Contrary to popular belief, boats are actually much safer than cars, which inexplicably sink every time you drive them on water. Take a proper water road ride with today’s Groupon: for $69, you get a half-day pontoon boat rental on Bartlett Lake from Bartlett Lake Marina (a $190 value), which is located 48 miles from downtown Phoenix on East Bartlett Dam Road. This deal is valid for the half-day morning session from 8 a.m.–noon and can be upgraded to a full-day rental (8 a.m.–5 p.m.) for an additional $99.
Nestled in the heart of Tonto National Forest and fed by the flowing waters of the Verde River, Bartlett Lake boasts 2,815 navigational acres of breathtaking aquatic terrain. Walk the plank of a 20-foot, eight-passenger pontoon boat to scout the freshwater utopia for local wildlife, an always impressive display that enables pontoon partiers to beep like roadrunners at shoreline coyotes and sell powdered wigs to aging bald eagles. Indigenous plants such as saguaro, mesquite trees, and blooming ocotillo fill sailors' eyes with a blossoming desert greenhouse. Safety gear and instruction are included, and famished Ishmaels can stop by the dock store after their voyage for a tasty sandwich or touching tales of grandpa's surprising cannonball carnage. Groupon purchasers can reserve their pontoon boat rental here.
- While in this part of the Tonto National Forest, visitors may see mule deer, bald eagles, javelina, coyotes, and many indigenous desert plants, including the majestic saguaro, mesquite trees and blooming ocotillo. – Leisure and Sports Review
- I like this lake because it's quiet, clean, and the views are gorgeous! – Julienne F., Yelp, 4/26/10
In the shadow of the mountains of Tonto National Forest, Bartlett Lake watercrafts skid across 2,815 acres of the lake's pristine waters. The marina abounds with recreational facilities—its fleet of professional jet skis, pontoons, and ski boats sit parked along docks of grills, a general store, and a covered, floating patio. A 45-foot yacht towers over the rest of the rental boats, furnishing lively parties of up to 25 people with a slide, bar, and restroom, while a large houseboat floats along the lake peacefully—an impressive vessel complete with private rooms, a deck, and kitchen. As visitors navigate the lake or forage the surrounding area's desert terrain trails, they have the opportunity to admire indigenous plants and abundant wildlife.