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Arivaca Lake Campground

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Nogales Ranger District
303 Old Tucson Road
Nogales, AZ 85621
3750 feet


It's a long drive to Arivaca Lake along the old Ruby Road, but it's also one of the most scenic drives in the Nogales District. Once you get to this out-of-the-way recreation spot, one of the first things you will notice is that the only facilities provided are a toilet and a primitive boat ramp. For some people that is not enough and they usually turn around and leave. Those drawn to areas that are more primitive and less crowded will choose to stay.

Those who do will find that this 90-acre impoundment built by the Arizona Game and Fish Department is a good place to go fishing or birdwatching, to take a lakeside stroll, or just plain sit back and relax. If you have brought along your fishing gear, you can try your luck for largemouth bass, catfish, or bluegill. Boats powered by single electric trolling motors are permitted on the lake. They make pleasant way to explore the narrow inlets that branch off the main body of water.

Arivaca Lake is located in an area of rolling grasslands set against a backdrop of rocky bluffs and distant mountains. This area is home to a number of cattle ranches, and much of the land in the vicinity of the lake is private property. Take that into consideration if you go strolling across the landscape.

A primitive boat ramp is available. The lake is stocked with bass, catfish and sunfish. Surface temperature here can range from 95° to 105° F. in summer. No garbage services are provided to this area. Pack out everything that you take in.

Basic Amenities
  • Flush Toilets


Open year round
Northwest of Nogales in the Coronado National Forest
3750 feet
Boating,  Fishing, 
Basic Directions
From Amado: Take the Amado Road exit from I-19, head west to Arivaca. Turn south out of Arivaca on Forest Road 216 about a mile, then east on forest Road 39 about 5 miles to a road that turns left (east) to the lake.

From Nogales: Take I-19 north from Nogales 8 miles to the AZ 289/Ruby Road Exit 12. Drive west 10 miles on paved road past Peña Blanca Lake. Continue on Forest Road 39 (unpaved) for 26 miles to the primitive road (Forest Road 4130) that turns right (east) to the lake.

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