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Surrounded by rolling hills and sun-drenched grasslands, Patagonia Lake State Park showcases the natural beauty of southeast Arizona. It's been welcoming outdoor enthusiasts since 1975 and is anchored by a cobalt blue lake that's perfect for swimming, fishing, and boating. Wildlife watchers will be in their element, with the chance to tick off unique species like the coatimundi and Coues whitetail deer. Venture further afield and you can discover the resplendent Patagonia and Mountain Empire region. You're also a stone's throw from the Sonoita American Viticultural Area, a sun-drenched basin famous for its cool climate and full-bodied blends.
Planning a getaway to the Grand Canyon State? Book an RV in Santa Cruz County and you can sleep under the stars at Patagonia Lake State Park, as well as discover nearby gems like Mount Wrightson, Madera Canyon, and Peña Blanca Lake. You're also a 70-mile drive from Tucson, a great place to rent an RV near Patagonia Lake State Park and kick off your Arizona adventure.
Occupying more than 250 acres, cobalt blue Patagonia Lake is the park's showpiece. At Boulder Beach, it's easy to spend an entire day relaxing on the sand and cooling off in the swimming area. You can also rent kayaks, canoes, and paddleboards and enjoy a leisurely paddle around the lake. Pontoon tours depart from the visitors' center and are a great way to discover Patagonia Lake State Park and Sonoita Creek State Natural Area.
Scenic trails skirt the shoreline and are a fantastic way to escape the crowds and enjoy the scenery. Follow the creekside trail and you could spot native birds such as canyon towhee, vermilion flycatcher, Inca dove, and hummingbirds. Watch for Coues whitetail deer grazing on the hillsides, great blue herons wading in the shallows, and coatimundi troops relaxing in the treetops. Avid birders can join guided walks departing from the campground on Mondays and Fridays. Equestrian enthusiasts will also find a few trails winding their way through the nearby Sonoita Creek State Natural Area.
Patagonia Lake is well-stocked with crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish and rainbow trout, so why not cast a line and try your luck at reeling in dinner? If you're traveling with kids, don't forget to pick up coloring books, activity sheets, and Junior Ranger buttons from the visitors' center.
Dotted with ocotillo, yucca, and scrub oak, RV camping at Patagonia Lake State Park offers a unique chance to sleep under the stars in Southeast Arizona. The park maintains more than 100 developed campsites, all featuring picnic tables, grills, and fire rings. For extra shade, book a site with a ramada. You're just steps from the beach, boat ramps, and picnic area, which makes it easy to spend the day by the lake.
Serviced sites keep you connected with 20, 30, or 50-amp voltage. Like most state park RV campgrounds, Patagonia Lake offers modern bathroom blocks with flush toilets and hot showers. Site sizes vary, though most can accommodate larger RVs. It's best to book in advance if you're visiting during peak season from May to November. If you're up for an adventure, why not spend the night at one of the boat-in campsites strung along the lakeshore?
The campground at Patagonia Lake State Park is an excellent base for exploring southeast Arizona. You're perfectly placed for discovering the Mountain Empire, a stunning region sandwiched between the Santa Rita and Patagonia ranges. It's famous for its high-altitude grasslands, which you may recognize from hits like Oklahoma! and Red River starring Old West legend, John Wayne. History buffs will love Tombstone, Arizona's original ghost town. Dine at Old West saloons, stroll around the Boothill Graveyard, and check out the notorious OK Corral, the site of a notorious gunfight between lawmen and outlaws in 1881. Fort Huachuca, a 50-mile drive away, marks the military base set up for the Buffalo Soldiers during the Indian Wars.
With some parts more than 5,000 feet above sea level, the Sonoita American Viticultural Area is a utopia for cool-climate winegrowers. For a taste of the local winemaking scene, spend the day sipping your way through boutique vineyards strung along scenic Highway 82. Tiny towns like Sonoita and Elgin are great for stocking up on basics like milk, bread, and s'mores ingredients. For a livelier street scene, head to Patagonia, where historic adobe buildings house retro burger joints, colorful taquerias, and hole-in-the-wall pizza shops. You're a three-hour drive from the Arizona state capital, which makes Patagonia Lake popular with urbanites looking to camp in an RV near Phoenix.