Palo Verde Trail is a 7.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Carefree, Arizona that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, camping, and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 7.6 miles Elevation Gain: 803 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

running

beach

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This hike follows Palo Verde trail 512 along the shoreline of Bartlett Reservoir from Rattlesnake Cove to SB Cove. From early to mid April you cannot beat this for variety of blooming flora.

hiking
closed
1 month ago

Drove by today. Road is closed. Be careful hiking other trails. Came across a 4 foot rattler. They are very active right now. I was about 3 foot from it and it was right in the middle of the path.

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic views of the lake. The flowers this time of year made it even more scenic. The trail itself if pretty narrow so make sure to watch out for snakes! The one that I ran into was difficult to spot due to all the brush on both sides of the trail. The hike itself was a lot of ups and down but nothing too strenuous. Some parts were steep and slippery coming down.

hiking
over grown
2 months ago

Great Bartlett Lake views here and nice flowing trail. Lots of ups and downs which can get annoying. Tons of wildflowers this spring to enjoy!

hiking
fee
no shade
2 months ago

Ample parking; $12 day use fee; look for the orange pay station on the drive in. An absolute gem of a trail! Nice showing of wildflowers right now, sprinkling the first 1-2 miles of the trail with some really nice patches. It's a rolling trail without too much elevation gain at any point, but it's all loose gravel so that may make it harder for some. I recommend a hiking stick for this one. Not much in the way of wildlife for early March. lots of whiptails and small lizards, some ravens and hawks, but no snakes yet. And almost no one on the trail. The trail gets a little hard to follow after 2.3 miles since its so lightly used. The drive in is surprisingly scenic for the 10 mile stretch of Bartlett dam rd. A new favorite trail for sure!

hiking
3 months ago

We had seen some reviews about there being alot of rattlesnakes here. That may be true in the summer but we took this trail, with our French Bulldogs, at the end of February/beginning of March and saw no snakes. So as long as it's not "snake season", which I believe is April-October, you should be in the clear. Beautiful trail, awesome views, lots of flowers and right along the water. We did only go in about 2.2 miles and turned around since we didn't feel up to doing the whole trail.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
over grown
6 months ago

hiking
bugs
no shade
over grown
Sun May 12 2019

I have to give this trail one star due to safety ratings. I wouldn’t recommend this trail to anyone, especially those with dogs. The trail is riddled with rattlesnakes!! There are a lot of RATTLESNAKES!!! I was less than one mile in before I encountered my first rattlesnake before a family was walking back because they had seen another rattlesnake right up the trail. I was carrying a big stick so I was able to remove the snake from the trail so the family could comeback through. Please do not go on this trail for your safety. The views are not that great. It’s not worth the risk.

hiking
bugs
Wed May 01 2019

I would love to give this trail five stars because of the beautiful scenery, wildlife, and views, but I can not recommend it for this time of year. I encountered 4 rattlesnakes my whole trip. Each directly on the trail, each rattled and coiled up every time I came within 10 feet. Only 1 moved out of my way, and there is no alternate paths that are not overgrown. To see their locations, look on my recording in the 3 areas where I had to stand for 10+ minutes staring down an angry rattlesnake. Other than that, this is one of the best lakeside trails I’ve hiked In AZ (:

hiking
Fri Apr 19 2019

One of our favorites, not the most challenging of courses, but an absolutely beautiful hike. Alongside the Bartlett Reservoir, you have constant views of the water, and wildlife around the water, along with numerous paths down to the shore if you wish to take a dip or break from the hike. A lot of up and down, but nothing too intense, the course is well defined, and pretty easy to navigate around. The flowers, when in bloom, are amazing, and smell fantastic. If you get to the right points along the trail, where it ascends high enough from the shore, you get this magic combination of wild flowers, driftwood from the lake, and the smell of water - it can't be beat.

hiking
no shade
Sun Apr 07 2019

Fri Apr 05 2019

Beautiful wildflowers now, great lake views. Trail is closer to 9 miles if you include the loop on the end. Elevation is misleading because you are constantly ascending and descending. The trail is strewn with small rocks which makes for slower progress and difficult hiking surface. This trail is worth the effort but the first few miles are the best.

recorded Palo Verde Trail

hiking
Sat Mar 23 2019

The trail is at least a couple of miles longer than indicated here and there’s zero shade, so be prepared! Tons of wildflowers right now so it’s extra beautiful right now :)

hiking
Sun Feb 03 2019

Stunning and beautiful, narrow paths for a dog to walk next to you. But overall great scenery, definitely going back

Fri Sep 22 2017

Bartlett Lake was beautiful. This trail is deseaving. The mileage is one way, not round trip and as others state, the trails are not maintained and not marked in many areas. We got off trail several times. Made out about 5 miles till we couldn't find the trail any longer and decided to turn around and head back. Be sure you are using a downloaded map and some kind of clippers to cut back thorny bushes to pass through the trails where it has over grown.

Sat Mar 25 2017

Meandering perimeter Bartlett Lake trail. Spring (March) wildflowers extraordinaire! Be sure to go N (left) upon parking at Rattlesnake Cove picnic/beach area for true full Palo Verde trail (512?) hike: 4+mile out (8+ RT if you go to the end). Another hiking website directions say to go Right (S) from parking lot but that's Trail 511 leading towards marina (1 mile). Sparsely trafficked & spectacular!

Sun Apr 03 2016

the area is beautiful, with the lake and blooming cactus but it was one of the most poorly maintained and poorly marked trails that I've been. trying to stay on the trail was difficult at times and when I went the jumping cactus were out in force. there were no other hikers on the trail which is unusual for this area. if you go take plenty of water and wear a hat, very little shade.

hiking
Sun Apr 28 2013

Great Lake views on a well groomed, mostly very easy to follow trail, with more up and down than suggested by elevation profile. Parking and drive to trailhead is easy. Remember to buy Tonto Pass before you go. Pay $6 before or risk $50 fine. The very well groomed Trail goes up and down and up and down along lake shore. This would make a food trail run, but it's getting just a bit too warm for me to run. I saw no one else on the trail although the lake had many boats. Some quite noisy. The cactus were in bloom and very pretty. Almost no shade so remember to bring sunscreen and hat. Also even though it was on trail my shoes seemed to attract some cactus detritus than I expected, so I recommend taking a comb, pliers, or lite gators.

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

recorded Palo Verde Trail

hiking
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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