Just off US-60 between Globe and the Salt River lies what looks like an abandoned ghost town. We passed this area on the way up to the White Mountains and decided to explore the area on our way back home.
The buildings near Seneca Lake (just minutes south of the Salt River) were initially slated to become a resort in the 1970s. The San Carlos Apache Tribe built a large restaurant and bar, a gas station, cabins, and a trading post with future plans for an 90-unit motel, golf course, and riding stables. Unfortunately, the plans came to a halt when the tribe defaulted on payment to lenders, who quickly took back what could be salvaged. This location was completely abandoned in the late 70s and seems to have become a destruction ground for vandals.
At the nearby Seneca Lake, we spotted these Double-crested Cormorant birds.
Had the Seneca Lake resort plans came to fruition, it probably would have been a popular spot with its location just minutes from the beautiful canyons carved by the Salt River. We stopped off at the Salt River Rest Stop to take a gander down to the river.
The Salt River starts from fresh water (from the Gila River) and only becomes salt once it leaves the White Mountains. Some time before the 1880s, the Tamarisk tree (aka Salt Cedar), was planted along the river banks as a means to prevent erosion. The plant turned out to be extremely invasive, rooting out other plants and ultimately becoming widespread all along the Salt River. This plant draws salt from the soil through its roots and sequesters the salt in its foliage. As wind blows and rain falls, the salt falls off the tree and into the water, thus making it salty.
Seneca Lake Ghost TownOverview
- Coordinates: 33.76364, -110.51231
- Fees: FREE
- Usage: Light
- Pets allowed: Yes