Best Of Tucson®

Best Place to Commune With Wildlife

Patagonia Lake State Park

Although it's located a bit south of town, Tucsonans still like to claim this lake as one of their own--simply because we don't have that many bodies of water in town, and this is a nice one. It's Southern Arizona's largest watering hole, at 265 surface acres when full, which it has not been recently because of back-to-back-to-back years of drought. It gets fed by Sonoita Creek, which diminished to a trickle this summer. Nonetheless, once you pay your entry fee (it's a state park), there are paved camping sites with tree canopies over your own personal barbecue grill. You'll find an information station, a general store/gift shop, a marina for boat rentals, a picturesque arching pedestrian bridge for photographers and real potties with hot showers available for long-term campers. The deer and other wildlife come down to the shore to drink. So pull up a camp chair and enjoy the view.