If you do not live in Southern Arizona, it may be hard to believe that in this vast desert we find ourselves with lots of access to some of the best water spots around. From fishing to swimming, Southern Arizona is home to some of the most picturesque and quiet water spots around.
If Arizonans know how to do anything well, it’s cool off on long hot days. Winters in Southern Arizona quickly give way to early, warm Springs, and there is no better time to take advantage of the picture-perfect weather than to indulge in some water activities.
Keeping the range within two hours of Tucson, here are the best spots to dive head-first into all the beautiful and bountiful water that Southern Arizona has to offer.
Romero Canyon Pools, Tucson
Nestled deep in the beautiful Santa Catalina Mountains of Tucson you’ll find Romero Pools, a series of rock-lined swimming holes that are simply breathtaking to behold and loaded with greenery.
While some of the swimming holes require just a quick hike to reach, some of the most beautiful ones can only be reached by tackling some challenging switchback trails first, making them generally quieter than the rest. Spring rains and monsoon storms fill up these pools, so the best time to go is just after a storm.
Rose Canyon Lake, Mt. Lemmon
High atop Mount Lemmon in Tucson is a gorgeous little 6-acre lake complete with campgrounds and seemingly year-round perfect temperatures. This is the place to go for fishing in Southern Arizona, and you should seriously consider spending the night in one of Tucson’s most scenic campgrounds before waking up early to catch your limit.
Seven Falls, Tucson
Another need to visit watering hole in Tucson is the Seven Falls spot in Sabino Canyon, one of Tucson’s favorite spots to ditch the heat of summer. Not only is it located just minutes away from all the amenities of Tucson, but when the water levels are up, this waterfall spot is truly breathtaking, and can quickly become your new favorite spot in the Old Pueblo.
Patagonia Lake, Nogales
Tucked away in the always gorgeous Patagonia Lake State Park just about an hour south of Tucson lies Patagonia Lake, one of the best fishing spots in all of Arizona. With the bass, flathead and channel catfish, sunfish, crappies, and bluegills always biting, it should be no surprise that Patagonia Lake is a must-do for the avid fisherman.
The nearby Lakeside Market is the place to rent your boat and load up on supplies before you head off for a day of fishing. Who knows, you might just catch the biggest catfish since the 56.2 pounder one lucky fisherman caught in the lake in 2014.
Fossil Creek, Phoenix
A lush water spot in a city known for its desert landscape, Fossil Creek is just a short hike down a trail, and you won’t be sorry you went. Because of the spot’s immense popularity and subsequent disrespect by the hundreds of visitors who made the 5-mile hike in and out of Fossil Creek, Park Services have made the spot ‘permit only,’ reserving exactly 9 parking spots per day for visitors to enjoy the swimming hole as it was meant to be enjoyed, and keep the area clean for years to come.