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5 Lake/ River/ Ponds to explore in Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz is a county in southern Arizona, United States. Santa Cruz County of Southern Arizona is a big mountain range by Sky Island standards, but there is relatively little convenient access. If you love nature, Santa Cruz makes an excellent launching pad. Board a boat tour from the wharf for whale-watching—grays, blues, or humpbacks, depending on the time of year—or take a winding drive in the Santa Cruz Mountains to see the ancient trees at Big Basin Redwoods State Park.

Harshaw Creek
Harshaw CreekHarshaw Creek, Patagonia, AZ 85624, USA

Harshaw Creek is a stream in the Patagonia Mountains of Santa Cruz County, Arizona, named after David Tecumseh Harshaw, who settled along its banks in the mid-1870s. Much of Harshaw Creek is located within the Coronado National Forest and is available for recreational use. Several ranches are also located alongside the creek, although cattle grazing is limited. The creek and its tributaries were the center of extensive gold and silver mining activity beginning at the end of the 19th century.

Patagonia Lake
Patagonia LakePatagonia Lake, Arizona, USA

A beautiful manmade reservoir in Santa Cruz County, Arizona, United States. The lake was created by damming Sonoita Creek, and is a popular area for boating and sport fishing. The park offers a campground, beach, picnic area with ramadas, tables and grills, a creek trail, boat ramps, and a marina.

Patagonia Lake State Park
Patagonia Lake State Park400 Patagonia Lake Rd, Nogales, AZ 85621, USA

Patagonia Lake State Park was established in 1975 as a state park and is an ideal place to find whitetail deer roaming the hills and great blue herons walking the shoreline.The park offers a beach, picnic area with ramadas, tables & grills, a creek trail, boat ramps, a marina, and the Lakeside Market. There is a campground, boat-in camp sites, restrooms, showers, and a dump station. The Lakeside Market offers boat rentals, fishing licenses, bait, ice, and more.

Peña Blanca Lake
Peña Blanca LakePeña Blanca Lake, Arizona 85621, USA

A beautiful reservoir in Arizona, which offers year-round outdoor and water recreation. Surrounded by grassy hills, Peña Blanca Lake, near Nogales, AZ is the perfect outdoor retreat. This is a popular recreation spot for visitors from neighboring Nogales, Arizona and nearby communities in Mexico. On weekends, and some weekdays, during the peak summer season, this area can be quite crowded.

Sonoita Creek
Sonoita CreekSonoita Creek, Rio Rico, AZ 85648, USA

A tributary stream of the Santa Cruz River in Santa Cruz County. It offers camp sites, hiking, and picnic areas for day use, and overlooks beautiful Patagonia Lake State Park.

Map of Lake/ River/ Ponds to explore in Santa Cruz County