunrise tomorrow to go up there and verify it in person. We will post up pictures late tomorrow.

J&S

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montezumawell
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Spilling

Post by montezumawell » Apr 04 2003 5:02 pm

We went up to the Blue Ridge Reservoir dam on Friday, April 4. The water was at the top of the spillway and only fractions of a foot from spilling. We see from Saturday's USGS reading that it indeed went over the spillway. Here are two pictures of the water at the top of the spillway. We plan to replace these pics later today with some more relevant pics of the Reservoir and the Dam.

The dam itself is 160 feet high and was completed 40 years ago. It's spillway tailrace was rebuilt recently and so the road out to the dam is suitable for passenger cars. The Reservoir itself is 280 acres when full but seems a lot larger because both "arms" are so narrow and so long.


http://fromthedge.com/2003/blueridge/040403_27.jpg
http://fromthedge.com/2003/blueridge/040403_34.jpg

J&S

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