Bartlett Flats Campground is a dispersed campground on the shore of Bartlett Lake in Tonto National Forest that provides scenic mountain vistas and direct access to boating and other activities. Bartlett Lake is on the Verde River and stores water for the Phoenix metro area, and also provides great recreational opportunities.

A couple of vault toilets and a primitive boat ramp are the only amenities you will find at Bartlett Flats. However, the nearby marina has basic supplies and groceries, etc. There are no designated campsites at Bartlett Flats, and you can virtually pitch your tent anywhere you can find space, but the available space varies with the lake level. When Bartlett lake is at full capacity only limited campsites are available, likewise when the lake is low there will be more available land for camping.

Bartlett Flats Campground Bottom Line

Since Bartlett Lake is a popular destination in the summer for boating and camping, Bartlett Flats Campground can get packed very quickly, with campsites right on top of each other. While the Forest Service does its best to keep the campgrounds at Bartlett lake clean, by the end of the summer there is often an abundance of trash and debris in the campground.

The primitive boat ramp at Bartlett Flats can be unusable when the water level is low in the lake, requiring you to launch boats from shore. A developed boat ramp is available at SB Cove Campground. The best campsites at Bartlett Flats Campground will vary with the lake level, but they tend to be right against the lake shore. Getting one of these campsites can be a challenge during the busy summer boating season unless you arrive early to claim your campsite.

While ground fires are allowed, you must use a fire ring made of stone or metal.

Bartlett Flats Campground Features

Campground Type: Dispersed, Primitive
Number of Campsites: Not Specified
Cost: $6/day via Required Tonto Pass
Use Level: High
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Fire Rings: None – Ground fires are allowed with a rock or metal fire ring.
Drinking Water: None
Toilets: Yes – Vault Toilets
Showers: None
Trash/Dumpsters: Limited – Pack it out
Hiking Access: None
Beach/Lake Access: Yes
RV/Trailer Length: Not Specified
RV/Trailer Amenities: None
Cell Phone Service: Limited on all carriers
Wifi: None
Operating Season: Open All Year

No services. PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT. Glass containers prohibited. Bury human waste 6-8 inches and at least 200 feet away from camp, trails, water sources, and dry drainages.

Getting There

Geo Coordinates: 33.880235, -111.615422
Nearest City: Cave Creek, Arizona
Elevation: 1780’
Location: Phoenix Area – Maricopa County, Arizona
Paved Road Access: Partial – Recreation Area roads unpaved
Proximity to Stores: Approximately 4 miles at Bartlett Marina
Directions: This site is 24 miles east of Carefree. Take Cave Creek Road 7 miles turn right on Bartlett Dam Road and turn left on FR 459. Continue on FR 459 for 4 miles then turn right to Bartlett Flats Campground.

Tonto Passes are required for each vehicle and watercraft. Passes can be purchased in advance online or at retail outlets. The closest retail outlets to Bartlett Flats Campground are Bartlett Lake Marina or the Cave Creek Ranger District office.

Camping Supply List


Phone: (480) 595-3300 – Cave Creek Ranger District Facebook: Bartlett Lake Facebook Page
Web: Tonto National Forest Twitter:
Reservations: Not Accepted

When To Go

Spring, Early Summer, Fall – Summer temperatures at Bartlett Flats Campground will exceed 100 degrees daily

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Bartlett Flats Campground Pictures


Image Credits: Justin Wilson

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Justin is an IT Professional, focused on cloud, mobile, and infrastructure management and security with his consulting business, as well as chief bottle washer for this website. In addition to, Justin also runs and writes for the technology infrastructure-focused blog, and the mobile device-focused blog


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