Planning a Visit to Parker Canyon Lake

Numerous opportunities to experience the great outdoors are just one of the perks of living near Sierra Vista. Parker Lake is a particularly welcoming destination you might explore. Located 25 miles southeast of Sonoita in the Canelo Hills, this lake is a perfect day trip for families or couples. Read on to discover some tips for planning your visit to Parker Canyon Lake and making the most of your day there. 

Go Fishing

Fishing is extremely popular at Parker Canyon Lake. Trout, catfish, and bass abound in the lake, giving you an opportunity to catch your own dinner. Guests must have a valid Arizona fishing license and trout stamp to fish. These can be obtained at outdoor stores around the state. The daily limit for trout fishing is six per day, and live bait is not allowed. 

Fishing is open season year-round, so enjoy in the summer or winter months. If you don’t have the gear, you can also rent a fishing rod and boat at the lake. 

Have A Picnic

The scenic locale of Parker Canyon Lake makes it a wonderful place to picnic. There are picnic tables located around the lake as well as a small concession store that offers drinks and snacks. 

However, the selection is limited, so it’s recommended you bring food from home if you’re planning a meal at the lake.

Splash in The Lake

Parker Canyon Lake calls itself Arizona’s “year-round mountain playground” because it truly is fun in all seasons. Of course, summer temperatures can climb above 100 degrees in Southern Arizona, so on summer days a swim is more than welcome. Bring your bathing suit as well as a raft or noodle and cool off in the lake for the afternoon. 

Rent A Boat or Kayak

The lake logs over 60 boat rentals every day, so you’re almost guaranteed to snag one. Boats offered include kayaks, paddle boards, and pedal boats.

Rental kayaks here are ocean kayaks, which means you sit on stop with your legs exposed. These are available for $25 for two hours, $40 for four hours, and $70 for an all day, 8-hour experience.

Paddle boards, which allow you to stand up and paddle are available to rent for $20 for one hour, $35 for two hours, $45 for three hours, and $70 for 8 hours.  

Enjoy Nature

Plenty of wildlife can be viewed while walking around Parker Canyon Lake. Take a stroll down the Parker Lakeshore trail to get some interesting views and become one with the species native to Southern Arizona. 

Ducks and waterfowl are often seen grazing around the lake. Look up to the sky to enjoy bald eagles and osprey. Stay nice and quiet to lay your eyes on a Coues whitetail deer, frequently seen in the grasses surrounding the lake. 

Set Up Camp

Those looking for an overnight adventure can set up camp at the nearby Lakeview Campground. Here you can enjoy all the perks of Parker Canyon Lake without having to drive home afterward.

Tips for Enjoying Your Day

Before you head out for a day on Parker Canyon Lake, there are a few tips to remember. 

  1. Bring water and a reusable canteen. 

If you’re not used to the hot Arizona sun, it can be very dehydrating. Make sure you have water and a reusable bottle or canteen that can be refilled throughout the day. 

  1. Apply Sunscreen

You’re even more likely to get sunburned when you spend time near water. Protect yourself and your family by applying sunscreen before you go. Pack the bottle with you so you can apply every two hours, and each time you come out of the water. 

  1. Bring Binoculars

There are plenty of birding opportunities at Parker Canyon Lake. Don’t miss out by showing up unprepared. Bring a pair of binoculars and walk around the lake to see what you can find.

  1. Have Some Cash

Parking fees for the day are $8. It’ll be handy to have extra cash on hand for small snacks and rentals as well. 

When you make southern Arizona your home, you’re opening the door to some of the best nature and parks in the country. Check out our properties at Castle & Cooke to be just a short drive away from Parker Canyon Lake and other amazing sights. Call us today to chat about what you’re looking for in your new home. Dial (520) 378-5110.

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