Camping at Roosevelt Lake, Arizona

Last month my son’s Boy Scout troop had it’s annual family campout at the Grapevine Group Campsite at Theodore Roosevelt Lake in Arizona.  By “family campout,”, I mean that the scout’s siblings could attend.  Parents are welcome to come along throughout the year.

Roosevelt Lake is the largest lake contained within the borders of Arizona.  Lakes Powell and Mead are larger, but share borders with other states.

The campsite was on a high hill on a peninsula overlooking the lake in three directions.  Fantastic views!  We were about a hundred feet above lake level.  The water’s edge was a half mile away.  This group site had eight or 10 loops for specific groups.  We were in Goose Loop, I think.  This has to be one of the best one.  The loop had restrooms with running water and a shower was nearby.  It reportedly had a sports field, but I never saw it.  Cost of the site was only $80/night and the loop could service over 100 campers.

It’s about a two hour drive from Scottsdale, about an hour of which is quite scenic.  Many thanks to Kathy S. for taking the lead on this campout.

We had about 15 yutes and 10 adults.  I wish more scout siblings had come.

We made an effort to catch fish, with no luck.  Probably the wrong time of day (middle of the afternoon) and no one tried live bait.

As usual for Arizona, the weather was perfect.  The most memorable parts for me were the views, camaraderie, and evening fireside skits put on by the boys.  All had a good time and no one got hurt!

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: On the way back home from the lake, my wife, son, and daughter stopped at Vineyard Canyon Picnic Site.  It’s on Highway 188, north of the dam.  Paul and I tried our best to catch fish with artificial lures, again with no luck.  The worms I brought had died and liquified—they probably got too warm.  Paul latched onto a small bass with a 2″ Rapala minnow, but his line broke off and he lost the fish.  We saw lots of 6-8″ (18 cm) largemouth bass in the clear green water.   Surprisingly, we didn’t see any perch/bluegills.  My wife struck up a conversation with some vacationing Mexicans there who had caught a couple 3-lb (1.4kg) bass on worms fished on the bottom.  I’d like to go back there and be on the water at daybreak with live worms or minnows.

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