Patagonia Lake State Park

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Many folks in Tucson don’t consider a day trip or overnight road trip to Patagonia and Patagonia Lake State Park because they think it’s too far. In early April 2013 I left downtown at 8:30 AM and was strolling along the lake at 9:45 AM. Should you wish, you can rent a boat and be on the lake in about an hour and a half.

Patagonia Lake Bridge from water thumbnail
Pat Lake Paddle Boat 01 thumbnail
Pat Lake Fishermen 02 thumbnail
Pat Lake Pontoon Leaves Marina thumbnail
Pat Lake Picnic Table lake backgound thumbnail
Pat Lake from boat 03 thumbnail
Pat Lake Picnic Tables Shore thumbnail
Pat Lake Reeds 01 thumbnail
Pat Fishermen 01 thumbnail
Patagonia Lake Bridge from water
Pat Lake Paddle Boat 01
Pat Lake Fishermen 02
Pat Lake Pontoon Leaves Marina
Pat Lake Picnic Table lake backgound
Pat Lake from boat 03
Pat Lake Picnic Tables Shore
Pat Lake Reeds 01
Pat Fishermen 01

Patagonia Lake State Park is about 8 miles south of the little town of Patagonia on Hwy 82. In surface area, it's the largest lake in Southern Arizona, about 265 acres and 2.5 miles long.

At the marina, you can rent kayaks, paddle boats, row boats, and pontoon boats.

Fishermen catch crappie, bass, bluegill, and catfish. Trout is stocked every three weeks from October through March.

The pontoon boats available for rent at the marina are good for taking the family on a cruise around the lake.

There are many fine picnic areas along the shore. Most have a table, grille, and ramada.

The visitor center is open Wednesdays through Sundays. There you can learn about the wildlife and birds in the area. They do offer a variety of guided hikes, birding tours, and nature programs, mostly on Fridays & Saturdays.

The Patagonia Lake campground has 72 developed, 34 hook-ups and 12 boat access sites, restrooms, showers and dump station. RV size limit is 35 feet.

As delighted as I was with the many picnic areas, I was less impressed with the campsites. Individually they are OK, but there are way too many of them and too close together. I was there mid-week in early April and the campground was maybe 10% occupied. At full capacity on a summer weekend, this place would be a noisy zoo.

You can put your own power boat on the lake and water skiing is allowed on weekdays and weekends from October 1st through April 30th. From May 1st until October 1st water-skiing is allowed on weekdays, but not on weekends or legal holidays due to congestion. They do not allow jet skis.

The small market near the campgrounds sells fishing licenses, firewood, grocery items, ice cream, soda, beer and wine and other camping supplies. The park entrance opens at 4 AM and closes at 10 PM. Entrance fee: $10 per car.

All Arizona State Parks now offer online reservations for campsites: https://azstateparks.itinio.com/patagonialake/.



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