View Full Version : San Carlos Lake - Camp Geronimo

07-16-2006, 04:58 PM
We just read in one of the local papers that San Carlos Lake, located on the San Carlos Apache Reservation (31 Miles SE of Globe, Arizona) is nearing all time low water levels. When the dam was completed in 1928 it covered the old Camp Geronimo Site and from what we've heard, the lake level is nearing a point where Camp Geronimo or the remains of it, will be able to be seen again. Supposedly, the old fort was built of local stone quarried from the nearby mountains and the remains are substantial. We'll plan on taking a ride out there to take some photos in the coming weeks.
We've avoided driving to the area because we find the deplorable conditions on the reservation depressing and hard to understand. We've never seen more trash laying along a road, than the one that leads to San Carlos Lake. People living in homes along the highway pile garbage up in their yards sooner than haul it to the dump. The nearby towns of San Carlos and Peridot are equally as bad...and without really getting into the socioeconomics of the tribes, I find the living conditions there an abomination. :( :mad:

07-16-2006, 06:12 PM
Please go, and PLEASE take pictures. It sounds fascinating, and I think it would be awesome (if a little creepy) to see ruins that have been underwater, and now slowly being revealed.

There's a horror movie just waiting to be made about this one. Hmmm, Indian reservation, fort, dam, all evidence of a grisley murder submerged "forever" as the fort was covered by rising water, angry Indian spirits , blood running down the walls, a young girl dressed only in sheer underwear gets stalked by the undead as the waters recede, and one of the locals, a former Navy Seal now living as an alcholholic on the reservation, quits cold turkey and digs up his stash of military small arms and Indian talisman before performing and ancient cleansing ritual in the nude, then turning into a one man army to destroy the undead and save the small community, while also having the effect of reuniting the locals against the local government, which has illegally forced substandard living conditions upon them.

There is also a cameo by a middle-aged, overweight bald guy on an atv, armed to the teeth, poking around the ruins looking for "stuff".

:mad: :mad: :mad:

07-16-2006, 06:46 PM
LOL!! Good one Brian!!! :D :D
hmmm the Indian Spirits thing might be closer to the truth than you think, the newspaper article says, " The dam was built just below the site of the old Indian burial grounds" CREEPY!
You know, I get a mental image of you standing in the middle of a GT, all alone, your imagination running rampant, waving a 45, yelling, "Come and get me you dang injuns, I ain't afaid of no ghosts!" :eek:

where are you gonna get some young thang to stand around trembling in her sheer drawers in the middle of that flea-ridden reservation?

07-19-2006, 11:11 AM
We headed out for San Carlos this morning before daylight to beat the heat. Much to our delight, the Apaches had cleaned up the area, they must have hauled off tons of trash. I applaud them for restoring the beauty of the area!
We didn't locate Camp Geronimo, the areas where the lake has receded are very muddy, so we'll have to wait until it dries out more to attempt it again. The lake is currently at only 6% capacity, too bad, it's really a very pretty lake when it's got more water.
We found some old Army equipment, maybe it was used by the Army Corp of Engineers to maintain the dam, just speculating.
We also found the foundations of the site of San Carlos, before it was relocated in 1928 to make way for the lake after Coolidge Dam was built.
I'll try to upload a few pictures of today's trip.

Coolidge Dam completed in 1928

(notice the high water mark)

Old Army Crane
(behind a locked fence, couldn't get closer)

Not much remains of the Old town of San Carlos, just a few foundations and some stone walls

07-19-2006, 04:53 PM
Thanks for the great pictures!

I don't think its half as fun when you find a site the first time. That anticipation, planning, scheming, is all part of the fun. Its when you get foaming at the mouth obsessed like me, thats a bit much.

:mad: :mad: :mad:

07-20-2006, 12:24 AM
I can identify with the "foaming at the mouth obsessed" part. That's how I feel about "my" Bluebird Mine. Three attempts so far at reaching it, and thus far, we've gotten to within a half mile it and had to turn back because the road got too tippy ... leaning wayyy over a 300 ft drop-off in a Jeep isn't my idea of fun. There's one more route to try, but we'll wait for cooler weather so if we do finally get there, we'll be able to spend more time exploring it. Our buddies at the forest service are going up there and said we could caravan with them, but they've been kept busy with the wildfire situation and haven't gone yet. It's supposed to be an awesome site with lots of intact buildings.

07-20-2006, 04:15 AM
" had to turn back because the road go too tippy ... leaning wayyy over a 300 ft drop-off "

I sure can relate to that. Thats the problem I'm having with my "backdoor" to Black Diamond.
:mad: :mad: :mad:

07-20-2006, 11:24 AM
Hey Laura, I wonder why the water is so low. Did you find out why that is by chance?

07-20-2006, 11:30 AM
We're in the midst of a many year long drought. The water from San Carlos evidentially has been used in other places and with no snow in the high country, there's nothing to replenish it. One of the Apache security guards we spoke with yesterday said the fishing is great, although I can't imagine it, the water is almost fetid.

07-23-2006, 04:50 AM
Yeah...I don't understand the attitude of many of the Indian tribes in this country, as many of the reservations across the U.S. look much like the Apache Res. between Globe and Peridot. Last April we took a hot air balloon flight between the Apache Gold Casino just east of Globe and tried to "fly" as far as Peridot, but had to set down at an abandoned ranch about 12 miles east of the casino. Most every "rersidence" we flew over was littered with broken down cars and garbage piles 6' tall. On the other hand, it was neat to be able to check out the old ranch house where we landed, as it has been vacant for quite awhile. I know we were trespassing, but most of the time you have to set the balloon down where the wind decides to take you. Maybe the next generation of GTing will be from a hot air balloon. Actually, we were searching for an old mine site NE of the casino, but the winds didn't cooperate. Maybe next year........:D

07-23-2006, 07:36 AM
We were happy to see the attempt was made to clean up the road that goes to San Carlos Lake, at least what we could see from the road had been cleaned up. Each home has at least one or two junk cars and assorted plumbing fixtures tossed out for added decor'.
It's tough to get rid of stuff living out in the boonies (a fact we know all to well) we don't have garbage removal service and the local Transfer Station is only open one day a week, we pay $2.55 per bag to drop it off. The National Forest Service used to allow people to drop off greenery free and then they'd burn it, but now they've stopped doing that.
What really burns us is the fact that even some of the locals here will take garbage out into the desert and dump it sooner than make the effort to get rid of it properly.
We had a gigantic satellite dish in our back yard when we bought the place. It had to be sawed into small pieces to dispose of and even then, we had to take it into the dump in Globe.
Right now there's a movement underway to protest our lack of services, with property taxes going up, services are going down.
If you go again in search of the mine near Apache Gold Casino, be careful, there's a gang of armed punks (you probably saw their graffiti) in the area, they've been known to hassle people demanding money for being on "their" land.
Anyway, there are no excuses for anyone trashing the land, everyone here has a pickup truck to haul garbage or knows someone who does.

01-26-2009, 10:54 AM
I have lived in Globe for 3 years now and have traveled to to Texas many time...so I have to go through all of those nasty little towns....and truley...Laura you are right. Those towns could be so much more but they won't let anyone out on their land to help fix it. Just a whole bunch of nasty houses, which have yards full of cars and trash. Some people live in make shift sheds and let their animals live in their houses. I'm actually afraid to go out their because of those "punks" you previously mentioned. Its horrible how some people out there are still so naive, and hateful towards people who aren't Apache. I've heard so many bad stories about what goes on out there it's quite sad actually. I was actually looking for the stories and myths out there, having to do with ghosts, and what things make them scared like owls?!? LOL, but I'm glad I found this!

01-26-2009, 05:49 PM
Erica, Hi neighbor! It's funny this thread has resurfaced, we were just thinking of taking another drive out to San Carlos to see if things have improved any. My husband reminded me that after our last visit to that area, I was livid about the condition of it and went on a letter writing campaign for a few weeks afterwards. (for all the good it did) :mad:
In my mind, the area is very pretty as far as the scenery goes, it could have been a decent money maker for the tribe. I could picture a nice hotel overlooking San Carlos, but it's for sure, nobody is going to want to pay for a room with a view of someone's junked toilet.
It's sad to see that people who claim to be "keepers of the land" aren't keeping it very well.