Parker Canyon Lake

Area Status: Open
This area is Open

View of lake standing on dock

This medium-sized 132 acre lake is located in the Canelo Hills west of the Huachuca Mountains.

It offers a number of recreational possibilities for those willing to drive the long, paved roads that lead to it. For those who like to fish, Parker Canyon Lake offers both cold and warm water species, including stocked rainbow trout and resident bass, sunfish, and catfish. There is a fishing pier and a paved boat ramp at the lake, as well as a lakeside paved area and a graveled path along some of the best catfishing shoreline. There is also a concessionaire-operated country store at the lakeshore where you can pick up some last minute supplies, buy a fishing license, or rent a boat. Bird watchers and just plain nature lovers will also find much to enjoy at Parker Canyon Lake. A five mile trail leads around the shoreline never getting more than a few steps from the water. The Parker Lakeshore Trail offers excellent vantage points from which to enjoy the ducks and other waterfowl that are invariably bobbing on the lake’s clear waters. Some of those points even have benches and interpretive signs. Bald eagles and osprey are regularly sighted in this area, as are spring warblers and hummingbirds in season. Coues whitetail deer can frequently be seen browsing among the oaks and grasses that surround the lake and in the two campgrounds near its shores. Coatimundi, javelina, and roadrunners, three animals that are about as southwestern as you can get, make occasional appearances as well. Parking for vehicles, motor homes, boat trailers.

Accessible by passenger car.  Fish available include trout, bass, catfish, and panfish.  You can fish from a boat or a fishing pier.  Boat ramp available.

At a Glance

Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Drinking water,Parking
Fees Day use:  A Coronado National Forest or Interagency (America the Beautiful) pass must be displayed.  Day use passes can be purchased at the site for $8.  More information is available at
Open Season: Year round
Restrictions: A valid Arizona fishing license and trout stamp (available at outdoor stores around the state) is required for all anglers 14 years of age and older. Six trout is the daily bag limit and the possession limit. Using live bait fish is prohibited. Boats are limited to one10 hp motor or less.
Closest Towns: 25 miles southeast of Sonoita in the scenic Canelo Hills.
Water: Drinking water is available
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Sierra Vista Ranger District
Information Center: Sierra Vista Ranger District 520-378-0311

General Information


From Tucson, travel east on Interstate 10 to State Route 83 (exit 281) and turn south 50 miles through Sonoita to Parker Canyon Lake.


Most facilities are accessible to visitors with disabilities

General Notes:

A small concession-operated marina and store is open every day except Wednesdays, from March through October. During winter months, it is closed Tuesday through Thursdays. You can purchase groceries, fishing supplies, licenses. Boat rentals for either electric motor powered or row boats are also available.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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Lake and Pond Fishing

Boating and fishing. Country store. Oak-grassland setting. Watchable wildlife. Lakeside trail.

Fish Species Trout, Catfish, Bass
Fishing Mode Boating (one 10 hp motor or less).


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Water Activities

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Picnic tables Yes
Fee charged for some activities Yes
Parking Yes
Toilets Yes
Accessible Yes
Boat ramp Yes
Drinking water Yes

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  Elevation : 
5,400 feet