Area Status: Open
Dock extending to Pena Blanca Lake

This medium-sized lake fills 49 acres of Pena Blanca Canyon in the Pajarito Mountain foothills. It is surrounded by grassy, oak-dotted hills, some of which are topped with bluffs of limestone.

Pena Blanca Lake is a popular recreation spot for visitors from neighboring Nogales, Arizona and nearby communities in Mexico. On weekends, and some weekdays, during the peak summer season, this area can be quite crowded. On holidays, especially Easter, it becomes extremely crowded.

Pena Blanca Lake was created in 1957 when the Arizona Game and Fish Department constructed a dam. This is a mountain lake located at 4,000 feet elevation.

The area offers a boat ramp, fishing piers, a lakeshore trail, and picnic areas.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Pena Blanca/White Rock Group site is closed
Area Amenities: Accessible,Boat ramp,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Parking
Day-use: $8 per vehicle
Weekly: $10 per vehicle
Buy a pass online, or purchase a pass on-site with cash or check. Proof of payment, or a valid Coronado National Forest Annual Pass or Interagency (America the Beautiful) Pass, including the Annual, Senior, Access, or Military Pass, must be displayed on the driver's side of the vehicle dashboard. Learn more about accepted passes.
Restrictions: A valid Arizona fishing license (available online and at outdoor stores around the state) is required for all anglers 10 years of age and older. Four trout is the daily bag limit and the possession limit. Using live bait fish is prohibited. Boats are limited to one 10 hp motor or less.
Closest Towns: 68 miles south of Tucson and 17 miles northwest of Nogales in Peña Blanca Canyon.
Water: No drinking water is available
Restroom: Yes
Operated By: Nogales Ranger District

General Information

Directions: Turn west off Interstate 19 approximately 8 miles north of Nogales at the Peña Blanca–Ruby Road (AZ Hwy 289) exit. Follow this road about 9 miles to Peña Blanca Lake Recreation Area. Turn right (north) on the paved road that leads to the lake and the boat launching ramp.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Lake and Pond Fishing

Lakeside hiking/birdwatching, nearby campground/lakeside, paved boat launch ramp, picnic areas. Barrier-free fishing dock.


Boating - Motorized


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

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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  Elevation : 
4,000 feet