Friday, March 19, 2021

Parker Canyon Lake and Coronado National Forest

This is the first of two blogs of the ride we took on Wednesday, March 17th, with Doug and Yuma. Our ultimate goal was Coronado National Memorial and Montezuma Pass with a stop at Parker Canyon Lake. If you read Doug's blog, Miss Adventure Travels, you have already read about the ride and seen his wonderful pictures. Below is what I saw as we drove along. Fair warning there are a lot of pictures between this post and the next one. I started with 240 pictures and I did cut it down to around 100 between the two posts. We left just before 11 o'clock and after a quick stop for gas in Sonoita we were on our way.   It was a perfect day for a ride, we had blue skies, temperatures in the high 60's, and very little wind.  

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Driving out of the area we are presently calling home.

We are following Doug towards the entrance to the
 Las Cienegas National Conservation Area on AZ-83.

All fueled up we are on our way.

The Coronado National Forest is a United States National Forest that includes an area of about 1.78 million acres (7,200 km2) spread throughout mountain ranges in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico.

It is located in parts of Cochise, Graham, Santa Cruz, Pima, and Pinal Counties in Arizona, and Hidalgo County in New Mexico.

The national forest is divided into five ranger districts, which are not contiguous; each consists of multiple sky island mountain ranges. If you are interested in learning a little more, click here or here  for more information.

The Sierra Vista Ranger District (this is the district we where in) comprises three mountain ranges west of Sierra Vista, Arizona. These ranges are the Huachuca, Patagonia, and Whetstone Mountains. Included in this area is the highest peak in the Huachucas, Miller Peak, and the region of the Huachucas known as Canelo Hills. The district includes the formerly separate Huachuca National Forest. 

Sometimes it is just about the trees 
and this is one of those times.

The road ahead just not sure where Doug is.

We could pretty much see a haze over the mountains
even from a distance.

Stopping for a photo opportunity.

Looking back at the pictures I now realize 
what we were seeing was smoke.

We are now getting closer to Parker Canyon Lake
and seeing pines.

Just after here we saw a sign for Parker Canyon.
Interesting fence on this property.

Starting to see more of the haze on the mountains.

Parker Canyon Lake is located in southeastern Arizona, 28 miles southwest of Sierra Vista around the Huachuca Mountains and about 5 miles north of the border with Mexico. The lake is a reservoir formed by a dam in Parker Canyon in the south end of the Canelo Hills in southwestern Cochise County.

We drove up to the Campground to take some pictures
of this beautiful blue lake. 

These picnic tables are not going anywhere.

We could see the boat launch area off to our right
on our way back down from the camping area.

We are now on the West Coronado Trail

and headed up.

By now Tom had mentioned it looked
like smoke ahead of us.

The views are beautiful and I am sure you will notice the
same view in several pictures as we get closer. 
It is all about the memories.

Border Patrol presence and there could be cattle ahead.

Then there was one lone cow.

More Border Patrol.
We probably passed a dozen Border Patrol vehicles today.

We could see several Border Patrol in this fenced in area.

This is why we could see the smoke. The rest of the 
trip including the ride through here in the next blog.

We are glad you stopped by!
If you have time to leave a comment we would enjoy hearing from you.


  1. I'm so surprised they were actually burning there. When we went by they were grinding up all the tree limbs and putting it in trucks to haul out. All that smoke must not have been so fun!! Plus, I'm sure you couldn't see all that much til you got to the end. Still, it's a pretty drive.

    1. I have a feeling what you saw was part of the preparation for this burn. In my next post I added two facebook posts from the Forest Service's page. It was an interesting drive through the area they were burning.

  2. Beautiful pictures of a gorgeous drive! That lake looks so beautiful, like a great place to camp! Always nice to see new places!

    1. Thank you. It is a gorgeous drive. It would be a great place to camp the road in would not be something we would take our motorhome on but I have a feeling your Class C or you mansion would make it no problems.

  3. Thanks for the pictures and no, there were not too many. Keep them going. I enjoyed that dive when we were there and will do it again, for sure.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the pictures. It is a beautiful drive.

  4. Thanks for sharing your fun ride.
    Even with the smoke the pictures are good.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  5. God bless the Border Patrol and all law enforcement working to keep us safe.

  6. Great commentary of the adventure. Loved that you included information of the area and links. Great pictures of the journey.

  7. Looks like a beautiful drive, I can't wait for part 2 :-)