Hiking in the Sonoita Creek State Natural Area in Patagonia

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BIRD TRAILS

Located at the base of the Santa Rita Mountains near Patagonia, the Sonoita Creek State Natural Area is a haven for more than 315 species of birds.

Getting There: 400 Patagonia Rd., Patagonia. From Tucson, go 17 miles east on Interstate 10 to the State Route 83 exit 281. Head 24 miles south on SR 83 to the SR 83/82 junction in Sonoita. Turn right (west) on SR 82 and continue 7 miles to Lake Patagonia Road. Turn right and go 4 miles to the Patagonia Lake State Park gate. Pay the entry fee and proceed to the visitor center to get a free hiking permit for the natural area. Only a limited number of hikers (and horses) are allowed in the natural area at any time. Call ahead if you’re hiking with a group.

Length: 20 miles of trails

Rating: easy-moderate

Kid Friendly: NO

Pet Friendly: NO

Elevation: 3,610-4,250 feet

Best Season: October-April

Facilities: primitive, hike-in camping; major amenities available at adjacent Patagonia Lake State Park.

Fee: $15-$20 daily per vehicle

Hours: The Sonoita Creek State Natural Area is always open, but visitor center hours vary by season. Permits for hiking, hunting and horseback riding in the natural area can be obtained from the park gatehouse or by calling 520-287-2791.

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Photo credit Mare Czinar/PHOENIX

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