Horseshoe Lake

full-limited Icon
4.3/5 (19 reviews)
Cave Creek, Arizona (Maricopa County)
Last Updated: 06/01/2023
Trail Types
Scout Route
Full Trail Guide

Preview Trail Icon
Preview Trails
easy
moderate
difficult
severe
extreme

Limited Trail Icon
Upgrade to Unlock
Limited Access/All-Access
Scout Route
Start a 7-day Free Trial

Trail Information

Highlights

Water in the desert means life. The beautiful and wild Verde River flows 170 miles through the center of Arizona before emptying into the Salt River. Two dams create broad lakes near the river's southern terminus, the first being Horseshoe Dam. Less crowded than the lower Bartlett Lake, Horseshoe Lake offers boating, kayaking, fishing, camping, wildlife watching, broad desert vistas, and quiet relaxation, The sandy saguaro-lined road to Horseshoe Lake passes below St. Clair Mountain on its descent through the rugged Tonto National Forest into the Verde River's deep valley and then on the lake. Numerous trails branch off for those looking for some adventurous wheeling. The K A Ranch appears wonderfully bucolic on the eastern bank of the river. Easy access to the Verde River below the dam offers fishing and dispersed camping opportunities. Numerous species of catfish, crappie, and bass, along with bluegills and carp, are plentiful. Anglers may find themselves competing with bald eagles who frequently fish the river and lake. The trail ends at a boat ramp often used as a takeout for kayakers coming down the Verde as well as those wishing to troll the lake. Be sure to take the short detour to visit the dam and Catfish Point, a great place to watch the river's precious water cascading from the dam's spillway.


Trail Difficulty and Assessment

Trail Navigation

Check out our Log Corral Trail (13.35 mi away) trail guide for an All-Access Preview!

Trail Reviews

4.3/5 (19)
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 02/24/2024
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Real easy and road was in good condition. Very scenic.
Trail Review: Horseshoe Lake - Josh Picore
Trail Review: Horseshoe Lake - Josh Picore
User Avatar
Official Crew
inline-aa Icon
75250
Open
Visited: 06/01/2023

Road is open!
Open
Rated 4/5
Visited: 04/23/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Road is OPEN, forest service re-graded the road so it is in really good shape now.
Open
Rated 5/5
Visited: 04/14/2023
Difficulty Accuracy: Spot On

Horseshoe Lake and Dam are open again. The dam is releasing huge amounts of water. It's a great place to visit. Nice and easy ride.
Trail Review: Horseshoe Lake - Steve Ruden
Trail Review: Horseshoe Lake - Steve Ruden
View More Images
User Avatar
inline-aa Icon
1500
Temporary Closure
Visited: 03/21/2023

Sadly, temporary closure now in effect. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd1095166.pdf

From the Community

Start a free trial and get this level of detail on every trail guide
Start Free Trial