Apache Lake

From Openwaterpedia
Apache Lake, the venue of Day 3 of the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge in Arizona
S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge competitors in the inaugural race in Arizona including Dave Barra, Janet Harris and Kent Nicholas
Wind gusts of 37 knots blew across the 22.8 km course on Apache Lake during Day 3 of the SCAR Swim on 26 April 2024
South African Roger Finch on right with S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge race director Kent Nicholas on left

Apache Lake is a reservoir in the state of Arizona. It is also the site of the third stage swim of the S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge. Apache Lake was formed by Horse Mesa Dam which was completed in 1927. The second largest of the four Salt River Project reservoirs (Theodore Roosevelt Lake is the largest) and by far the most difficult swim if the wind picks up. The swim begins at the eastern end of the lake at the buoy line below Roosevelt Dam and continues for approximately 17 miles to the the Horse Mesa Dam. The lake separates the Four Peaks Wilderness from the Superstition Wilderness and is considered fairly remote (dirt road access). The picturesque canyon is framed by the Mazatzal Mountains and Superstition Mountains. The Horse Mesa Dam, a concrete thin arch dam, is 660 feet (200 m) long, 300 feet (91 m) high and was built between 1924-27.

S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge

The S.C.A.R. Swim Challenge is a 4-day stage swim in Arizona in the Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake, and Roosevelt Lake organized by Kent Nicholas.

In search of a unique open water swim challenge in Arizona, the four reservoirs on the Salt River provide that unique opportunity. If Jack Kerouac wrote a story about the Dharma Bums swimming from dam to dam across a series of lakes in the rugged desert wild, this may have been the inspiration. The brainchild of Mesa, Arizona attorney Kent Nicholas, S.C.A.R. stands for Saguaro, Canyon, Apache and Roosevelt lakes. It's "a bit of a rogue swim" because there were no permits, licenses, insurance, coast guard support, law enforcement approval, or any other "permission" sought from anyone. They hiked, boated, swam, laughed and swam again without letting the obstacles and hurdles of modern life prevent them from swimming more than 40 miles in a beautiful environment.



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