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Parker Canyon Lake

The 300-acre Parker Canyon Lake recreation area is located in the western foothills of the Huachuca mountains, 30 miles southeast of Sonoita on Arizona highway 83.

Parker Canyon Lake boat launch area

The 80-acre lake offers both cold- and warm-water fish, including stocked rainbow trout and resident bass, sunfish and catfish. In addition to a paved lakeside area, there is a fishing pier and a paved boat ramp. The lakeshore country store, which is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday in the winter and week-long in the summer, offers supplies, boat rentals and fishing licenses. The 5-mile hiking trail that circles the lake has viewing areas with benches and signs.

In a stand of oak and juniper above the lake, there is a nice wooded campground with 65 single sites, 22 of which are RV sites suitable for trailers and motorhomes. There are primitive toilets, picnic tables and fireboxes. The bear-proof trash containers warn of the presence of bears. Camping fee is $10. There is also a day-use picnic area.

Bald eagle, USFWS photo

Bald eagle, USFWS photo

Birders will want to watch here for the bald eagles, osprey and waterfowl which winter at the lake. Montezuma quail are fairly common, as are deer, javelina and Arizona gray squirrels. If you'd like to see a coatimundi this is a good place to try. There are also two protected rattlesnacks, the Willard's rattlesnake and the twin spotted rattlesnake.