Bartlett Lake is situated approximately 30 miles northeast of Phoenix, Arizona. If you are traveling from Scottsdale, it will take you around 50 minutes to reach the lake. It is a fun, family-friendly outdoor destination. Further, it is excellent for water sports and fishing, among other activities.
This water reservoir is an outcome of the dam constructed on the Verde River. Therefore, the river is its perennial water source, making it an excellent year-round vacation destination. It is one of the top fishing sites within the Tonto National Forest. With numerous fish species, it is considered to be the crown jewel of the forest.
Want to know all the exciting things you can do at Bartlett Lake in Arizona? Check out the slides below:
As it is one of Arizona’s lesser-known attractions for a lake vacation, it is considered a hidden gem by many vacationers. One of the main reasons is that it is not overcrowded. However, it is always advised to arrive early so that you have a full day or weekend to spend at this fantastic destination. Also, the more time you spend here, the more jaw-dropping picturesque surroundings you can take in.
So without further ado, let’s look into some of the amazing activities & Adventures at Bartlett Lake Arizona has to offer.
- 1 Fun Activities & Adventures at Bartlett Lake
- 2 Cautions & Must Carry in Bartlett Lake
- 3 Wrapping up the Fun Activities at Bartlett Lake
Fun Activities & Adventures at Bartlett Lake
There is a plethora of fun and adventurous activities at the lake and the nearby region, so it is a great idea to explore each of these attractions one by one.
Boating & Rentals to have fun in the water
Bartlett Lake is one of Phoenix and Scottsdale’s largest lakes and has a water surface area of approximately 2800 acres. Even larger than Canyon Lake in Arizona, Bartlett Lake is an attractive boating point for all kinds of visitors.
You can rent boats from the Marina. There you will find all kinds of boats, including speed boats in bartlett lake boat rentals. If you are traveling with children, you may pick kayaks or canoes, which are fairly easy to maneuver. If you consider kayaking or camping in Arizona then Barlette lake is the best place to visit.
You can even bring your own boating equipment and launch at the paved ramp. In fact, this is one of the fully paved lakes, which makes it easier to walk down to the water surface. There are various boat launch ramps at Yellow Cliffs, Bartlett Flat & the Marina. But don’t bring very noisy speedboats as noises greater than 82 decibels are not allowed at the lake.
You may choose to conveniently rent a boat there and not face the trouble or disturbance of bringing your own. You can call the Marina or check out their website to find out more about renting the boat. You need to be 21 years old or older to rent a boat. It is best to reserve a boat beforehand because you might not find boats available at the last minute.
Rentals might also cost you a fair amount of money, so it’s best to plan the expense ahead. There are many varieties of boats, from Pontoon boats to Ski boats. So pick the most suitable for you, your plans, and your budget.
Fishing at Bartlett Lake is a fantastic adventure
Fishing is one of the topmost recreational activities at Bartlett Lake. There are numerous fish species available; the most popular species are the largemouth and the smallmouth bass. Further, you might even find bluegills or catfish. It depends on the season in which you are going to the lake; each species has its own weather preference, making it difficult to catch them in one season but easier in the other.
You also need the permit and the fishing license from the Arizona Game and Fish Department to sink a few lines. So you can check out their website or give them a call for more information. You may also inquire for more information from the Tonto Forest authorities.
However, despite all these technical aspects, fishing is still the most popular recreational activity here. Once you have secured a fishing license, you can have a lovely fishing outing. You may even bring a grill and have a nice meal near the lake. Overall, fishing at Bartlett Lake is a fantastic adventure for the whole family.
Bartlett Flat Shoreline Area Camping
Bartlett Lake has something to offer in every season. If it is boating and fishing in the summer months, camping is the most attractive avenue in the fall and winter. The stunning scenery is best enjoyed on camping excursions in the fall months.
One of the brilliant aspects of the lake is the amalgamation of varied natural beauty. There are sandy beaches on one side of the lake while on the other side, there are mountains with desert plants and vegetation. Both of these together pose a romantic, indescribably beautiful landscape.
You won’t find established campgrounds near the shore. Therefore, it is a primitive-style camping experience with fewer amenities and dispersed campsite clearings. However, it is the most beautiful experience to camp here and be amidst nature. So it is a small trade-off. It would be best if you arrived early as the prime spots get filled quickly.
You will require the Tonto Daily or Discovery Passes based on the activities you want to participate in there. You can confirm the charges and availability from the Cave Creek Ranger District Office. Also, check out the website for what kind of boats are allowed in the region and other such restrictions.
If you love beachfront camping, then check out the SB Cove Shoreline Area.
Wildlife Watching & Desert Flora
While you are boating and sunbathing, one of the exciting adventures at Bartlett Lake you can undertake is wildlife watching. You will find a lovely diversity of terrestrial and marine life. It includes vultures, bald eagles, coatimundis, mule deer, raccoons, otters, seals, and more! A variety of fish species are also an attraction for those who love to fish and those who don’t.
Not only that, the bird variety is so abundant that bird-watching is quite an adventure here. Depending upon which area of the lake you are boating in, you might even encounter pelicans and hawks also. If you are lucky, you might even come face to face with a Gila Monster. It would be thrilling to see this 22-inch-long venomous lizard. Maintain your distance for obvious reasons, but don’t feel afraid of capturing it through your camera. Turn off the flash, and you’ll be okay.
The flora here is even more enjoyable. It specializes in desert plants, therefore, it presents a unique landscape to admire. You will find the mountainsides full of Jojoba, Ocotillo, Teddy Bear Chollo, and many different varieties of plants. If you travel in late June, you will see some plants beginning to bear fruits and attract many hungry birds.
Water Sports at Bartlett Lake
As the lake has a vast water surface, it is very attractive for many water sports, including water skiing, jet skiing, and waterboarding.
If you are an expert, you can rent the equipment at the Marina and head out to the lake with the necessary safety equipment. If you are a newbie, you can get water sports lessons at the Marina.
Contact the bartlett lake Marina for your perfect adventure, and I am sure you will have a memorable time there!
Beach Fun & Swimming at Bartlett Lake
Other adventures at Bartlett Lake are a wonderful mix of a variety of natural attractions. It has bartlett lake beach on one shore, providing a lovely place for family and kids. There, you can build sandcastles, play beach-ball, or simply sunbathe. Don’t forget to bring your shovel and bucket if you want to build that castle. Also, keep necessary gadgets when traveling with family.
Further, the lake is an excellent and relaxing swim hole in the summer months. But be careful of the boulders. If you are traveling with children, make sure you swim in areas where there are only small fish.
Adventurous Picnic with Family in Lakeshore
Last but certainly not least, a picnic is an exciting activity at Bartlett Lake. One of the top spots in Rattlesnake Cove. You will find a lot of covered tables and it is open all year round, although trailers and motorboats are not allowed. If you want to grill here, make sure to get your own charcoal. There is also a vault toilet facility here for your comfort.
SB Cove and the Bartlett Flat Shoreline Areas also provide great picnic spots other than the Rattlesnake Cove.
Cautions & Must Carry in Bartlett Lake
- Be careful of the bees in the summer season. It is always best to carry a repellent with you. You may need to consider avoiding the season entirely if you are allergic to bees.
- Sunscreen: No matter when you plan to go, don’t forget the sunscreen. You will be boating for long hours, and so you will be exposed to the sun.
- Swimsuit: It is always best to carry your own. Not only does it give the perfect fit, it is much more hygienic. There might not be a rental option available.
- Water shoes, towels, food & clothes: All activities involve water, so water shoes are a must and so is a towel. Further, if you plan to stay for more than one day, pack a pair of clothing for each day. Don’t travel heavy but don’t forget the necessary items. Frozen food and snacks are also highly useful to carry because you might not be close to a bartlett lake restaurant or convenience store all the time.
- Permits & License: As mentioned earlier, different activities require different passes and permits, Tonto pass being an absolute must. Beside, you also need bartlett lake pass. So check out the website and find out what you will need the most.
Wrapping up the Fun Activities at Bartlett Lake
I hope you loved our coverage of the Bartlett Lake activities. Tonto Forest offers certain amenities such as parking spots, restrooms, and The Last Stop Bar and Grill restaurant. So you might have wonderful adventures at Bartlett Lake with a natural escapade and still get a glimpse of civilization now and then. These amenities are a big relief when you are traveling with young children.
If you want to stay in the region for a longer time, then you might want to look for suitable accommodation in a nearby town. You can find the most reliable accommodations on our platform Rental Trader in the region. These will make your visit to the lake even more convenient, and you can explore other great spots nearby. For more information about Rental Trader, see our Contact page to fill out the web form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.