Patagonia Az

Adventure Rating

Nestled between the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains, at an elevation of over 4,000 feet, lies the picturesque town of Patagonia, Arizona. Known for its rich history, distinctive character, and breathtaking natural beauty, Patagonia is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by vanlifers seeking adventure and tranquility in the heart of southeastern Arizona.


Visitors to Patagonia often find themselves captivated by the town’s unique spirit and welcoming atmosphere. Situated in the riparian corridor of Sonoita Creek, Patagonia boasts a wealth of natural and human assets, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. The community’s vision is to protect and sustainably develop these assets, fostering a Nature-Based Restorative Economy that benefits both residents and visitors alike.


One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of Patagonia is by hitting the trails. From leisurely strolls along the creek to challenging hikes in the surrounding mountains, there’s something for hikers of all skill levels to enjoy. Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including whitetail deer, great blue herons, and a variety of bird species that call this area home.

Arizona Trail

Patagonia is a gateway community for the Arizona Trail. The Arizona National Scenic Trail runs the entire north-south length of the U.S. state of Arizona, connecting Mexico to Utah. The trail heads north across sections of the Huachuca, Santa Rita, and Rincon Mountains, starting at the Coronado National Memorial close to the US-Mexico border.

Patagonia Lake State Park

For vanlifers looking to spend a night under the stars, Patagonia Lake State Park offers an ideal camping destination. With a campground overlooking the lake, complete with picnic areas, boat ramps, and a marina, it’s the perfect spot to relax and unwind amidst the stunning scenery of southeastern Arizona. Anglers will delight in the opportunity to catch crappie, bass, bluegill, catfish, and trout, while water sports enthusiasts can enjoy water skiing and boating on the lake.

Paton Center for Hummingbirds

The Paton Center for Hummingbirds is open from dawn to dusk and offers visitors a chance to explore and experience the special birds of southeast Arizona. With its dedication to the celebration and conservation of hummingbirds and biodiversity, it’s a must-visit destination for nature lovers and birdwatchers alike.

Other Attractions

In addition to its natural beauty, Patagonia is home to several other attractions worth exploring. The Lakeside Market offers boat rentals and supplies for visitors looking to explore the lake, while the Nature Conservancy provides a glimpse into the area’s rich history with remnants of the old New Mexico/Arizona railroad.

It’s a privilege to have Patagonia Arizona for our enjoyment, so please practice Leave No Trace principles.


To reach Patagonia, simply head southeast from Tucson on Highway 83 until you reach the town. Alternatively, travelers coming from Nogales can take Highway 82 east until they reach Patagonia. Once in town, visitors can explore the area’s attractions and outdoor activities at their leisure, soaking in the beauty and charm of this hidden gem in southeastern Arizona.

References and Links:

Historical Landmark

Fort Bowie National Historic Site

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Bisbee Az

Bisbee Arizona is a hidden jewel that every Vanlifer must visit if in Southern Arizona. Bisbee is an old mining town that has a rich history and thriving art and music scene to enjoy. There is also great hiking in the area and even a mine tour. I highly recommend visiting Bisbee if you find yourself in the area.

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