Desert Vista OHV Area

Area Status: Open

Located in the Cave Creek District about one hour from Phoenix, this 33,500 acre area has more than 100 miles of open routes that vary in width. The primary access point is the Wildcat staging area located on Bartlett Dam Road approximately 1 mile east of Cave Creek Road, Cave Creek AZ. All routes are two-way travel ranging in technical challenge from easy to very difficult with the majority of routes falling in the moderate to more difficult category. A highlight of this area is Camp Creek Wash (FR413) which provides access to the Verde River and the Needle Rock Recreation area. Please remember to stay on the routes.  Driving off-road is prohibited on the Tonto National Forest. 

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Year Round
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: 14 Day Stay Limit, PACK IT IN-PACK IT OUT, no trash services.
Closest Towns:

Cave Creek & Care Free

Water: Unavailable
Restroom: Vault Toilet
Passes: No Passes Required / Fee Free Area
Operated By: Cave Creek Ranger District
Information Center: Cave Creek (480) 595 3300

General Information

General Notes:

There no services provided in the Desert Vista OHV area with the exception of Wildcat staging area, which has portable restrooms generally from September 15 through May 1. Please remember to Pack-it-in Pack-it-out.   

Driving Time Round Trip: 1 - 4 hours, depending on the routes you choose 

OHV Etiquette: Please remember that you share these routes with other users and that OHV courtesy and safety is your responsibility.  

Leave No Trace: Recognize your role in preserving wild lands by practicing these Leave No Trace principles: 

  1. Plan ahead and prepare. 

  2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces. 

  3. Dispose of waste properly. 

  4. Leave what you find. 

  5. Minimize campfire impacts. 

  6. Respect wildlife. 

  7. Be considerate of other visitors. 



Exit 101 freeway at North Pima Road.  Continue north on Pima Road to North Cave Creek Road.  East on Cave Creek Road to Bartlett Dam Road.  East on Bartlett Dam Road, approximately one mile to the turn-off for the staging area on your right 

Download a map of the Desert Vista OHV area (PDF)


Dispersed Camping

OHV Trail Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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