Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Patagonia Lake State Park/Sonoita Creek Natural Area, Patagonia, AZ



Moved on to Patagonia Lake State Park yesterday and managed to get here early enough to get a couple good sites by the lake. Since half the campground is closed for construction while they are putting in electric, the park is filling up every day, usually before noon. Hard to understand how the state has the money to do any upgrades when they were closing many of the parks last year due to budget issues.That’s government for you.

Yesterday we took a walk by the lake and along the birding trail.



This is a popular spot for birders, and although we aren’t serious about birding, we enjoy seeing and hearing them. We saw this vermillion flycatcher down by the creek, but we’ve seen more birds around the campsite than along the trails.These are very easy to spot because of the vibrant red color.


We also saw a deer and a couple of these. We didn’t realize this is open range until we had to dodge cow patties on the trail.


Today we went over to the adjacent Sonoita Creek State Natural Area to do some hiking. Our camping fees included the admission charge, but they only give 30 passes a day. Although the campground is full, we saw one other car at the trailhead. I’m sure it’s a different story on the weekend.


We hiked two trails, the first just a 0.7 mile hike to the Valley Overlook. The climb up wasn’t too bad, the views were great, and there was a nice bench at the top.



Then we took the Sonoita Creek Trail, a 1.5 mile hike to the creek. Along the way we saw a small slot canyon.


And came upon another bench with a beautiful view of of the creek and waterfalls in the distance.



We had another encounter with more cows and a calf just before we turned around. Papa bull wasn’t too crazy about us getting close to the little one, but what were they doing walking on the trail right in front of us anyway! We did manage to escape with our lives.

1 comment:

  1. Great photos today, loved going along on your hikes with you! That looks like a lovely campsite too.