Patagonia Lake State Park – Arizona
Quiet. The first thing we noticed at Patagonia Lake was the silence.
It was a Tuesday afternoon less than a week before Christmas as our film crew skirted the marina along the shady footpath to scout a location to shoot the welcome video for this website. Fallen leaves and native grasses turned to winter straw, dampened by weeks of morning dew, cushioned the pathway so even our footsteps were silent.
Patagonia Lake State Park is situated in the place where the rolling, grassy hillsides of Sonoita, Arizona gradually give way to the more rugged terrain of the Tumacacori Highlands. The lake is ten miles west of the town of Patagonia on Arizona State Route 82. The 265-acre, man-made lake, nestled in a scenic valley, was created in 1975 and is stocked in the winter with rainbow trout. Large mouth bass, flathead and channel catfish, crappie, bluegill and sunfish are regularly taken from Patagonia Lake.
Patagonia Lake State Park is a perfect destination for family outings with a variety of activities in addition to fishing including water skiing, camping, picnicking and hiking. Personal watercraft including jet-skis, water bikes, above-water exhaust boats and V-8 jet boats are prohibited on the lake.
Patagonia Lake State Park offers a beach for swimmers and a picnic area with ramadas, tables and grills. There is a campground with boat-in campsites, rest rooms and showers and a dump station. The Lake Side Market, located at the tip of the marina, offers boat rentals, fishing licenses, bait, ice and more.
As we sat at a picnic bench next to the lake’s edge waiting for the setting sun to deliver the perfect lighting for our video I began to imagine the sounds of Patagonia Lake in the summer time. I could hear the sounds of playing children, laughing adults, a passing outboard pulling a skier and a single AM Radio broadcasting a baseball game. Then a lonely Inca dove broke the silence with a haunting coo as if to say, “I can hear it too.” Once again, the flat and placid water, reflecting the yellow leaves of shoreline trees and a cobalt-blue, cloudless sky gave way to the first thing you notice in the winter at Patagonia Lake – the sound of silence.
To make online camping reservations at Patagonia Lake State Park visit: azstateparks.com/Patagonia-lake or call 1-877-MY-PARKS, 7 days a week form 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM MST. You must reserve sites 24 hours ahead of time.
By: William Ackerley, Patagonia, Arizona December 19, 2017
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