Arivaca Lake Wildlife Area is best known for birding, but it is great for viewing other wildlife, fishing, canoeing and rock climbing opportunities.

  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Boating
  • Fishing
Boating Rating:

Arivaca Lake is known for bird watching. Summer temperatures can be in the 100s so take plenty of water. Also take plenty of bug repellent since the lake side habitats can harbor mosquitoes. At ~3800 feet elevation, it comprises a 90 acre reservoir lake surrounded by grasslands and rocky out-croppings. The site is primitive, offering only a toilet and one single lane boat ramp, but its remoteness offers a peaceful, less crowded place for wildlife viewing.



Arivaca Lake is located outside of Arivaca Arizona, about 50 miles south of Tucson. It is accessed along the Ruby Road which is one of the most scenic drives in the Nogales District of the Coronado National Forest.


The uplands are primarily composed of pinyon-juniper woodland. Paper-spined cactus occurs in the area.


Common birds include spotted sandpiper, neotropic cormorant, great blue heron, belted kingfisher, northern flicker, black phoebe, Mexican jay, ruby-crowned kinglet, house finch, rufous-winged sparrow, and many more! The lake attracts hawks, eagles and ospreys as well as numerous aquatic bird species. You could also see canyon wrens, white breasted nuthatches, Say’s phoebes, flycatchers and lark sparrows.


Common mammals in the area include white-tailed deer, mule deer, racoons, jack and cottontail rabbits, coati, coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and javelina.


Arivaca Lake is managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

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