Hike-in Required
Guided tours
ADA accessible
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


ADA accessible. Wildlife viewing. Wildflowers. Family fishing. Free entry. Pet friendly.


Not recommended in summer.

Pets allowed

Allowed with Restrictions


Bird watching
Bird watching
Bird watching
ADA accessible


Nearby Adventures

Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, Arizona
Usery Mountain Regional Park
Superstition Mountains Area, Mesa, Arizona

Nearby Lodging + Camping


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