The south end of the trail begins near the northern edge of the Rattlesnake Cove Recreation Site. The trail roughly parallels the shoreline of Bartlett Reservoir, providing access to the shore, crossing washes and small ridges, and running along hillslopes. From Rattlesnake Cove Trailhead to SB Cove is 3.8 mi. A 1.2 mi. loop-trail intersects the main trail at two locations: about 0.5 mi. south of SB Cove and again at 0.8 mi. south of SB Cove. The loop-trail provides access to other areas near the edge of the reservoir.
- Palo Verde Trail offers access to many coves and stretches of shoreline, providing opportunities for swimming and angling. The trail winds through rocky outcrops and crosses several ridges and hill slopes offering scenic views of Bartlett Reservoir. *This trail passes through the Arizona Upland Phase of the Sonoran Desert, featuring saguaro cactus, mesquite, palo verde and ironwood trees.
- Bartlett Reservoir has been popular with anglers almost since the dam was constructed in 1939. Fish species include crappie, large-and smallmouth bass, channel and flathead catfish, carp, bluegill and green sunfish. - Along with many partners, the USDA Forest Service is improving fish habitat by installing a variety of structures in strategic locations.
- Closed to motor vehicles
- Carry an adequate supply of drinking water. One gallon/per person/per day is recommended during hot periods.
- If you PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT!!
- Portions of the trail are rough in places, and should be traveled with caution. Decomposed granite trail surface can be slippery.
- Water levels fluctuate seasonally based on precipitation and irrigation demand
- Do not drink untreated water. Giardia, a protozoan, is in many water impoundments and streams.
Cave Creek Ranger Station
40202 N. Cave Creek Rd.
Scottsdale, Arizona 85262
Phone (480) 595-3300 Fax (480) 595-3342
TRAILHEADS (TH) Rattlesnake Cove TH SB Cove TH
South end: (1840 feet elevation): at Rattlesnake Cove
North end: (1820 feet elevation): at SB Cove
Trail use: Light
Trail difficulty: Easiest
Trail length: 3.8 - 4.7 miles
Season of Use: All year
USGS maps: Bartlett Dam, Maverick Mountain Elevation: 100 feet
Forest Tonto Pass is a forest wide permit for recreational sites and campgrounds. Typically not for trailheads.
To hike Take Scottsdale Road north passing the Boulders. Scottsdale Road turns into Tom Darlington. Continue through Carefree and turn right onto Cave Creek Road. Follow Cave Creek Road to the turnoff on Bartlett Dam Road. Follow the signs to the lake. Pay the parking fee and continue on to Rattlesnake Cove.
HAZ Member al1inaz updates: Take the 101 to the Pima Road Exit and head north on Pima Road. At 11.8 miles you intersect Cave Creek Road. Turn right. At approximately 4 miles you will come to the Bartlett Lake turnoff. Turn right. Follow the signs to the lake. Pay the parking fee and head north to Rattlesnake Cove. The trailhead is at the north end of the cove.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.
Warning: heat kills!
Avoid 8am to 5pm over 90 degrees. Prehydrate & stay hydrated. Hikebot recommends using an umbrella to block the sun. Avoid Heat Illness - do NOT hike when temps exceed 100 degrees, period.