Carnero Lake

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  • Carnero Lake is one of those wonderfully hidden getaways in the White Mountains. Unless you know exactly where it is, how to get there and have a high-clearance vehicle, forget ever finding its solitude-if it's even there, that is.

    When I was a youngster, my parents took me to this scenic lake for the first time. With Green's Peak towering at 10,137 feet, plenty of elk and waterdog population thick enough to walk on, it's something I'll never forget.

    Rainbow and Brown trout are all I've ever caught out of Carnero. In fact, during my first visit I threw in from the dam, and promptly had a 3-4-pounder break me off (using corn and marshmallows). by the end of summer, the lake, which I estimated to be about 30 surface acres, will be covered in a weedline thick enough to preclude shore fishing. In other words, visit in early spring. -G.J. Sagi, from the essential travel handbook Fishing Arizona
  • GPS:
    Latitude: 34° 07' 0.15"N Longitude: 109° 31' 41.21"W
    Phone Numbers for more information::
    Game and Fish (928)367-4281 or (928) 535-4481
    Restrictions/Season of Use:
    Carnero Lake is open all year but check road conditions due to the altitude of
    Road Conditions:
    Paved to dirt
    Land Ownership:
    Carnero Lake is owned by the Apache Sitgreaves National Forest
    Ranger Station/District:
    Pinetop Game and Fish Department (928) 367-4281
    Entrance Fees/Permits:
    You will need a White Mountains pass available on this site coming soon.
    The elevation at Carnero Lake is 9035
    Max Surface Acres:
    Average Depth:
    Bag Limit:
    There will posted signs for bag limits on Rainbow and other species of trout
    Boat/Engine Restrictions:
    electric motors only
    Boats to Rent:
    Barrier free Access:
    Launching Area:
    Water Skiing:
    Cleaning Stations:
    No marinas at Carnero Lake
  • Take the 260 east from Pinetop, go north on mile marker 385 to forest service road 118 drive 20 minutes to the lake on the dirt road.

Recent User Reports and Reviews

  1. Jeff k
    May 19, 2017
    Fishing is excellent. Fish surveys show large and healthy 20-inch rainbows and 15+ tigers. Weeds are low and the lake is high! More tiger trout were stocked last week. To apply for the state record or fish of the year, a picture of the fish must be taken on a reliable ruler. See pg. 42 of our regulations for more details! Fish are biting on black wooly buggers and nymphs.
  2. Reports
    Jan 20, 2017
    Ice Covered. Forest roads to the lake have deep snow in spots and are not accessible all the way to the lake by vehicle.
  3. HookedAZ
    Jan 8, 2017
    Carnero Lake is ice covered. Forest roads to the lake have deep snow in spots and are not accessible all the way to the lake by vehicle.


User Comments

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  1. AGFD bio
    Carnero Lake contains only rainbow trout and tiger trout. Brown trout have not been stocked for decades and therefore no longer exist here. The lake is open to artificial fly and lure fishing only with a 2 trout bag limit.
  2. AGFD bio
    There is no such thing as a White Mountain pass. If it is located on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, you can go there free of charge, with the exception of a number of campgrounds that require a fee to stay overnight and only a very small number of tiny areas that are closed for resource recovery.