So, this weekend I traveled to Parker Canyon Lake, just south of Tucson. It’s about an hour and a half drive from U of A‘s campus. The drive down is very scenic, much like the trip to Patagonia Lake. However, this drive offered a windy backcountry drive that leads right up to the Parker Canyon Lake grounds.
The weather was quite gloomy both Sunday and Monday (today). It even started to rain on the drive down, which was a bit discouraging. I got there on Sunday around 4 o’clock in the afternoon. We (my girlfriend and I) set up camp as soon as we got there. The campsite offered a nice set up for us, it had a fire pit with a grill over it and a picnic table. Setting up camp took little time, which was nice because daylight was dwindling. After the camp was set up, we went down to the marina and got some camp necessities (bug spray, fire wood, s’mores stuff) at the market. After the market stop we went on a short hike to check out what Parker Canyon Lake really had to offer.
Parker Canyon Lake is a 130 acres, which is filled with rainbow trout, bluegill, catfish, sunfish and bass. However, still a little discouraged from my fish outing to Patagonia Lake, I elected not to fish. Sunday’s hike was a short one, but it was nice to see the beautiful lake and scenery. Soon after we got back to the camp, we started a fire. But, of course, it started to rain a little so we had to head into the tent. After the drizzle stopped, we had to start up the fire again.
We cooked up some quesadillas on the fire pit grill and some sandwiches. After dinner, it was only necessary to make some s’mores. Again, soon after the s’mores it started to rain again so we had to clean up the campsite and head into the tent. It rained for the majority of the night, but it was nice because it cooled down the weather, which made it a little easier to sleep in the hot tent.
The rain stopped early the next morning, although it was still a little gloomy. Since the day before we didn’t quite finish the hike because we lost daylight, we decided to finish the hike around the lake. It was quite the hike, but definitely worth it. We saw a bunch of wildlife, such as a white tailed deer, pelican, wolf spider, and numerous hawks who soared above. Fisherman were out and about, on the shore and out in boats. The hike was rigorous, but fun and worth the time. After the hike, we had lunch and went down to the lake before we headed home to Tucson. The drive home brought us some old school sing-a-long jams and more.
If you’re in southern Arizona and looking for a quiet place to hike, fish and camp, Parker Canyon Lake is definitely for you! Now, get outside and have fun!