After a few exciting days of crane photography, it was time for us to meander down the road. Three years ago we first heard about Patagonia State Park in southern Arizona. Everyone seemed to have the same response, “You just have to visit Patagonia”.With a piqued curiosity and no firm commitments, we pointed the RV in the direction of Patagonia State Park. Let’s see what all the fuss is about.This is a very popular state park and it’s usually best to book a reservation, especially on weekends.
We lucked out snagging a big enough site for us during our weekday stay, and although it was near the main entrance road, we didn’t seem to mind.
Once we had the RV all set up, we set off on a stroll around the park to see just what makes this place worth recommending. Within five minutes, we fell in love with the park. Water, woods, and wildlife…. wonderful!
The state of Arizona never ceases to amaze me with her diverse beauty. Within a two hours drive, one can go from a desert valley filled with unique cacti, to mountainous hills of pine forests, to fields of agriculture, to peaks of stunning red rocks, to a huge crevice in the earth (Grand Canyon), or to a pristine lake. It’s like being able to pick a different flavor of the week or a combo of flavors to savor and enjoy.Patagonia State Park is definitely a combo of flavors… a few of my very favorites. I always jump at the chance to camp near water and I’ve always enjoyed boating of any kind, and although we no longer have our own form of watercraft, it’s nice to be able to rent one and get out on the water.
The marina at Patagonia State Park offers several different options for boating; paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, fishing boats, and pontoon boats. Or sign up for a guided boat tour for only $5.00 per person.
It was such a pleasant surprise to discover the trails meandering through a grove of tall trees partly near the lakes edge and then along a bubbling creek. We did need to beware of some mean looking obstacles though.
With plenty of trees and an abundance of water, Patagonia State Park is an anglers and birders paradise. We routinely encountered “birders” on the hiking trails looking for specific birds. They’d have one or two sets of binoculars hanging around their neck and quite often a list or bird book for reference.
Me? I am not a birder. I don’t own a set of binoculars. I’m merely someone who enjoys taking photos of pretty things, and that includes birds. Sometimes I’ll take the effort to learn the name of a bird but most often I don’t. It’s just not that important to me.
However, at Patagonia State Park one learns very quickly to be on the look out for the rare and illusive Elegant Trogon. Birders from around the country will travel to Patagonia State Park in hopes of seeing this beauty of a bird.There’s only two places in the United States where one can find the South American Elegant Trogon and Patagonia State Park is one of those places. Knowing that seeing the elegant trogon would be a special treat, Al and I would keep our eyes peeled during our hikes.
On our last morning hiking at the park, I spotted a bright green color whiz by me. I grabbed Al’s arm with one hand and point with the other. I said in a hushed but excited tone, “There…. there. I think that’s the trogon”. I started snapping away.
Al saw a group of birders up the trail and quickly strode in their direction to inform them. Excitement filled the forest and the elegant trogon was the focus of everyone’s attention. We were all very fortunate Mr. Trogon stayed around long enough for us all to enjoy before he finally flew off.
This is the perfect time for me to point out that there is NO internet or TV reception to be found anywhere in the park which can be good and bad. Bring out the Game of Thornes DVD’s… campfires aren’t allowed.
We ended our day with a little of my “special” lemonade while enjoying a fantastic sunset. The perfect ending to a perfect day.Actually our whole stay was pretty awesome. So awesome, we tried to extend our visit, but as I mentioned earlier weekends book up, thus no sites were available for us to stay longer. Note to self.It’s obvious Patagonia State Park is a lovely place to relax, unwind, and chill for a few days. I finally understand why it’s a favorite with so many…. us included.