Sonoita Creek State Natural Area
Hiking trails and wine trails intermingle at this outdoor paradise in Southern Arizona.
The Sonoita Creek State Natural Area surrounds Patagonia Lake State Park and offers remote backcountry trails great for hiking and horseback riding. Three hike-in camp sites with tent pads and fire rings invite adventurers to stay in the remote area of high desert grasslands, rolling hills and refreshing waterways that create lively riparian corridors. The natural area protects endangered species and historical relics with low-impact recreation. Visitors are asked to leave their motorized recreation vehicles and mountain bikes at home and ride their horses only on designated trails.
Hike into the Backcountry
With 20 miles of hiking trails and 8 miles of equestrian trails that lead deep into this remote area, visitors may spot more wildlife than other hikers. The Overlook Trail spans 1.5 moderate miles before it reaches viewpoints that give visitors 360-degree views of the lush desert landscape around Patagonia Lake. The 3-mile out-and-back Sonoita Creek Trail leads to a refreshing water source in the area. The New Mexico and Arizona Railroad Trail follows the former rails that once paralleled Sonoita Creek from Patagonia to Rio Rico.
Spot Colorful Birds
Southern Arizona is a prime migratory route for multiple species of birds. The area sees more than 300 resident and migratory species each year. In the spring, birders might spot up to 60 migratory species.
In the summer, gray hawks, black hawks and yellow-billed cuckoo are common. In the fall and winter months, the unicorn sighting in the area is the elegant trogon with its brilliant green and red coloring. Join guided bird walks that leave from the visitor center at Patagonia Lake State Park.
Visit Arizona Wine Country
The Sonoita Creek State Natural Area is set just a few miles southwest of the small towns of Sonoita and Elgin, the heart of Southern Arizona’s wine-producing region. Choose from nearly two dozen vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms open to the public to discover why this was the first region in Arizona to earn American Viticultural Area designation status. All Southern Arizona wine destinations have a laidback vibe that welcomes visitors in their hiking gear, and many allow dogs on the patios.
For More Information
Sonoita Creek State Park Natural Area
400 Lake Patagonia Rd
Patagonia, AZ 85624