Tommy J. DeBardeleben

Salt River between Apache Lake and Roosevelt Dam

Fast Flight Facts

Target Species:  Regular and rare water species, desert species

Elevation: 2200'

Habitat:  Salt River surrounded by desert mountains

Overall Birding Rating: 3

Difficulty: 1 (Easy)

Birding Type: Stopping and scanning

Facilities:  Parking and restrooms at Theodore Roosevelt Dam

Fees/Ownership:  None, part of the Tonto National Forest

Closest Town or City/How far from Phoenix:  Apache Junction /52 miles east northeast of Phoenix

Getting there:  Northeast stretch of Apache Trail on rough dirt road

Overview:  The last five miles of the northeast section of the Apache Trail offers fun and interesting birding opportunities.  This is a scenic stretch of the Apache Trail also, as the Salt River flows alongside the road.  An interesting tip of Maricopa County comes into contact with Gila County, as half of the Salt River is in Maricopa County, and the other half is in Gila County.  In other words: while driving in Maricopa County, looking across the river is in Gila County.  This stretch goes from mile marker 236 of the Apache Trail to mile marker 242.  It starts after Apache Lake is passed and continues to Theodore Roosevelt Dam and Theodore Roosevelt Lake.  The Salt River offers open water to view, which will provide looks at different waterbirds throughout the year.  Once at the end of the Apache Trail, Roosevelt Dam is an amazing sight to see and well worth the trip.  Past the dam, a small section of Roosevelt Lake is in Maricopa County.  This stretch is yet another place to look for both water and desert birds. 

Birding Tip:  Keep in mind half of the Salt River is in Maricopa County (Apache Trail side) and the other half in Gila County.  There are several easy pullouts along this stretch to view the Salt River.  If there aren't a lot of vehicles on the Apache Trail, it's easier to view the birds on the river.  Roosevelt Lake is also a good area to scan for different birds, and a small patch of it is in Maricopa County.  Drive carefully and be well prepared for any vehicle hazards, as the Apache Trail can be a very rough road to drive on.

Directions:  This is the very northeastern section of the Apache Trail, between mile markers 236 and 242. 


Salt River between Apache Lake and Roosevelt Dam Maps


Scenes and Sights from the Salt River between Apache Lake and Roosevelt Dam:


Back to Area 3-Apache Trail

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