Saturday we went hiking in the Sonoita Creek Natural Area next to Patagonia Lake. That required stopping at the state park's entrance station for a permit to go into the natural area. There is no charge for that permit.
We hike a loop of the Sonoita Creek Trail, Cottonwood Trail and Blackhawk Canyon Trail, about 2.75 miles total. We have never seen as many Ocotilla as we found growing near Patagonia Lake. It is almost a forest of the pretty cacti.
In places there were lots of pink flowers at the base of the Ocotilla.
We were glad to see quite a few poppies blooming, as well as mountains in the background.
As we hiked down to Sonoita Creek, we came to a forest of large trees. In places they were very dense.
We came on some of the biggest cottonwood trees we had ever seen. This isn't the largest, but I was able to get far enough away to be able to see the top of it.
We crossed Spillway Creek, which only had a little bit of flowing water. Patagonia Lake is full, but they aren't releasing water right now. The water flows over solid rock.
There is an area where they indicate a waterfall, but, with so little water, it was hard to tell.
At the top, we crossed the spillway. Here is John tiptoeing around the puddles.
We left Patagonia Lake on Sunday to spend two nights in Willcox.