eBird Hotspots Where to Go Birding

Pena Blanca Lake

Nogales, Arizona 85621
Pena Blanca Lake webpage
White Rock Campground webpage

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Santa Cruz County

Pena Blanca Lake
Coordinates: 31.401, -111.087
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Birding in Arizona

About Pena Blanca Lake
This medium-sized body of water fills 49 acres of Peña Blanca Canyon in the Pajarito Mountain foothills. It is surrounded by grassy, oak-dotted hills, some of which are topped with bluffs of limestone.

Peña Blanca Lake is a popular recreation spot for visitors from neighboring Nogales, Arizona and nearby communities in Mexico as well. On weekends, and even weekdays, during the peak summer season, this area can be quite crowded. On holidays, especially Easter, it becomes extremely crowded.

Peña Blanca Lake was built in 1957 by the Arizona Game and Fish Department. It provides water-related recreation year round, although its location so close to the Mexican border can be a bit deceptive. Frequently, people who come here during the winter expecting warm, balmy weather are surprised at how cool it can be. This is a mountain lake located at 4,000 feet above sea level and its climate reflects that fact.

The lake was drained and improved in 2009, but it has since refilled. However, the boat ramp has not yet been replaced.

Turn west off I-19 approximately 8 miles north of Nogales at the Peña Blanca and Ruby Road (AZ-289) exit. Follow this road about 9 miles to Peña Blanca Lake Recreation Area. Turn right (north) on the paved road that leads to the lake and the boat launching ramp.
From Pena Blanca Lake webpage