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State of Arizona Parks

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USA Parks
North Central Region
Roper Lake State Park
Roper Lake State Park © Kfasimpaur / Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Roper Lake, near Safford, Arizona, USA
Cactus Wren ©
A species of wren that is native to the southwestern United States southwards to central Mexico.
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101 E. Roper Lake Road
Safford, Arizona   85546
(lat:32.7558 lon:-109.7047) map location

Phone: 928-428-6760
After a long day of driving or hiking, the natural hot springs at Roper Lake State Park are inviting and invigorating. Enjoy desert vegetation, an accessible fishing dock, and stunning views of Mount Graham. Roper Lake is stocked with Largemouth bass and Rainbow trout; it?s a great place for kids to catch their first fish. Boats are limited to small electric motors, creating ideal conditions for a sail board or a canoe. Enjoy five miles of trails in the park and nearby Dankworth Pond. Take advantage of excellent birdwatching and glimpse Gamble?s quail and heron. The park?s camping cabins offer an easy, fun camping experience.

Roper Lake has 30 lake surface acres, a boat ramp, natural stone hot tub, a swimming beach, a day use island with picnic tables and grills, camping cabins, and campgrounds. Reservations are available for camping cabins andselect campsites.

Nature of the Area
Roper Lake is an excellent place for bird watching. Species commonly seen are Gamble?s Quail, Redwing Blackbird, Yellow headed Blackbird, Great horned owl, Cardinal, flycatchers, Kingfisher, Mallard duck, Ruddy duck, Grebes, Egrets, Herons, and Mergansers.

Mammals commonly seen are bobcats, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, and coyotes.

History of the Area
For a number of years Graham County had been working with its legislators to have a State Park in their county. In 1972, HB 2150 authorized the acquisition of Dead Horse Ranch as a State Park. The bill also included authorization to construct a lake and appropriated $150,000 for the construction of a 100 surface acre lake in Graham County to be operated as a State Park. Senator Ed Sawyer, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, introduced the amendment to the bill.

Arizona offers a non-commercial standard pass for weekday use at all parks, including weekends at most parks and the non-commercial premium pass which includes weekend and holiday access to the parks. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is not included in either annual park pass. You can find additional Arizona Annual State Park Pass informataion and order online by visiting the ARIZONA ANNUAL STATE PARK PASS web page.
Eight cabins line the lake at Roper Lake State Park offering a plethora of recreational opportunities. Cabins at Roper Lake are variably furnished with bunk beds with mattresses and/or full size beds with mattress. The cabins are outfitted with electricity and air-conditioning/heating. Open flame as produced by candles and stove burners are not permitted in the cabins. Picnic tables and charcoal grills make for a well-equipped outdoor setting. Restrooms and showers are within walking distance. Cabins are available year-round.

Gila Group Area Campground: 15 campsites surrounding a large group Ramada with BBQ grills, large fire ring, and picnic tables. No electric in this area. Water is available. There is a 10-vehicle minimum to reserve the group area. Reservation fee in addition to camping fees applied per vehicle per night.

Hacienda Campground: 20 Water & Electric hookup sites. Each site includes fire rings, BBQ grills, and picnic tables. Hacienda campground has a bathroom with hot showers near entrance of campground. Most sites will accommodate a vehicle length of up to 45 feet. Electric hook-ups in Hacienda campground are 20 and 30 amp. Reservable sites: B, D, E, F, G, H, I, K.

Cottonwood Campground: 25 Water & Electric hookup sites. Each site includes fire rings, BBQ grills, picnic tables and a small shade Ramada. Cottonwood campground has a bathroom with hot showers. Most sites will accommodate a vehicle length of up to 45 feet. Electric hook-ups are 20, 30, and 50 amp. Reservable sites: 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14.

Gila Campground: The Gila Group campground is used as a non-electric campground when the area is not reserved. Sites include fire rings, BBQ grills, and picnic tables. Water is available at most sites. Electricity is not available in this area.

Camping Reservations: Reservations can be made up to 365 days in advance and a minimum of 14 days in advance. Only 40% of hook-up sites are reservable, the other sites are first-come, first-served. There is a non-refundable reservation fee. Reservable sites have a fee per night per vehicle for hookup. If second vehicle occupies the same site there is an additional fee. The second does not pay for the use of the utilities. To make a reservation, call the park directly at (928) 428-6760, seven days a week from 8 am ? 5 pm MST.

Upon arrival the site reserved must be occupied for the first night. If you would like to move to a different site you must contact the Ranger at the Visitor Center that you would like to move to a different site, and the Ranger will confirm that a non-reserved site is available. If you do not call or arrive the first night, the fee will be lost and the site you reserved will be given to another visitor. Occupying or holding other vacant sites is not allowed and grounds for eviction.

A maximum of 2 sites are reservable by one party. With Park Manager or Assistant Park Manager approval more campsites can be reserved. Reservations for weekend use will be for a minimum of 2 nights, Friday to 11 am Sunday. Holidays will be for a minimum of 3 nights, Friday to 11 am Monday.

Visitors Center
The Roper Lake Visitor Center is open year round from 9 am ? 5 pm. It features a gift shop, local area information, Junior Ranger programs, and restrooms.

The park has a swimming area with a sandy beach. No lifeguard on duty. Swimming is at your own risk.

The park has a boat ramp and parking for boat trailers. Gas motors are not allowed to be operated on the lake. The park does not rent watercraft.

Non-Motorized Watercraft may launch at the boat ramp.

Roper Lake has Largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill, sunfish, catfish, and Rainbow trout. The park has a boat ramp and a handicap accessible fishing dock. Gas motors are not allowed to be operated on the lake. Fishing is not allowed in the swimming area.

A valid Arizona fishing license is required for anglers fourteen and older.

Roper Lake State Park is located near Safford

Day Use Area
Island Group Ramada: Large grassy area, near swimming beach, includes BBQ grills and water spigots, no electricity. Maximum Group Size: 30 people. Restrictions: NO fishing in swimming areas, no bottle containers, and no vehicles in day use area. Please leash dogs. Bring wagon or other device to haul picnic items. The walk to the Gazebo is about 150 yards. Hours: 6 am ? 10 pm. Group Use Fees apply.

East Mesa Group Ramada: Large Group Ramada with picnic tables, BBQ grills, water spigots, and electric outlets. Parking for 20 cars. Overlooks the lake. Group Use Fees apply.

There are several picnic areas throughout the park near the fishing and swimming areas. Most of these areas include a picnic table, BBQ grill and a shade Ramada.

Five miles of trails in the park let you stretch your muscles and view the wildlife.

The Mariah Mesa Nature Trail is .75 miles and has interruptive signage along the way. The rest of the trails in the park are paths that connect the campgrounds and day-use areas together.

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