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Theodore Roosevelt Dam and Lake

Explore the dam that helped tame the Salt River and laid the foundation for SRP.

Theodore Roosevelt Dam stands at an impressive 357 feet tall, holding back more than 1.6 million acre-feet of water at Roosevelt Lake. It also holds a great deal of Arizona’s history.

The more-than-110-year-old dam helped early settlers tame the raging waters of the Salt River, bringing water to the desert and making economic development possible.

Today, it’s a vital part of a water delivery system responsible for delivering over half of the Valley’s yearly water supply.

Explore the wonders of this monumental human-made structure, from the time it was constructed to the plans we have for its future.

110 years of history and hydropower

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Completed in 1911

Theodore Roosevelt Dam was originally constructed between 1905 and 1911 to control the erratic flow of the Salt River and harness the water for irrigation. It was the cornerstone of the new SRP water delivery system.

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Uniquely constructed

The dam is unique in the way it was originally constructed. It was the world's largest cyclopean masonry dam, a Greco-Roman style of building using huge, irregular blocks. It is now covered by new concrete.

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A presidential namesake

Once the world's tallest masonry dam, this structure is named after President Theodore Roosevelt, who was instrumental in approval of the Federal Reclamation Act of 1902 and who dedicated the original dam in March 1911.

Providing protection and power

In 1996 a $430 million modification project raised the height of the dam to 357 feet and expanded the lake's water conservation storage capacity by 20%, enough water for 1 million people. The dam now has electric hydrogeneration capacity of 36 megawatts (enough to power 30,000 homes) and provides substantial flood control.

Take a stroll back in time to discover more of the dam’s history.

Creating Arizona's largest lake

Theodore Roosevelt Dam forms Roosevelt Lake, the largest lake located entirely within Arizona's borders and a destination for fishing, boating and water sports.

  • 22.4 miles long
  • 21,493 acres of lake surface
  • 128 miles of shoreline
  • 188 feet maximum depth
  • 1,653,043 acre-feet capacity

Spend the day (or night) at Roosevelt Lake

Things to do at Roosevelt Dam:


Wander through scenic vistas and desert vegetation with views of the water.

See the trailsOpen new site.
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Bird Watching

See blackbirds, finches, sparrows, great blue herons, vultures, hawks and more.

Find birding spotsOpen new site.
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Both non-motorized and motorized boats are welcome at Roosevelt Lake.

Explore the marinaOpen new site.
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Find places for tent camping, dispersed camping, RV camping and group camping.

Get your permitOpen new site.
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Hook crappie, carp, sunfish, flathead and channel catfish, smallmouth bass and largemouth bass.

See the fishing reportOpen new site.
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Roosevelt Lake Visitor Center

See views of the lake and artifacts from the people who lived here more than 600 years ago.

Get directionsOpen new site.
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Find a place to take a dip. Make sure to check Roosevelt Dam water levels, as they affect water quality.

See lake levelsOpen new site.
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Tonto National Monument

Explore ancient Salado-style cliff dwellings overlooking the Tonto Basin.

See park infoOpen new site.

Best enjoyed responsibly

Find resources to plan a safe and fun day on the water at Roosevelt Dam.

Official Arizona Boating Safety Course Online

Take the courseOpen new site.
Watercraft Rules & Regulations

See the rulesOpen new site.
Renew Your Watercraft Registration Online

Renew onlineOpen new site.
Protect our lakes from aquatic invasive species

Quagga Mussel regulationsOpen new site.