Sonoita Creek Locator Map

Elevation 3,750 feet   Fees

Contact the Park:
(520) 287-2791
Sonoita Creek NA
400 Lake Patagonia Rd
Patagonia, AZ 85624


Visitor Center Restrooms Exhibits Group: Day Use Areas Camping Picnic Areas/Shelters Hiking Trails Equestrian Trails Wildlife Viewing

Nearest Services: 12 miles

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511 Speed Code

511 logo

Park's Speed Code: 4240#


Park Entrance Fees:
Pay at Patagonia Lake SP Entrance Station
Per Vehicle (1-4 Adults): $10-$15
Individual: $3.00

Obtain day use permit from Visitor Center for entry into Sonoita Creek. Permit is limited to 30 individuals per day.

Camping Fees:
Primitive hike-in site: $12

Fee Schedule

Friends Group

Friends of Sonoita Creek

Friends of Sonoita Creek, a non-profit organization

Sonoita Creek
Volunteer Opportunities

Ecologist Dr. Ken Kinsley surveys fish in Sonoita Creek. Ken worked for several months as a volunteer and resident scientist taking inventory and monitoring plant and animal life.

We invite you to apply to volunteer at Sonoita Creek State Natural Area (SCSNA). The primary mission of the Natural Area is to conserve the rare, fragile riparian area and its surrounding environment. If you are interested in natural history, including wildlife, botany, geology, hydrology and Arizona history, you may find Sonoita Creek a unique and fascinating experience.

On-Site Openings
Check Projected On-Site Openings at this park (Openings)

On-site year around volunteer positions are available. You may also be interested in volunteering for the Hummingbird Monitoring Network or other RIM (Research, Inventory & Monitoring) Programs. Learn more (Openings)

Review our list of positions and contact the Volunteer Coordinator with any questions or concerns.

Visitor Center Staffing
Visitors come from all over the Northern Hemisphere to explore Southeastern Arizona. Volunteers at the Visitor Center provide information about the Natural Area to hikers, hunters, equestrians, and campers. Because SCSNA is on several bird migratory routes, knowledge of birds is a plus.  Answering questions and updating the bird list is part of the spring routine. Providing information about activities, taking phone messages and using a hand-held radio are daily occurrences. Good communication skills, a pleasant manner and enjoying meeting people are important.

Trail Ambassador
SCSNA encompasses almost 10,000 acres and 20 miles of trails. Duties include hiking and light trail maintenance, providing information to hikers, and reporting field conditions to staff. Ability to walk several miles per day, use hand tools and operate park vehicles (training provided) is required.

Pontoon Boat Tours (seasonal)
Activities, including bird watching and educational tours, are done on Lake Patagonia using a pontoon boat. The Boat Captain is responsible for the operation and safety of the boat and passengers. The boat is launched, towed, and beached by volunteers and staff. Training is provided. An Interpretive Guide accompanies the captain on the boat and is responsible for providing information to guests depending on the topic. There are specific tours for bird watching and other tours that cover general natural history and lake information. Guides must be comfortable on the boat, be able to assist in passenger safety and have good public speaking skills.

The word “interpreter” is used to describe someone who is knowledgeable of a topic and can present material accurately to an audience in an engaging way. SCSNA has many opportunities for volunteers to present  scheduled topics (bird walks, Lake Discovery Tour, hike leader) or create a program of personal interest.

Other Opportunities
Sonoita Creek has other options for energetic, interested people. Assisting with school groups, boating safety instructor, maintenance, wood working, and special projects that can run from the mundane to a one-of-a-kind original are possible.

Local residents with local knowledge are greatly appreciated and may work a flexible schedule. On-site volunteers are needed from mid-October to mid-April and usually for a two-month period. Benefits include a free camping spot with hookups, entrance to Arizona State Parks for a year, and the opportunity to work in a beautiful area with great people!

Volunteer Coordinator:

Carrol Bercich, Park Ranger
phone: (520) 287-2791


Friends of Sonoita Creek

The Friends of Sonoita Creek is an Arizona non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of Sonoita Creek and its watershed. Sonoita Creek is a rare riparian area in Southeast Arizona with natural beauty and an extensive variety of plants and animals. Learn, enjoy, advocate for Sonoita Creek!

Friends of Sonoita Creek
P.O. Box 4508
Rio Rico, AZ 85648
http://sonoitacreek.org/ External Link

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