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Bartlett Lake

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Tonto National Forest - Cave Creek Ranger District
40202 North Cave Creek Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
About 30 miles northeast of Phoenix
2830 acres
Max. Depth:
174 feet
1798 feet
Year round


Bartlett Lake has a boatable surface area of 2,815 acres - more than Canyon Lake and Saguaro Lake, combined. Fed by the pristine waters of the Verde River, Indians of this valley spoke descriptively in their legends of the river's "sweet waters".

Outdoor enthusiasts frequent Bartlett Lake for a variety of recreational opportunities, including shoreline camping in Arizona's natural desert terrain. While in this part of the Tonto National Forest, visitors may see mule deer, bald eagles, javelina, coyotes, and many indigenous desert plants, including the majestic saguaro, mesquite trees and blooming ocotillo.

Bartlett Lake is located only 48 miles from downtown Phoenix and 20 miles east of Carefree. The newly engineered, fully paved, scenic Bartlett Lake Road combined with the expanding Phoenix freeway system offers easy access from the entire Valley of the Sun. Tonto National Forest campground improvements, handicap accessibility, and safety features provide for safe, enjoyable recreation including hiking, boating, water skiing and fishing. Boat rentals are available on the lake for those who don't have their own boats.

Come to Bartlett Lake for a great vacation or weekend full of fun and relaxation! Boating, water skiing and jet skiing are popular at Bartlett Lake. It offers the best of both worlds: gently sloping beaches on the west side and mountains that break the wind on the east.

Tour Companies

  • Western & Central U.S. Lakes
  • Boating
  • 888-205-7119

Invert Sports New competition MasterCraft wakeboard & ski boat rentals & charter. Jet ski, PWC & wave runner rental. Hyperlite water sports rentals. Lessons to wakeboard, water ski, wake skate, wake surf, knee board, air chair, tube & more. Servicing all lakes & reservoirs in Utah, Arizona, New Mexico Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, California, Washington, South Dakota, Nebraska & Idaho.

  • Boating, Kayaking
  • 602-400-2445

Arizona Outdoor Fun Rentals Arizona Outdoor Fun Rentals provides top of the line Rentals including Wakeboard Boats, Jet Skis, Fishing Boats, Pontoon Boats, & Kayaks/Canoes. We are your complete one-stop shop for all your Arizona outdoor recreational fun. Offering every rental from water to land! Setting the standard for customer service.

Largemouth Bass
Smallmouth Bass
About 30 miles northeast of Phoenix
2830 acres
Max. Depth:
174 feet
Year round
Water Access:
Boat launching sites are available at Jojoba, Bartlett Flat, Bartlett Marina and Yellow Cliffs
Camping Info
There is dispersed camping available at Bartlett Flat. RV camping is available at Yellow Cliffs.
Additional Details:

The lake has 33 miles of shoreline and is 12 miles long.

Boating fees are $6.00 per vehicle and $4.00 per watercraft per day. Contact Cave Creek Ranger Station about permits.

Take note that the northern end of the lake is closed to water-skiing and Rattlesnake Cove is closed to all motorized watercraft. Any part of the Verde River that is free-flowing is also closed to motorized watercraft. Motors with a greater noise level than 82 decibels may not be used on the lake. Keep boat traffic counter-clockwise.

Lake can be crowded on summer weekends and boat accesses difficult to reach. Local radio stations often carry advisories on Bartlett crowd conditions.

4 ramadas with picnic tables and grills are available at Yellow Cliffs. There is also a picnic area at Barlett Flat.

For information about the water level of Barlett Lake, call Salt River Project at 602-236-5929.

Water Features
  • Boat Ramp
  • Toilets
  • Swimming Beach
  • Picnic Areas
  • Fish Cleaning Station
  • Campground
Water Activities
  • Boating
  • Fishing
  • Swimming
  • Water Skiing
Water Services
  • Bait Shop
  • Boat Rentals
  • Convenience Store
  • Fuel Available
  • Motorboat Rentals
Basic Directions

To reach the lake:

    From Carefree
  • Take the Cave Creek Road/Forest Road 24 to Bartlett Road/Forest Road 19 junction.
  • Take a right onto FR 19 and continue for 13 miles to the reservoir.

To reach Barlett Flat boating site

    From Carefree
  • Take Cave Creek Road for 7 miles.
  • Turn right onto Bartlett Road and drive for 13 miles.
  • Turn left onto FR 459. You'll go for 1.5 miles paved, and then 1.5 miles unpaved. The boat launch is at the end.

To reach Yellow Cliffs boating site

    From Carefree
  • Take Cave Creek Road to Bartlett Dam Road.
  • Turn right onto Bartlett Dam Road, go 13 miles until you reach FR 459.
  • Turn left and go 3 miles. You'll be at the site.

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