Needle Rock Day Use Area and Non-Motorized Beach

Area Status: Open

Needle Rock


The beach on the Verde River is generally rocky, but attracts many people during the hot summer months. The area is noted for its unusual rock formations. Nearby is a protected riparian area, the Mesquite Bosque. This popular water recreation area attracts many people trying to escape the Arizona summer heat. The rocky beach area is surrounded by beautiful towering rock formations. Near the recreation site is a fenced unique biological area, a stand of mesquite. Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons are frequently seen in this vicinity.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: In accordance with closure 03-12-01-23-11, the Needle Rock Beach Area is temporarily closed due to the impacts of recent flooding. The neighboring Box Bar recreation area is open. For further information please contact the Cave Creek Ranger Station at 480-595-3300.
Operational Hours: Day Use Only
Open Season: Year round
Restrictions: Stay limit 1 day, no motor boats allowed, trailers under 16'. Picnic tables & grills, trash service, no drinking water. Glass containers prohibited.
Closest Towns: Scottsdale & Fountain Hills
Water: Not Available
Restroom: Vault toilets
Passes:  The links below provide additional information on pricing and purchasing information.
Information Center: Cave Creek Ranger District (480)595-3300

General Information


The site is 14 miles east of Scottsdale. From Pima Road, turn east on Dynamite Road and travel 3 miles to where it merges with Rio Verde Drive. Follow Rio Verde Drive for another 9 ½ miles to Forest Road (FR) 20 and turn left. Follow FR 20 for 3 miles to Needle Rock at the river. FR 20 is an unpaved road with narrow blind curves. View and download a map.

General Notes:

Bald Eagle Seasonal Closures  - December 1 to June 30

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


River and Stream Fishing

River Access Point (Verde R.)

Fish Species: Rainbow Trout; Large and Smallmouth Bass; Sunfish; Channel and Flathead Catfish

Viewing Wildlife

Species Bald eagles and great blue herons


Picnic tables and grills, trash service

Boating - Non-Motorized

River Access Point (Verde R.)


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  Elevation : 
1,541 feet