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Trip on a Tank: Patagonia Lake State Park

Posted at 2:38 AM, Jul 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-12 15:09:16-04

PATAGONIA, Ariz. — It's the summertime, it's hot, and we know you might need a break. That's why every Friday this month we're taking you out of town on Good Morning Tucson with a series called "Trip on a Tank." Everywhere we drive will only take a tank of gas or less. This week Whitney Clark is visiting Patagonia Lake State Park.

It's tough to beat an afternoon on the lake!

From the KGUN 9 studios in Tucson, it takes about an hour and a half to get to an oasis in the desert.

"Favorite part of the lake?" said Colt Alford. "I mean it sounds cliché but just meeting new people and dealing with customers."

Alford is the manager at Patagonia Lake State Park and has been working there for almost 20 years. KGUN9 went out on the water with him and saw kayakers, fisherman, boaters and even an osprey!

People travel from all over to the enjoy the park, Alford says, including some from Mexico and Phoenix.

"It's the largest lake in Southern Arizona," Alford said. "You gotta go to Roosevelt or Apache to get a bigger lake."

Patagonia Lake is 2.5 miles long. You can rent a pontoon boat or check out the popular swimming beach. There are also 120 campsites and spaces for RVs. The newest addition to the park is cabins. They were built about a year ago.

"They are what they call dry cabins," Alford said. "So there's no restroom facilities in the cabins. They sleep six people."

There are shared restrooms nearby for campers, and the cabins have air conditioning.

It became a state park in the 1970's and Alford wants it to be a family-friendly recreation area. While programs are always changing, the mission stays the same.

"That's one of the mission statements of the state park is to protect and preserve wildlife and that's what we try to do," Alford said.

It costs $15 to $20 dollars per car to get in for the day. You can make reservations online for the campsites and cabins.

Alford says holidays like say Labor Day weekend or the Fourth of July often book up about a year in advance.
Trip on a Tank is sponsored by Jack Furrier Tire & Auto Care. Guaranteed Service Since 1960.