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Patagonia Lake in Arizona

A self-supported trip created by guest-paddler

Trip Overview

Our family of 4 (and the dog makes 5) went on its very first camping trip this week.

We took the scenic route 9hwy 83) from Tucson down through Sonoita and on to Patagonia Lake State Park. After paying a $15.00 overnight fee, we rented 2 canoes ($25.00 each for a 4 hour trip) and paddled the morning away.

The water was like glass, we could see fish here and there, and saw a water snake! There was a summer monsoon thunder storm in the distance, and a bit of a breeze, which kept the air temperature perfect.

Our 10 year old lab mix had never seen a lake, but took to it like a fish! (He got pretty stressed out at the sight of floating wood - scary!) The kids (age 8 and 11) did well too.

We were able to squeeze in a small fire and cook hot dogs and marshmallows between 2 thunderstorms that evening.

The camp sites were primitive, there were bits of trash in the underbrush, but the natural mesquite bosque was picturesque and gave good shade.

I give high marks for a strong and plentiful hot shower, which made a perfect ending to a perfect trip.


Basic, but at least there is a marina and market.


$8 by day or $15 overnight, $22 for electric hook-up overnight.


East on I-10 from Tucson, south on highway 83 to Sonoita, west on highway 82 through Patagonia, right at entrance to Patagonia Lake State Park.

Trip Details

  • Trip Duration: Day Trip
  • Sport/Activity: Kayaking
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water

Trip Location