a wetter side of Arizona we’ve never seen…

Our friends have been wanting to go camping at Parker Canyon Lake in southern Arizona for quite a long time and we finally made plans for a trip during the first weekend of August. I was really leery about any place in the desert areas of Arizona in August but, checking the weather we found out it would be mid 80’s and nights in the high 60’s.

Once I checked the maps I found out Parker Canyon is near Sonoyta which is about 5000 foot elevation. A coworker told me the areas gets about 21 inches of annual rainfall, so I figured this area would be different than other Arizona destinations. The only place in Arizona I knew of with that much rain is the White Mountains in northeast Arizona so I was looking forward to seeing this area.

The area around Sonoyta is some of the greenest terrain I’ve ever seen in Arizona and it was an awesome weekend except for the last day that was almost 90 degrees. The campground and amenities at the marina were fantastic. We had lots of trails to ride the ATV’s on, all in all a great place!  Even though they says it’s year round recreation area, from now on we will be going in Spring and Fall for the best weather.

On the negative side, the road from Sonoyta to Parker Canyon Lake is some of the roughest pavement I’ve ever driven. The asphalt was horrible even in areas where new pavement was laid, it was like a washboard dirt road but pavement! Even more amazing, the flat screen TV’s I installed in the bedroom and up from survived the trip, I thought the bedroom TV was going to rip out the closet wall!

Parker Canyon Lake is less than 10 miles from the Mexico border, about 10 miles farther north of the lake our phones blurted out “Welcome to Mexico” and we were on the Telcel network all weekend. Once we were at the lake we had no cell service which you either love or hate. Each night at random times between 11:00pm to 3:00am we would receive text messages, what ever messages we tried to send would get delivered and Facebook notifications would be dinging on the phones, pretty strange! None the less it was such an awesome place we will be going back again, I highly recommend despite the road conditions!

The view out or bedroom window each morning, nights were so nice we left all the windows open.
Lots of oak trees and green grass every where, the campground was spotless! No electric or other hookups here.
Campsites were nice size and very comfortable
Great views from every angle, I don’t think there was a bad campsite that we drove by.
Parker Canyon Lake might be small by mid west standards but pretty awesome for the desert!
Marina has several rental options, we plan to rent a pontoon on a future visit. No electric here, they had to install solar to expand what they can stock at the store.
Warm to mild climate supports all kinds of aquatic life, don’t usually see this in the desert!
Part of the Happy Hour crew.


Out on one of our trail rides.
Google Maps view of the places we went riding


From the other side of one of the creeks, you can barely see the campground and RV’s.
Map of the lake and campgrounds. The lower campground is tents only, the upper is tents or RV’s.
Farewell to a great weekend… 😦


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.