In theory this is a great location but it is just too crowded. You’d have to go mid week to enjoy it. Drove through on a Sunday evening and left right away as there was no parking left and no space left on the “beach”. . At least a hundred people easy by the water.
Wonderfull, quiet RV and MH park located within easy walking to several stores and community park. Like a little oasis set back from the main road in the center of the city. Call for nightly, weekly or monthly 30 or 50 amp RV and dry storage rates Has night security and cameras.
We were here mid-week the end of May and the campground was almost full. There were lots of families with young children having a great time fishing and playing in the water. The Visitor Center is also child friendly. We were in a Class B in an RV site but there were lots of tent campers too. We enjoy the easy hiking paths around the park but have also brought a small boat on occasion. There is a nice place to launch a boat there and the lake is divided between places to take speed boats and a quiet place for those of us who like to troll peacefully.
Just a few miles up Harshaw Rd. (just outside of the adorable village of Patagonia), you will find a variety of free camping options with no services, just National Forest land available to both RVers and tent campers. There are streams running throughout the area, but the water simply isn’t drinkable even with filtering and leaves a sticky white mineral residue on everything it touches; thank goodness there is a reverse osmosis filling machine in the village of Patagonia, right in front of the bakery. The backroads in this area are great for hiking or mountain biking, you can choose from relatively flat to crazy steep with amazing views.
The village of Patagonia is colorful and fun, and has a nice market with a great produce selection for its size, a small bakery, a launderette, a gas station, and a few cleverly named restaurants. Also, be sure to check out the Paton Center for Hummingbirds (a birdwatcher’s paradise) -- it’s free! The locals are super friendly.
Note: You will see Border Patrol both hanging out in hidden spots and zooming down the roads through this area, appearing to be in hot pursuit. But we never saw a single “situation” that warranted their presence.
Even when it's busy, it's not overwhelmingly so. Visit the beach, walk the bridge, rent a boat, or fish the lake during your camping trip. I love this place. Different ambiance than most AZ lakes. Plenty of RV parking or for tent campers preferring privacy, make sure to book a boat-in site. If you book early enough, you can snag site 38! It's technically a boat-in site but you can park in the parking lot and walk a short distance down the stairs to your own private little area. Of course, you'll have passersby looking for a great fishing spot or just walking the lake but otherwise this is your best bet for privacy without actually having a boat. Bathrooms and showers have always been clean during my trips. Convenient store always had necessities and ice cream cones to top it off. There is cell phone service but check your roaming! At times service providers will detect your in Mexico! I love this place.
I can’t lie it got 5 stars on the bathroom/showers alone!!! Beautiful scenery great places to hike. Rangers and park staff are so friendly and great with kids. Park hosts are all business as I’m sure they see all kinds. we really only interacted with them upon set up. No dog run but dogs are welcome you just have to keep them on a leash. Spacious showers good water pressure. If you’re in a tent I did notice a sizable platform area. Lots are fairly level. We had some wildlife visit or site. We also took the tour of the caverns. It was good but extremely humid so beware. It was about 30 min drive to Tombstone I think.
Patagonia Lake Campground is well maintained. Very busy in the Winter months so you must make reservations well in advance. The visitor center is great if you have children, they have all kinds of activities for kids, and a junior ranger program. The RV spots are full hookups no sewer but there is dump station there on the premises. They have tent camping right by the lake as well. Cabins will be completed in October 2018. Staff very friendly and the grounds are well maintained. One of our favorites.
Loved hiking in Madera Canyon, they have lots of options for difficulty and length with good wildlife and epic views. There were a LOT of people looking for rare birds in April or May (I forget what they were excited about!). This is a nice simple campground with water and toilets, but nothing else. Cheap and I don’t think it fills up often. Despite the name there aren’t bad bugs or wet ground, but lots of nice trees.
Even if you don’t want to camp here the caves are worth the drive from Tucson for the tours and to hike around the grounds (gift shop is good too). The trails are not long but have some good views and give a good sense of cactus country without long grueling hikes. The campgrounds are a short distance to the caves and museum. The campsites have sparse shrubs and nice views, not huge sites but not awful, lots of water. Birding is great certains times of year.