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2012-07-17  
Pena Blanca Lake, AZ
mini location map2012-07-17
25 by photographer avatarrwstorm
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Pena Blanca Lake, AZ 
Pena Blanca Lake, AZ
 
Scenic Drive avatar Jul 17 2012
rwstorm
Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive
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A stop at the lake as part of my loop drive between the turnoff from I-19 north of Nogales over to Arivaca, then back over to Arivaca Junction. The road is AZ289 to the lake and is paved. Beyond the lake it is a passenger car friendly dirt road to Arivaca, and is known as the Ruby Road in this portion. The section from Arivaca back to I-19 at Arivaca Junction is paved. I used to do this drive almost annually back in the 1980's and 1990's, and it is especially fun during the monsoon season.

This was my first visit to the lake since it was dredged a few years back (to remove heavy metals that had accumulated from old upstream mining activity) and "improvements" made to the facilities. To put it mildly, I am not impressed with the changes. Back in the days when the German lady had the lease to run the motel and store/restaurant/bar that are no longer there (removed due to sewage concerns), this was a really inviting and fun spot. But now it has lost much of its charm, and is rather sterile. Last year's big fire that burned through the area, as well as over a large portion of the Atascosa Mountains to the west didn't help. It took out a lot of the really nice old oaks that surrounded the lake.

To be fair the lake does lie in a beautiful setting with nice mountains as backdrop.
Some of the older picnic areas are still there, though were affected by the fire.

There is a campground just passed the turnoff to the lake which remains pretty much unchanged. I have camped there, as well as just a little further southwest in Pena Blanca Canyon, where there are some nice free spots. Might not be as enjoyable these days with all the smuggling activity in the area. ;)
Flora
Flora
Canaigre
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Isolated

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Pena Blanca Spring Gallon + per minute Gallon + per minute
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