My first stop was at Apache Falls, which I had seen from the highway earlier. The rock along the river provides a good place for up close photos of the falls and rapids. I even encountered my first road runner of this trip.
Jeeping Salt River Canyon.
The San Carlos Apache Reservation was formed in 1872 and actually was used to gather multiple tribes and reduce raids on white settlers. There have been many problems over the years and the tribe is still among the poorest communities in the country, despite owning nearly two million acres of land, a very large man-made lake and the successful Apache Gold Casino.
Back in the early 1970s, the San Carlos Apache Tribe built a resort and recreational facility called Seneca Lake at a cost of $524,000 to build, with plans to build an 80 unit motel and possibly a golf course and riding stables the following year. The plans came to a screeching halt when the tribe defaulted on payment to their lenders. It didn't take long for the lenders to go out and take back all of the stuff like restaurant equipment, etc. The place was abandoned in the late 70s, and is now listed as an Arizona ghost town (it also requires a permit to visit). Almost no one visits, it seems, except a few fishermen who go to the small pond that was created by damming Seneca Creek.
I stopped at Seneca, still without permit, because I wanted to explore and look for Seneca Falls. There are only a few buildings to remind us of the grand plans the tribe had for taking advantage of its resources. I did manage to find the waterfall, a narrow stream that drops over 200 feet in three tiers, with impressive views of the cliffs at the edge of Salt River Canyon.