Ocotillo Recreation Site in Tonto National forest is a dispersed camping area on the varying shores of Horseshoe Lake north of Phoenix. While Ocotillo Recreation Site is technically located on the shores of Horseshoe Lake, it often is unusable for boating due to the lack of water in the lake. When there is water in Horseshoe Lake there is a primitive boat ramp available at Ocotillo. Scenic mountain and desert views surround Ocotillo and Horseshoe Lake.
Ocotillo Recreation Site campground has no facilities available to it other than a couple of Vault Toilets. The Marina at nearby Bartlett Lake offers the closest camping supplies. Access to the campground is via a rough dirt road.
Ocotillo Recreation Site Campground Features
|Campground Type:||Dispersed, Semi-Primitive|
|Number of Campsites:||Not Specified|
|Cost:||$9/day via Required Tonto Pass|
|Use Level:||Very Low|
|Toilets:||Yes – Vault Toilets|
|Trash/Dumpsters:||None – Pack it out|
|Hiking Access:||Yes – Limited designated trails|
|Beach/Lake Access:||Yes – When there is water in Horseshoe Lake|
|RV/Trailer Length:||Not Specified|
|Cell Phone Service:||None|
|Operating Season:||Campground Open Year-round|
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.
|Geo Coordinates:||33.986642, -111.722005|
|Nearest City:||Carefree, Arizona|
|Location:||Phoenix Area – Maricopa County, Arizona|
|Paved Road Access:||None|
|Proximity to Stores:||20 miles at Bartlett Lake Marina|
|Directions:||From Carefree, head east for 5 miles on Cave Creek Road. Turn right on to Bartlett Dam Road (FR 205). Drive for 6 miles and turn left on to Horseshoe Dam Road (Also FR 205). Drive on the unpaved road for 11 miles to Ocotillo Recreation Site 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 Ocotillo Recreation Site are Bartlett Lake Marina or the Cave Creek Ranger District office.
|Phone:||(480) 595-3300 – Cave Creek Ranger District|
|Web:||Tonto National Forest|
|Reservations:||Not Accepted – First come / First Served|
Be Sure to Bring
When To Go
Spring, Early Summer, Fall – Summer temperatures at Ocotillo Recreation Site will exceed 100 degrees daily.