"Introducing Patagonia" Patagonia by Africancrab

Patagonia Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 73 photos

The Mountain Empire

Patagonia is a small community town located between the Santa Rita Mountains and the Coronado National Forest, a little over twelve miles from Sonoita where I lived and just about twenty miles north of the United States/ Mexico border. The small town of Patagonia is situated at a higher altitude than Tucson but lower than Sonoita: it is graced with rolling hills of grass and many cottonwood trees and is home to the largest man made lake in the south west of Arizona - Patagonia Lake. During the fall in greeting autumn, Patagonia - the mountain empire, puts together an annual celebration of what is referred to as an intimate affair of Music, art and crafts with tons of entertainment, art and food.

For the past 18 years, this community affair has earned a reputation for being one of the best small town celebrations. The Patagonia Park is about an hours drive from Tucson, 12 miles from Sonoita and three hours from Phoenix.

Patagonia Lake and State Park

It was a lazy summer day with nothing much to do, no I take that back. There was plenty to do but I decided I did not want to do anything but leave the house and go to an unfamiliar setting (the crab in me was restless). The sun was high but not hot the wind blew briskly sending a cool wave through the trees. I decided to leave the house and took Desire for a ride to Patagonia Lake. Driving from Sonoita the ride was relaxing as we went through change in scenery from dry grass to green cottonwood trees in Patagonia town and beyond, then a steep drop almost a thousand feet and back up. Beautiful landscape and blue skies in the summer give such a serene feeling. We stopped at least two times along the way to admire the scenes and pick rocks - my daughter loves rocks, she picks them in the hope that they are mineral rocks.

Water Sports, Bird Watching and Picnicing

The Lake is popular for a variety of recreational activities, including fishing, camping, skiing, picnics, hiking and boating. At two and a half miles long and 250 surface acres: Patagonia lake is in southern Arizona and is one of the largest man-made lakes in Arizona created by damming the Sonoita creek. This lake attracts a multitude of visitors during the summer months making it the busiest time of the year at the lake, for this reason alone, water skiing and jet skiing are prohibited on weekends and holidays from May 1 through September 31st.

For those who love water sports or activities, the Marina is available behind the Sonoita creek. The marina was originally closed but recently reopened under new management now serving the multitude of visitors who come to the lake yearly. The marina provides boat rentals including boats, rowboats, canoes, and peddle and for the fisherman a, fishing licenses, baits and boating gear. Desire and I did not do any of that stuff, as we were not prepared for it. It was one of those times when I just got up and decided we would take a road trip and ended up at the lake. Food around the Marina is not allowed; I cannot recall the reason behind it, so before you set off to the Patagonia Lake, please call and get some definitive information especially regarding food.

Desire and I spent a little over 3 hours at the lake, talking a tour of the gift shop, the bridge and surrounding areas by the lake. People had built camps around the lake; families with children took advantage of the cool lake waters swimming in shallow waters. I intentionally did not carry a swim suit for us because I was not sure what the lake is like and if we could swim in it at all. Desire did not seem to mind much either.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great Outdoor Recreation
  • Cons:Small Town
  • Last visit to Patagonia: Oct 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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