(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.
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