After a beautifully relaxing day in our RV on Saturday, we decided we needed a short day trip somewhere close to the Phoenix metro area. Of all the places we considered, Bartlett Lake won out because it had been a couple of years since our last visit.
Bartlett Lake is part of the Tonto National Forest, which requires a separate daily pass for $8. We have a habit of carrying spare passes – you cross out the day/month/time/year when you use it – so we packed up and drove to just past Carefree, AZ.
I had heard there were mexican poppies blooming, so we looked for those first, once we reached the lake area. It’s a 14 mile drive down Bartlett Dam Rd from Cave Creek Rd, but there were limited sightings along the way.
We found success taking Forest Road 459 down about a mile and a half.
And amazing views, as well!
We drove down to the Yellow Cliffs area, which has a boat launch area and dispersed camping. While I would not take our Class A RV to dry camp there, we saw several fifth wheels, Class Cs, and a couple of Class Bs. The road to the best camping is very rough and windy – if you do take an RV down there, make sure everything is secure.
From this area, this is how the lake looks. Pretty impressive when clouds break up the blue skies.