As a guide to Southern Arizona, I’m always on the lookout for new adventures and hidden gems, places that are interesting but few people know about, even locals.
Thus, I’m always asking folks about their adventures here, restaurants they like, favorite picnic areas & hiking & biking trails, etc. Most recently, Beverly, my barber at Swade Barber Shop at Ruthrauff & La Cholla, told me she was going camping at Parker Canyon Lake.
Never heard of it. Bev said it’s down south and east of Patagonia, which I also had never been to. She said she and friends had camped there before and really enjoyed the experience.
I asked her to send me a full report and photos when she returns to civilization. Here’s Beverly’s report.
It took me only about an hour & a half to get to Parker Canyon Lake from Tucson. My friends were pulling a small trailer and it took them about a half hour longer. The road is paved but narrow for about the last 10 miles.
They have both trailer and tent sites with wheelchair access, running water, rest rooms, picnic tables and grills – 65 in all. Campsites are $10 per night – 14-night limit.
The facilities include: a marina/store with a boat ramp, boat rentals, & fishing pier. Here you can purchase groceries, camping gear, fishing license, tackle & worms. The marina/store is open every day in the summer and Friday-Sunday otherwise.
There’s a delightful 5mile trail around the lake. I spent several hours happily paddling around the lake in a rented kayak. I like their kayaks because they are the newest sit-up-high model that’s easy to paddle and very stable. The marina also rents mountain bikes, row boats, and 2 & 4 person pedal boats.
Fishermen were catching Rainbow Trout, Bass, Sunfish, and Catfish. I also noticed a lot of folks with binoculars bird watching. Many people use the hiking and biking trails around here. At night, the stargazing was spectacular.
Additionally, there is access to many other trails into the Coronado National Forest, including the Arizona Trail that goes from the Mexican border all the way north to Utah.
“STAY AWAKE!! TODAY IS THE DAY!”