Monday, April 27, 2015

Roper Lake State Park, Safford AZ

Stay Date:  April 2014
Our Rating:  GOOD – 9
Roper Lake1We were impressed with this park.  A large facility with a small lake, there are day use areas, a beach, fishing docks, and a natural spring hot tub.  Entry roads and sites are paved, and our back-in Cottonwood Loop site was huge, with a shelter and table, and a fire ring. Roper Lake2 Our site backed up to an arm of the lake with stagnant water, and so the mosquitoes were abundant when the wind calmed and at night.  So no sitting around the fire here.  We had 50A and water hookups, and there’s a dump station on the exit road.  Roper Lake3Lots of nice trails connect the different areas of the park, and there’s a loop trail that takes you up on a small mesa.  The area with the swimming beach, called the “island” has great birding with it’s large variety of plants and trees.  There are great views of the Mt Graham, and well maintained landscaping throughout.  The office/visitor center has a nice gift shop and the volunteers we met were very friendly.  No cable or WiFi, but our Verizon Jetpack worked well and there were no obstructions for the satellite TV.  The Swift Trail is a paved road to the top of Mt Graham and is worth the trip – incredible views and a lake at the 10,000’ level.  Mr Graham from Roper LakeA trip to the “Gila Box” riparian area is also interesting.  The Gila River creates a heavily-wooded strip through the desert landscape.  Narrow, winding roads can be a problem with a large vehicle.  A trip to Morenci and the copper mine is worth the effort.  They’ve been digging since the 1870s and it shows.   Our only complaint on the park besides the mosquitoes is the huge speed bump placed on the park exit.   It’s bad enough that they built it so high, but you hit it an an angle which makes it even worse.  But overall, a great park and worth the $25/night plus $5 reservation fee (you need a reservation).  Roper Lake State Park