Set in the wilderness area of the Tonto National Forest, Bartlett Lake is located just 48 miles from downtown Phoenix and 22 miles northeast of the exclusive enclaves in Carefree, Arizona. Its crystal waters are framed by gentle sloping beaches on one side and majestic mountains studded with saguaro cacti and blooming Ocotillo on the other. Fed by melting snow and rain runoff from the north via the Verde River, Bartlett Lake features a boatable surface area of 2,815 acres which is more than Canyon Lake and Saguaro Lake combined.
The lake is a water recreation wonderland that includes water-skiing, jet-skiing, fishing, swimming and shoreline camping. Hiking among the desert flora is an added experience where hikers frequently spot native wildlife including mule deer, javelina, coyotes and the rare bald eagle.
Bartlett Lake is a fisherman’s paradise. Cast from the shore or your fishing boat to catch your share of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill. There’s even a fish cleaning station where anglers can prepare their catch for an evening meal around a campfire. Also see “Fishing in Phoenix” and “Boating in Phoenix“.
Bartlett is Open Year Round.
The lake is open all year long. It is most crowded during the hot summer months as residents swarm to the cool refreshing waters and tranquil nights under the brilliant stars. Get their early since the rangers restrict the number of boats on the lake at any given time. It’s always a good idea to reserve picnic spots and boat rentals ahead of time. Also read about Lake Pleasant.
Tonto National Forest Service
2324 E. McDowell Rd.
Phoenix, AZ 85006
Bartlett Lake Marina
Getting To Bartlett Lake.
From Carefree, turn east on Cave Creek Road. Take Bartlett Lake Road for 13 miles to the Bartlett Lake Marina. Now have a blast!