Picturesque Roper Lake State Park is located outside Safford in Graham County. This cozy recreation area near Mount Graham and ‘Sky Island’ is only 125 miles north of Tucson.
Visitors love this Arizona state park’s spacious campsites, lakeview cabins, lake activities and trails while appreciating the breathtaking views of the mountains and desert all around.
Spend a nice relaxing day at this scenic park or reserve a cabin or campsite and spend a few quiet evenings here as well. During the day you can swim, fish, boat and explore the trails here and over at nearby Dankworth Pond State Park. In the late afternoons and early evenings you can take a drive over to nearby Safford and shop, eat and discover more.
Bring a picnic and eat under one of the large shaded ramadas or in one of the many picnic areas located throughout the park. These areas include picnic tables, BBQ grills and nearby access to water and restrooms.
Check out the Park Store inside the Visitor Center and pick up souvenirs, books, guides, toys, apparel and fishing supplies to help make your stay more memorable.
Here are some of the many activities that you can do during your visit to Roper Lake State Park:
Swimming at Roper Lake State Park
Swimming is allowed only in the designated area on the west side of the day-use island. This area also has a nice sandy beach for guests to make the most of. Be aware that the park does not have lifeguards, so swim at your own risk. And also keep in mind that water temperature can vary greatly depending upon how far out you swim.
Boating at Roper Lake State Park
Kayak, canoe, paddle board, tube and more on the lake during your visit to Roper Lake State Park. All watercraft, except gas powered boats, are allowed on the lake. A boat ramp for non-motorized boats is located on the east side of the lake near a boat trailer parking area.
Fishing at Roper Lake State Park
Fish from a boat, dock or shore along Roper Lake and try your hand at catching bass, trout, catfish, bluegill, sunfish and crappie. This small lake provides an ideal habitat for fish. Then
head over to nearby Dankworth Pond State Park for more fishing opportunities. Dankworth Pond is seasonally stocked with trout and the pond naturally has bluegill, sunfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass.
Remember to pick up an Arizona fishing license ahead of time; a fishing license is required for anyone over the age of 10.
Trails at Roper Lake State Park
The park’s 5 miles of trails connect the campgrounds to the day-use areas and allows visitors to stretch their legs and take in the beauty of this area. Nearby Dankworth Pond State Park has more trails that wind through desert vegetation, along the lake and to a recreated Native village.
Here are a couple of the trails at Roper Lake State Park:
- Mariah Mesa Trail – Easy .76 mile loop that leads up to the top of the mesa for a 360 degree view of the area surrounding the park and spectacular views of Mt Graham.
- Island Day Use Area Loop – Easy .3 mile trail with views of the park and lake.
Wildlife Viewing at Roper Lake State Park
The lake and surrounding mountains make Roper Lake State Park an ideal for nature lovers and bird watchers. During your visit you will have the opportunity to see many species of waterfowl, songbird and raptor along the trails, around and above the lake and throughout the park. A few you may notice are blackbirds, cardinals, ducks, egrets, herons, quail and grebes.
Other wildlife that you may encounter here are squirrels, deer, rabbits, foxes, snakes, turtles, lizards, butterflies and dragonflies.
Camping at Roper Lake State Park
Roper Lake State Park has 3 campgrounds and a combination of primitive sites, a large primitive group site and 45 sites with water and electric connections for tents or RVs. Most of the RV sites can accommodate vehicles up to 45 feet long and are either back-in or pull-through accommodating. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire ring and is close to campground bathhouses.
The park also has 8 camping cabins, 3 that overlook the lake and 5 with mountain views. Each cabin has a covered porch, a full sized bed, 2 sets of bunk beds, heat/AC and electricity plus a picnic table, fire ring and BBQ grill. Campers need to bring their own linens or sleeping bags. Bathhouses are only a short walk away.
Pets at Roper Lake State Park
Pets are allowed at Roper Lake State Park but must be attended to at all times and kept on a leash no longer than six-feet. Please clean up after your pet. A $5.00 additional fee is required per pet staying in cabins and a limit of two pets per cabin (5 of the 8 cabins allow pets).
Become a Junior Ranger at Roper Lake State Park
Junior Ranger Pledge: ‘As an Arizona State Parks Junior Ranger, I pledge to help the park rangers protect and preserve habitat, wildlife, and help keep the park clean and safe for visitors and wildlife.’
Encourage younger generations to do their part and help preserve the beauty of the parks for future visitors. If your child is between the ages of 6-12 they can become a Junior Ranger at Roper Lake State Park.
All they need to do is download and complete the Junior Ranger Activity Sheet and then request a Junior Ranger booklet at the park’s visitor center once you’ve arrived at the park. Complete each of the activities during your stay.
When all of the activities have been completed report back to a Park Ranger who will swear your Junior Ranger in and award them with a Junior Ranger Button. Kids can become a Junior Ranger at most Arizona State Parks and earn each park’s unique Junior Ranger Button. Check out the For Kids section on each park’s website.
Attractions Near Roper Lake State Park
Dankworth Pond State Park
More trails, boating, fishing and a replica Native American village 3 miles down the road from Roper Lake State Park.
Visit nearby Safford for shopping, dining, antiques, museums, a golf course and more.
Open year round (Closed Christmas Day)
6am–9pm (Oct 1–April 30)
4:30am–9pm (May 1–Sept 30)
Visitor Center Hours: 8:00am–5:00pm
Park Entrance Fees:
Per vehicle (1-4 Adults): $10.00
Roper Lake State Park
101 E Roper Lake Rd
Safford, AZ 85546
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Roper Lake State Park: