Large bodies of water in Arizona are rare and wonderful. Blue Ridge Reservoir sits high in the Coconino National Forest pine woodlands in the deep canyon formed by East Clear Creek. A few years ago, the lake was renamed C.C. Cragin reservoir when water rights management changed hands. But the signage and all the locals still call it Blue Ridge. Wonderful camping and hiking opportunities dot the trail leading to the reservoir. But the lake is the main draw. Anglers come to try their luck since the waters are regularly stocked with rainbow, brown, and brook trout. Colorful canoes and kayaks ply the lake's cold water. Paddlers often see elk and deer watering on the shoreline. Beyond the boat ramp facilities, the road gets a little rougher and less traveled as it winds around the lake towards the dam that blocks East Clear Creek to form the deep narrow reservoir. At the trail's end, a short walk along the lake leads to great views of the dam and its complex jigsaw-puzzle spillway. Come for the lake views, fishing, paddling, and even a campfire under starry skies. Blue Ridge has a lot to offer.
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