Roper Lake State Park

Spend the night under the Southern Arizona stars at lakeside cabins or campsites near Safford.

The views are always inspiring at Roper Lake. Mount Graham towers over the state park, which offers a popular fishing and outdoor recreation area just south of Safford. The water attracts herons, quail and many species of migrating birds. The surrounding landscapes and mountains attract outdoor adventurers with a suite of outdoor pursuits and an international observatory on the highest point of the Pinaleño Mountains.

Head to the Water

Boats with small, non-gas motors are allowed, but most of the water action here is people powered. Fish from the piers or float a boat onto the lake to troll for largemouth bass, catfish, crappie and bluegill, plus rainbow trout that are stocked in fall and winter months. The park also features a sandy beach for visitors to enjoy the sun and take a dip in the lake. Nearby Gila River north of Safford adds river action to the lake’s peaceful pursuits. Visitors can float canoes, kayaks and rafts through the dramatic canyon setting of Gila Box Riparian National Conservation Area.

Explore the Park

Five miles of hiking trails wind through the park. Trek across desert landscapes that lead to the foothills of dramatic desert sky island mountain ranges. Hike another 3 miles along the Dos Arroyos Trail to Dankworth Pond State Park, which features a large fishing pond and a recreated American Indian village that showcases dwellings, tools and artifacts used by the area’s indigenous people. Stay overnight at one of three campgrounds that also include eight shoreline camping cabins. Many campers get up with the sun and walk to the shoreline to cast a line.

Visit Safford

The small town of Safford has many top-notch visitor attractions. Start in the historic district of town, which dates back to the early 1900s. The buildings along the main drag today house shops and authentic Mexican eateries along the Salsa Trail, which includes a family-owned tortilla factory and a chile farm. Also find colorful selfie stops at the many murals in the business district. Plus, the Discovery Park in Safford serves as a visitor center for Mount Graham International Observatory and appeals to science fans with stargazing equipment and a simulator ride that explores the solar system.

For More Information

Roper Lake State Park
101 E. Roper Lake Road
Safford, AZ 85546
(928) 428-6760

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