Spring is here in the desert! The yellow flowers are everywhere…except where my mom wanted to see them. Doh! We went for a flower hike on Friday near our house, and the flowers were beautiful. Thanks to all the Forever FIT folks who joined us! On Saturday, we thought we’d head to Bartlett Lake as it is known for spectacular flowers. I had never been, so I was up for a new adventure.
We drove east on the Carefree Highway through the town of Carefree as the road turned to E Cave Creek Road. Eventually, it connected with Bartlett Dam Road. We were in the car almost an hour before we saw official signs for Bartlett Lake and Horseshoe Dam Road. It’s a pretty straight shot; just plug the lake into your GPS and enjoy the drive!
Like any lake, Bartlett has several places to go, and passes are required for all use. 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. Dogs are allowed on leash.
This lake is much bigger than Lake Pleasant, and it had all sorts of boats on it. People were camping along the shore, fishing, and picnicking like us. The best spot for that is Rattlesnake Cove as it has tons of covered tables with great views.
Before we settled down for lunch, though, we drove around looking for wildflowers. We found very few, but it was a gorgeous day to be outside. This time is year isn’t too hot, and that makes me happy. Woof! Other dogs were out with their owners, and I got to take a dip into the lake. Ahhhh. Apparently, the lake has lots of catfish, but I didn’t hear a single meow…and I have excellent hearing.
We scoped out the camping areas where RV’s were parked, and we decided it was a little crowded for our taste. Those who were there seemed to be enjoying the waterfront property; just know it doesn’t have hookups. Dad said that is called Boondocking, and we’ll be doing that in the near future.
For today, we had a scenic drive and lunch in the shade. We met nice people and dogs, and I took a couple of swims. Even though we didn’t see many wildflowers, we had a lovely time. This amazing place is less than an hour east of I-17 and Carefree Highway, so it is very doable for a day outing. NOTE: We encountered a ton of traffic in Carefree due to the Wings and Boat show. A good reminder to always check the events calendar before embarking on an adventure. Happy spring!
Hi! I am Kumaito (Kuma for short), a multi-tan Shiba Inu. My breed is one of the oldest and purest from Japan. I personally was born in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, moved to Friendswood, Texas, and now call Phoenix, Arizona home. I enjoy running or hiking almost every day with my mom, chasing rabbits out of my neighborhood, playing with toys, pestering my brother Edmond, eating, napping … well, I love just about everything and everyone!
My mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith is kind enough to help me share my Great Adventures, big and small. My mom is a motivational speaker, corporate trainer, business consultant, executive coach, behavioral-wellness expert, and author of eight published books. More importantly, she’s the best doggy mom ever!
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Get outside! You never know what you’ll discover, and our paths just might cross. Happy tails!