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Bartlett Lake Recreation Area

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Other Names

Bartlett Reservoir, Horshoe Dam, Bootles Canyon, Indian Springs Wash, Verde River, Fr 42, Tonto National Forest, Bartlett Dam, Rattlesnake Recreation Site, South Cove Recreation Site

Last Known StatusClosed

Bartlett Lake has one main but challenging 4x4 trail known as FR 42 that consists of sandy washes, steep hills and rocky sections but offers some fantastic views of Bartlette Lake and the Verde River.

The trail can be accessed either off Horsehoe Dam Road (north) or off Bartlett Dam Road (south). Both northern and southern trailheads are close to day use and primitive camping areas, making this an ideal choice for first time visitors.

Summer temperatures can get very hot (100+ degrees) so bring extra shade plus water. Keep an eye out for desert wildlife such as lizards and rattlesnakes. Most of the southern part and eastern part of Bartlett Lake is inaccessible, however the western side of the lake offers camping, picnic and day use facilities.

Trail Map... Nearby ATV Trails...


Permit RequiredYesAZGFD sticker required
Dates OpenYear-Round
Other ATV Stickers AcceptedNoAll non-residents must purchase an Arizona OHV decal.
Spark ArrestorYesA spark arresting exhaust silencer or end cap is required for all vehicles.
Noise LimitYes (96 dB)
Whip FlagsNot Required
Maximum Vehicle WidthNo Restriction
Allow Dirt Bikes, Trail Bikes and Motorcycles Motorcycles & Dirt BikesProhibited
Allow All Terrain Vehicles / Quads / Four Wheelers ATVsProhibited
Allow Utility Terrain Vehicles, Side by Sides (SXS), RZR UTV & SXSProhibited
Allow 4x4 Jeeps, SUVs and 4 x 4 Trucks with License Plates SUVs & Jeeps (registered)Prohibited
Dune Buggy & Sand Rail
4x4 (unregistered)
2 Stroke EnginesProhibited
MX Helmet RequiredYouth Onlyrequired for persons under 18 by state law
(RiderPlanet strongly recommends helmets for all riders.)
Camping / Overnight RV Parking CampingSome Areas(camp in developed sites only)
Campfire Restrictions CampfiresSome Areas(permitted in developed campsites only)
Night RidingUnknown
Trail BlazingProhibitedstay on the trail
Rule EnforcementFew/Periodic


Approx Size22,400 acres (35 sq mi)
Miles Of Trail20
Climate TypeDesert
Elevation1800 to 3900 ft.
Trail MaintenanceMarked, Not Rated, Lightly Maintained
Loose DirtThis trail has some loose dirt.Some
Hard PackThe trail has little hard pack terrain.Little
SandThis trail has mostly sandy areas.Mostly
MudThe trail has little mud after it rains.Little
DustThe trail has little dust on typical days.Little
RocksThis trail has mostly rocks.Mostly
TreesThe trail has few trees.Few
Steep HillsThis trail has some steep hills.Some
Sand/Gravel PitsThis national forest has no sand or gravel pits.None
Single TrackThis national forest has few single track trails.Few
RoadsThis national forest has no roads.None
IntersectionsThis trail has few intersections.Few
Rider TrafficThe national forest has some rider traffic on typical days.Some
ShadeThis national forest has no shaded areas.None
Ranges/GunfireThis national forest has few shooting ranges or gunfire.Few
HazardsThis trail has few hazards.Few(hazards assumed marked but use caution)
Easy Terrain NoviceThis trail has little beginner terrain.Little
Moderate Terrain AmateurThis trail has mostly intermediate level terrain.Mostly
Difficult Terrain ExpertThis trail has some expert terrain.Some


AreaMotorized Trails
LandNational Forest


Gasoline Gasoline5-20 Miles (W)Shell (480) 488-3451
Diesel Diesel5-20 Miles (W)Shell (480) 488-3451
Potable Water Water5-20 Miles (W)Carefree
RV Hookups RV Hookup20-30 Miles (W)Cave Creek Recreation Area (623) 465-0431
RV Dump Station RV Disposal20-30 Miles (SE)Bartlett Lake Marina (480) 221-0503
Primitive Camping CampgroundOn Site
Convenience Store Conv Store5-20 Miles (W)Bashas (480) 488-1797


EntryYes ($8.00 per vehicle)
Watercraft - $4/each (Yellow Cliffs Day Use Fee)


Prosscenic views of Bartlett Lake and surrounding desert vegetation, on-site boat ramp and campgrounds
Conshot, dry
Our RatingRatingGood
Recommended Stay1-2 Days
Comments(Scroll Down For Rider Reviews & Comments)


Nearest CityRio Verde, AZ
AddressBartlett Dam Road, Rio Verde, AZ 85263
Go Back To Arizona List
Trail MapGo To Trail Map
From: Carefree, AZ
For southern trailhead:
1) Follow N. Cave Creek Road east for about 6 miles
2) Turn right (east) on E. Bartlett Dam Road and continue for about 13 miles
3) After you pass a pay station turn left (north) on SR 459
4) Proceed about 2 miles
5) Trailhead is on the left (west).

For nothern trailhead:
6) Continue west past Bartlett Dam N 6.7 miles
7) Turn right (north) onto Horsehoe Dam Road, continue 6.4 miles
8) Trailhead is on the right (east).


Contact InfoTonto National Forest - Cave Creek Ranger Station
40202 North Cave Creek Road
Scottsdale, AZ 85262
(480) 595-3300


Bartlett Lake Trail Photo

Bartlett Lake Recreation Area Trail

Photo Submitted 12/25/2011 (Thanks for the great shots!)

Bartlett Lake Trail Photo

Scenic view of Bartlett Lake Recreation Area Trail

Photo Submitted 12/25/2011 (Thanks!)

Bartlett Lake Trail Photo

OHV crossing some water at Bartlett Lake Recreation Area Trail

Photo Submitted 12/25/2011 (Thanks!)

Bartlett Lake Trail Photo

Scenery from Bartlett Lake Recreation Area Trail

Photo Submitted 12/25/2011 (Thanks!)

Bartlett Lake Trail Photo

OHV at Bartlett Lake Recreation Area Trail

Photo Submitted 12/25/2011 (Thank You)

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