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Roosevelt Lake Recreation Area





August 19, 2004


Dear Boondocking Guide,

The Tonto National Forest in south-central Arizona needs your help to inform your RV readers/clientele of a new destination for long term (up to 6 months) camping.  In the past, camping on the Tonto NF was limited to 14 days but now has recently opened two campgrounds at Roosevelt Lake Recreation Area to long term camping from October to April each year. These two campgrounds, Windy Hill and Cholla, have 553 camp units and are among the largest National Forest campgrounds in the country.  Both Windy Hill and Cholla Campgrounds are adjacent to Roosevelt Lake offering outstanding fishing and boating opportunities without the crowds from major metropolitan areas.  Situated in the Sonoron Desert where winter temperatures average in the 70’s, this is the perfect winter visitor or “snowbird” destination.

If possible, please publish this information on your website and/or reader publications.  Please see the attached brochure for additional details and information.


(Name Removed)
Recreation and Lands Specialist
Tonto National Forest, Tonto Basin R.D.

(Note: This letter has been edited to remove irrelevant information)




Now open to long term camping From October to April each year


The Tonto Basin Ranger District has opened two recreation sites at Roosevelt Lake to long term camping.  Long term camping (up to 6 months) is now permitted in the campground loops at Windy Hill and Cholla Recreation Sites between October 1 and March 31 each year.


Area Description:  Roosevelt Lake is a year-round recreation destination located in central Arizona on the Tonto National Forest.  A two-hour drive northeast of Phoenix, Roosevelt Lake is the largest of the four Salt River lakes and is nestled in the beautiful Sonoron Desert.  The lake’s main attraction is water based activities such as fishing and boating.  Other activities around the lake include wildlife viewing, hiking, and backroad exploring.   Roosevelt Lake is situated along Highway 188, which can be reached via Highway 60 from Globe or Highway 87 south of Payson.   Highways 60 and 87 can be easily accessed from Phoenix.  Cholla Recreation Site is five miles northwest of Roosevelt Dam on Highway 188 and Windy Hill Recreation Site is six miles southeast of Roosevelt Dam on Highway 188.


Camping Facilities Provided:  An RV dump station is located at Cholla Recreation Site on Highway 188.  Both Windy Hill and Cholla have water operated restrooms, indoor shower facilities, trash removal, boat ramps, fish cleaning stations, and handicapped accessible boat loading platforms.  Each individual campsite has a ramada, picnic table, and grill.


Area Features:  Roosevelt Marina, Tonto National Monument, Tonto Basin Ranger District Visitor and Interpretive Center, historic Apache Trail and Roosevelt Dam, Apache Lake and Marina, and miles of hiking trails and backroads.  Watchable wildlife include migratory birds, eagles, osprey, bighorn sheep, mule deer, javelina, and quail.  Gas, food, propane, phones, and post offices are located at Punkin Center and Roosevelt just a few minutes from Windy Hill and Cholla Recreation Sites.  A full range of services and amenities can be found in Globe or Payson.


Fee/Permits Required:  Fees are paid at automated fee stations located at the entrance of Windy Hill and Cholla Recreation Sites – cash and credit cards are accepted.  Both recreation sites have single campsites that are $10 per night and double sites that are $15 per night.  Holders of Golden Age and Access Passports pay price.  Golden passports can be purchased at the Tonto Basin Ranger District Visitor Center.


Accessibility:  All facilities are handicap accessible. 


For more information please contact the Tonto Basin Ranger District at HC02 Box 4800 Roosevelt, AZ 85545 or by telephone at 928-467-3200.

Imperial Dunes - California





Tonto Basin, Arizona


More information on the Tonto National Forest website


Last Updated: June 17, 2009