Sunday, January 15, 2023

Patagonia Lake State Park

Corona de Tucson

January 15, 2023

Friday morning we packed a picnic and headed south on Scenic Highway 83 towards Patagonia. 

Our destination...Patagonia Lake State Park...  is about 50 miles from home and has been on the "lets go there" list for awhile (even before we bought a home here).   

Patagonia Lake was created by the damming of Sonoita Creek back in the 1960s when a group of locals had hopes for water-related recreational opportunities.  Boating, water skiing, camping, fishing, swimming and picnicking along with a mild climate and the scenic qualities of the Sonoita Creek made their efforts an instant success.  So much so, the group quickly realized that they didn't have the capital to meet the demand for the increasing numbers of users or to provide for health and safety requirements.  After working through lengthy and complex negotiatios  for several years, the State Parks Board acquired Patagonia Lake and officially opened Patagonia Lake State Park in April, 1975.    

Patagonia Lake is in the heart of Patagonia-Sonoita Creek Preserve. which is home to one of Arizona's permanently flowing streams, endangered fish, butterflies and birds and rare Fremont cottonwood trees.  

We enjoyed a leisurely walk along Sonoita Creek on the birding trail.

It was well after mid-morning so we didn't see many birds...a few hummingbirds, verdin, and cardinals.

The footbridge over the inlet near the Visitor's Center was built in 1974.  Picnic tables and benches on the other side offer a quiet spot to enjoy lunch, the Coots, the warm sunshine and everything blue and gold.   

Saturday morning had us headed in the opposite direction...north to Tucson.  We had plans to meet Jamie and Andra at The Lost Barrio Historic Warehouse District.   I always enjoy meandering thru Gather and the other stores located there.  

And it is always fun hanging out with the kiddos ! 

We can count on Gather having unique things...lots of things.  And the staging of those things is what makes it so much fun to peruse.  I walk thru twice and could probably walk a third and fourth time and still not see everything.  

For lunch we headed to Historic Fourth Ave.  BOCA Tacos y Tequila has been on the "lets try this" list since I read about Chef Maria Mazon last year.  She was a semi-finalist in the 2020 and 2022 James Beard Awards...America's most coveted and comprehensive honors for chefs. Its definitely a fun and yummy stop for lunch.  Chef Mazon creates new, fresh salsas daily with ingredients she grows behind the restaurant.  She says there are no rules when it comes to salsas and I definitely recommend the chips and salsa flight with the guacamole duo.  Both the guacamole choices were yummy, but the flight of salsas included five varieties ranging from slightly hot to hot.  The flight changes daily...we enjoyed a banana salsa and my favorite had dijon mustard and I don't remember what the other three were.  The chips are always fried to order and served warm in a brown paper sack.  It's not only yummy, its just a fun ! 

For lunch I had a Mole De Pollo taco on a flour tortilla...chicken tossed in a traditional mole poblano sauce topped with sesame seeds... and a side order of roasted corn, anaheim and poblano chilis in a cheese and cream sauce served on a white cutting board just like I have in my cabinet.    

There are a lot of choices on the menu so I know we will go back.  The outdoor patio is a great option and it is doggie friendly. Afterwards we strolled down Fourth Ave, perused a few shops, and had a DQ blizzard for desert.  

Back at the was just a really nice week.  The sun was shinning and the temps were very pleasant.  

The girls are so nosey.

The birds are so busy.

My Christmas Cactus finally has a few blooms. 

Smiles come easy.

The afternoon glow is magical.  From this...

to this in a matter of minutes. 

And my little buddy is still keeping a close watch on HIS feeder.

So, until next time,

Another Tucson mural...this one located on Park Ave near The Lost Barrio.

An early morning drive to the dentist for me.



  1. I loved the Market and can't wait to go back!! And now you've given us another restaurant to try--and even a doggie friendly one! I love that first photo of the bird taking a bath! Mike has been to Patagonia Lake State Park--I haven't so now it's on my list too! See you soon!

    1. I am so happy you liked the market Janna. BOCA is really close to Gather. I think (at least today) BOCA is my new favorite lunch spot….it’s just fun being there! The birds love the water…even today as windy and chilly as it was, they were all about the birdbath. I thought Patagonia Lake was really pretty and Emmi can go there too. And a big yes…see you soon! 😃

  2. That is quite the camera you have there! Thanks to you we might have to alter our route and hit BOCA, it looks delicious!

  3. Patagonia Lake looks like a great getaway, I can see how it would become instantly popular. Interesting shopping at the Lost Barrio, including a great looking lunch.

    1. Good morning Jeff…I’m glad the lake is a state park & well maintained. FYI, there is tent & RV camping…electric & water only.

  4. We were lucky enough to snag a camping spot there a few years ago. Not so good on a weekend, but the park is great and it is rumored to be the home of the elegant Trogon! We searched to no avail but had a couple nice happy hours with Rick and Joanne and Hans/Lisa, both couples now off the road. Next time we're in Tucson, that restaurant is on my list!

    1. Hi Sue…we were thinking a long week end there would be nice, but now I think a mid week stay would be better. Thanks for the heads up! I have not been lucky enough to see the elegant Trogon as many times as we have looked at Madera. This might just be the place to go for that. Next time you are in Tucson, you better tell us…

    2. definitely mid week! Ask me about our weekend stay when we see you in Feb.!