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Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Phoenix Metro Area, Arizona

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Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

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  • ADA-accessible entrance to the Riparian Preserve.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Floating boardwalk over Water Ranch Lake.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Excellent bird watching.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • A mallard at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Common ground dove at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Red-eared slider at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Unidentified species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Riparian Preserve Observatory.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Walking trails at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Walking trails at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Walking trails at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Walking trails at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Walking trails at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Blooming beaver tail cactus.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Blooming beaver tail cactus.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Walking trails at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • The Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Fishing at Water Ranch.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • Fairy duster.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • The Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • The Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
  • A mallard at the Water Ranch Riparian Area.- Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
ADA accessible. Wildlife viewing. Wildflowers. Family fishing. Free entry. Pet friendly.
Cons: 
Not recommended in summer.
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Region:
Phoenix Metro Area, AZ
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch park is the perfect place for a family evening full of learning opportunities, fishing, and wildlife viewing. There are many walk-in entrances to the park; however, the Southeast Regional Libraries two parking lots off of E Guadalupe Road and N. Greenfield Road are the most convenient entrances because of the large parking lots. 

From the Southeast Regional Library, the first body of water you will see is the Water Ranch Lake, a 5-acre freshwater lake. Fishing is allowed everywhere except from the floating boardwalk, and the lake is stocked frequently with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, sunfish, and farm-raised channel catfish. Bass and sunfish are catch-and-release only, and you can keep up to two trout and two catfish. Although boats, kayaks, and canoes are not allowed, fly fishing float tubes are allowed. 

The preserve is free to enter and is open from sunrise to dusk, unless you are overnight camping. There are thee tent-only campsites within the 110-acre area: 

  • Water Sedge Edge Campsite ($30 per night, can accommodate up to 20 campers, one fire pit and one grill)
  • Honey Bee Point Campsite ($40 per night, can accommodate up 20 to 35 campers, two fire pits and one grill)
  • Canal Campsite ($40 per night, can accommodate up to 40 campers, two fire pits and one grill)

Also within the 110-acre wildlife sanctuary are seven ponds, two reservable small ramadas, two restroom facilities (north and south), a Dino Dig, wildlife viewing blinds, an ethnobotanical garden, and the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory (GRCO). Every second Friday of the month you can join astronomical experts in a Skywatch presentation at the observatory. 

This free preserve comes highly recommended because of its incredible wildlife viewing, accessibility to hiking and fishing for everyone, cleanliness, and access to flora and fauna and astronomical learning opportunities.

Note that fishing for bass and sunfish is catch-and-release only, all animal feeding is prohibited, and campsites are tent only.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(32 within a 30 mile radius)

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