Explore Santa Cruz County and Southeast Arizona
The following links are provided as a convenience only; they are not a recommendation of any product, service, or organization. Arizona State Parks maintains this list at its own discretion. Links will open in a new window and leave the Arizona State Parks website.
Patagonia is a defunct mining town that is now surrounded by opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing. It is located 12 miles from the park and has restaurants and a selection of shops featuring uniquely crafted works of art and antiques. Just southwest of Patagonia is The Nature Conservancy with a riparian area that meanders through the Cottonwood lined Sonoita Creek.
An active military base established in 1877 as a base for American soldiers fighting the Indian Wars and was home to the Buffalo Soldiers. It is about 52 miles from Patagonia Lake and requires a 1 1/4 hour drive. The Fort Huachuca Museum highlights early military history. Visitors will need a driver’s license and vehicle information when you register at the front gate. Call (520) 533-3638.
City of Tombstone, AZ
The “Town too Tough to Die” and location of the OK Corral and Boot Hill Cemetery is located 63 miles from the park and requires a 1 1/2 hour drive. Shops line the main walkways, gunfight re-enactments, stagecoach rides and other amusements are to be found. The Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park dates back to 1882 as the Cochise County Courthouse. It houses many artifacts from the various eras of Tombstone’s history in the museum and serves as a resource for historical researchers. Contact the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce at P. O. Box 995, 4th and Allen, Tombstone, AZ 85638. Phone (520) 457-9317, or toll free (888) 457-3929.
The city of Bisbee is located 76 miles Southeast of the park and requires a two hour drive. It is a curious mix of the old and the new. The downtown historic district recalls the wild days as a booming mining town, while the newer parts of town carry on as a modern municipality. See the large, open lavender pit or take the Copper Queen underground mine tour. Contact the Bisbee Visitor Center at #2 Copper Queen Plaza and Convention Center, Bisbee, AZ 85603. Phone (520) 432-3554, or toll free (866)-2BISBEE.
is named for the legendary Apache chief who evaded U.S. troops by hiding in the rugged hills and canyons of the Dragoon Mountains. It is located about 97 miles east of the park and takes two hours to drive to. History, hiking trails and picnic opportunities await the visitor in this scenic “hideaway”. Phone (520) 364-3468 or (520) 364-6800.
The Amerind Foundation is hidden among the Dells of Texas Canyon in the Dragoon Mountains. It is located about 59 miles to the East off of I-10, about a 1 ¼ hour drive from Patagonia Lake. It features a museum of Native American artifacts and artwork and serves as an archaeological research center. Contact them by phone at (520) 586-3666.
San Pedro River Riparian Natural Area
This natural area is a long vegetated strip, 37 miles long that runs down the center of the San Pedro River valley. The San Pedro House serves as a visitor center and trailhead and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The San Pedro natural area is about 1 1/2 hour from Patagonia Lake and it is an ideal location for hiking and nature viewing, especially as a shady retreat during the warmer months. Phone (520) 439-6400.
The city of Nogales is the main border entry point into Mexico from southeastern Arizona. It is located approximately 16 miles southwest of the park and requires ½ hour of travel time. The town of Nogales (from the Spanish word for walnut) is actually two towns, one on each side of the border. Shopping and entertainment are the main attractions, especially for those who enjoy the challenge of haggling for a bargain. Due to changing laws regarding documents required for crossing, it is recommended that you call U.S. Customs prior to your trip for up to date information. Call with questions at (520) 287-1410. You may also call (520) 885-0694 for more information. You may also contact the Nogales-SCC Chamber of Commerce Office at 123 W. Kino Park Way, Nogales, AZ 85621. Phone (520) 287-3685.
The Smithsonian institution’s visitor center is located about 53 miles north of the park in the Santa Rita Range of the Coronado National Forest. The visitor center conducts guided tours of The Fred Whipple Observatory, located on Mt Hopkins, for the general public from March through November. Please call 520-670-5707 for more information.
Titan Missile Museum
The Titan Missile Museum showcases the dramatic vestiges of the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union and is located about an hour from Patagonia Lake State Park. This Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile site housed the first liquid propellant missile that could be launched from underground. For more information call 520-625-7736.
Wineries of Sonoita
The following wineries are located around the small town of Sonoita approximately ½ hour from Patagonia Lake and are open to the public:
Dos Cabezas Wine Works, 520-455-5141
Rancho Rossa Vineyards, 520-455-0700
Callaghan Vineyards, 520-455-5322
Village of Elgin, 520-455-9390
Sonoita Vineyards, 520-455-5893