An ATV escape into the Sonora Desert may be just the ticket for a desert adventure. Barrett Lake is located northeast of Phoenix, Arizona. What makes it a nice destination is its distance form the city. It is far enough away to not attract the casual tourist, making it the perfect ATV area. The area is urban until you reach the bounds of Tonto National Forest. This is a true desert with saguaro cacti, boulders, plenty of dirt, and heat in the summer months. Driving an ATV through rough terrain you will reach an upland where you veer northward and run downhill to a horseshoe shaped lake.
Barrett Lake is a reservoir lake with lots to see and do on both sides. ATV trips here could be great fun. There is a self pay station, but what you have is picnic places, boat launching areas, beaches, fire rings and showers - and after a dusty ATV run a shower sounds mighty good! There is also an area named Barrett Flats where there are a few campsites.
Walking the area to see the lay of the land is a good idea, and this way an ATV enthusiast can become more aware of the wildlife around the lake. There are rattlesnakes, but this is the desert and should be expected here, so be aware of them. Make sure to take water and anything else you might like to spend the day in a very pristine natural area. This is an ATV desert dream.