Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Campground Review: Patagonia Lake State Park

Patagonia Lake State Park sits just South of the small town of Patagonia, AZ. This man-made lake supports camping, picnicing, fishing, boating, hiking, birding and equestrians. It is adjacent to the Sonoita Creek State Natural Area for access to hiking trails. Permits are required to hike in the Natural Area and can be obtained from the visitor center or the check in gate.

There are 105 developed campsites with a picnic table and fire ring, water and electric. There are also 12 boat-in campsites. Roads and sites are paved. Amenities include a small market, visitor center, boat marina, restrooms with showers and a dump station. Birding and boat tours are scheduled regularly.

We chose site 5, a pull through site, and were surprised to find a very unlevel site! It sure didn't look like it in the picture during reservation! There are three pull through sites next to each other on a small hillside. The other two sites, #3 and #4, are even more unlevel than ours. Despite the challenges of getting set up in this site, it was an excellent location, allowing privacy and great views of the lake and surrounding hills; quite possibly the best site in the campground.

We put out bird feeders during our stay and had the most abundance and variety of birds we have ever seen at feeders, including Northern Cardinals, Pyrrhuloxia, Curved Bill Thrashers, Red Winged Blackbirds, as well as the usual assortment of finches and sparrows.

We had a weak 4G signal using our booster set up (Wilson Sleek 4GV and trucker antenna) and had better luck switching over to 3G only for higher signal strength. A camphost told us the park will be putting in wifi in the future.

We booked our site a couple of months ago. During our stay the park was almost full of reserved sites, and the few vacancies filled up each night. Spring Break had started by the end of our stay, making for more families and college students staying here. We were told this park is party central during the summer.

This is a lovely park and if we are in the area again we will stay here again. We went on both the birding boat tour and a birding walk and both were guided by very experienced birders. We enjoyed the local hiking and the cute town of Patagonia.

Pull through site #5. The top here is the most level part of the site,
though even this part is sloping back and slightly to the left.
That's an access road on the right.
If we had slides on both sides this site may not have worked for us.

View of our site from site 4 below.

View of the back side of our pull through site.
You can see sites 4 and 3 beyond ours, the main campground road is on the right.

View of our sitting area. Site 4 is visible below us.

This is the view from site 5 of the lake and surrounding hills.


  1. The weather and obligations did not allow us the opportunity to stop in Patagonia even though it was high on our to do list. Thanks for sharing your site #. Hopefully we'll make it there in the fall. Happy trails, Ingrid FYI...keep me posted when you're heading to CO :-)

    1. Yes, indeed we'll be in touch when in CO. We'll be spending over two months at about a half a dozen different places.

  2. We were wondering about some of the sites at Patagonia Lake SP. As we looked at the campground some did seem to be unlevel. Other than that, it sure seems like a great park, particularly for bird watching.

    1. The loop we stayed in, with the lower numbers, were the best sites...those in the other loop were closer together. The 3 pull through sites were probably the most unlevel in the whole place, but you sure couldn't tell it from the web site!