Patagonia Lake State Park is located in the gently rolling hills of southeast Arizona. It’s one of the most popular getaways for Phoenix and Tucson folks and also offers a great place to enjoy out-of-staters’ Arizona vacations. Here are three reasons people love Patagonia Lake State Park.
1. Things to Do at Patagonia Lake
The centerpiece of the park is Patagonia Lake, a pristine 250-acre lake nestled in the hills. The lake offers a wealth of activities including swimming, water skiing, canoeing, kayaking and boating. Boat rentals are available. It’s also a great spot for fishing. The lake is stocked with crappie, bass, bluegill, and catfish.
If you’re making a quick visit to the lake and don’t want to get wet, there’s a nice beach and picnic area where you can enjoy the view.
2. Hiking Patagonia Lake State Park
The park has a 1/2-mile hiking trail that’s perfect for getting views of the lake and the surrounding desert beauty. It’s an easy hike and it takes you through the park to Sonoita Creek. It includes a very popular birding area where you can see Inca doves, vermilion flycatchers, canyon towhees, black vultures, and other species native to the area. You can also catch glimpses of whitetail deer roaming the hills and great blue herons on the lake.
If you’re up for more hiking, the trail offers access to other trails that wind through the bigger Sonoita Creek State Natural Area.
3. The Serene Sonoran Desert
Beyond the lake, another great reason to visit Patagonia Lake State Park is the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. As you enter the park, you’ll travel through semi-desert grassland with rolling hills covered with scrub oak, yucca and ocotillo. While the lake itself is surrounded by a narrow forest, beyond the forest you’ll find rocky hillsides with yucca and cacti.
Adding Patagonia Lake State Park offers the Best Camping in Arizona
If you want to stay at the park, there are over a hundred campsites in its campground. The sites are spacious and many have their own ramadas. Most offer views of the lake through the spaces in the trees. Although the park is pristine and rugged, the campsite is paved and offers full services for RVs. The park is very well-maintained and due to its popularity, upgrades and changes are constantly being made. There are also 12 campsites that are only accessible by boat. The campground at Patagonia Lake State Park offers some of the best camping in Arizona.
There is also a picnic area you can enjoy if you’re just stopping for the day. It’s covered to protect you from the sun and easily accessible for disabled travelers.
Patagonia Lake State Park makes a great place to stop on your Arizona trip because it’s located a convenient distance from so many other southern Arizona attractions. You can set up camp at Patagonia and then take day trips to other attractions like Kartchner Caverns or the historic town of Tombstone.
Patagonia Lake State Park is a great place to enjoy a quiet getaway in southern Arizona.