What to do in Sonoita Creek State Natural Area

Totaling almost 5,000 acres, Sonoita Creek is Arizona's first major state natural area. The site is in the southeastern portion of the state and aims to preserve a unique riparian area. The site is home to giant cottonwoods, willows, sycamores and mesquites, nesting black hawks and other endangered species. Recently work has been carried out to create a management plan for the area, as a result hiking trails and wildlife viewing areas have been created. Additionally environmental education programs for all ages, together with research opportunities for Universities are available.

Sonoita Creek State Natural Area Visitor Center, located in Patagonia Lake State Park, is now open to the public, however, there has been no scheduled opening date for Sonoita Creek State Natural Area. Call (520) 287-2791 for more information.

Recreational opportunities offered by Sonita Creek will include environmental education programs, research opportunities, hiking and nature studies.

Sonoita Creek State Natural Area Visitor Center is located in Patagonia Lake State Park in southern Arizona, near the town of Patagonia.

This area has a high elevation of 4,000 feet and as such should not experience the harsh desert climate of low elevation sites. However, during the summer months visitors can still expect very hot temperatures with afternoon thunderstorms possible especially in July and August. Daytime high temperatures can exceed 95 degrees. Winter brings moderate temperatures to the low elevations, with cool days and cool to cold nights. Winter is a good time to experience these normally snow free areas. Fall and spring are transitional periods and can also be nice times to visit these desert regions. Be prepared for cool temperatures at higher elevations and dress in layers for your travels in this state of varying climates.

c/o Patagonia Lake State Park
P.O. Box 274
Patagonia, AZ 85624

Phone: 520-287-2791

  • Sonoita Creek State Natural Area Travel Q&A