Upper Barden Reservoir is located in the heart of Barden Moor and is surrounded on three sides by the summits of Brown Bank, Cracoe Fell and Thorpe Fell.
Together with Lower Barden Reservoir it is one of two reservoirs situated on Barden Beck which, after passing through the lower reservoir, flows into the River Wharfe just north of The Strid.
The water from both reservoirs is piped underground to a pumping station below Bolton Bridge. From there the water is pumped uphill to Chelker Reservoir where it is held until needed.
There is an excellent track climbing above Barden Beck from the lower reservoir to Upper Barden Reservoir. Upon reaching the dam there are a couple of options for continuing a walk, one track crosses the dam before contouring south-east towards Hutchen Gill Head. Another option is the track climbing north to the small reservoir at Gill Beck Head from where there are further options for continuing the walk.
An alternative approach to the reservoir is to take the Bolton Abbey to Rylstone bridleway. Immediately to the east of the moorland top of Brown Bank there is a broad track that is signposted for Upper Barden Reservoir.