Bartlett Reservoir

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

Please Note: Riverside Campground and shoreline camping site remain closed.

Bartlett Lake


The Bartlett Reservoir area is noted for the spectacular vistas of the Desert Mountains and the Sonoran plant life. A fair portion of the west side of the reservoir is devoted to camping and picnicking. Bartlett has been a favorite with anglers since Bartlett Dam was constructed in 1939. Several state-record fish have been caught there. The 1977 Small-mouth Bass state record tipped the scales at seven pounds. The carp state record still stands at 37 lbs. 5 oz. Flathead Catfish lurk in the depths. “Fish City” near Bartlett Flat is a fish-habitat improvement project.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: South Cove at Bartlett Lake is currently closed following federal and state guidance to limit the spread of COVID- 19 and to protect public health and safety.
Permit Info: Group events like fishing tournaments require a permit. Contact the local Ranger District.
Open Season: Year-round, as water levels permit
Restrictions: Be prepared for delays in boat access during summer weekends. The northern end of the lake is closed to water-skiing. Please observe buoys. Rattlesnake Cove is closed to all motorized watercraft. Motors generating a noise level of greater than 82 decibels are prohibited. Direction of travel on the reservoir is counter-clockwise. Maricopa County Sheriff, Arizona Game & Fish and Tonto National Forest personnel enforce regulations. Trash service and toilets. Free-flowing portions of the Verde River are closed to motorized use. No glass containers. Periodic major draw-down of the water level occurs. Water levels fluctuate seasonally based on precipitation and irrigation demand. Rocks andother obstacles can be near the water surface. Be aware that motor boating involves hazards, and people engaging in this activity assume the associated risks.
Closest Towns: Cave Creek and Fountain Hills
Water: Available at Bartlett Lake Marina off of Horseshoe Dam Rd. & various recreation sites around lake
Restroom: Available at Bartlett Lake Marina off of Horseshoe Dam Rd. & various recreation sites around lake
Passes: America the Beautiful Passes are only accepted at the Picnicking Sites. For boating, a Tonto Daily Pass and Watercraft Sticker or Tonto Discovery Pass are required. Campground fees at various sites around Bartlett Reservior might be separate from the Tonto Daily and Discovery pass. Please call Cave Creek Ranger District for specific details or visit individual websites.
Information Center: Cave Creek Ranger District (480)-595-3300

General Information


The reservoir is 20 miles east of Carefree. From Carefree, take the Cave Creek Road/Forest Road (FR) 24 to the Bartlett Road/FR 19 junction. Turn right on this paved highway; it is 13 miles to the reservoir.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Water Activities

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Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
LAKE SIZE (FULL) 2,830 acres; 33 miles of shoreline; 174 feet maximum depth 12 miles long

  Latitude : 

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  Elevation : 
1,798 feet