Explore Arizona by hiking, biking or strolling in Red Rock State Park. View a geologic wonder at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, surround yourself in pine trees at Arizona lakes. You'll find state parks can often be less crowded than national parks, so they are a great place to explore the natural beauty of Arizona.
1. Red Rock State Park in Sedona
This is a 286-acre nature preserve and environmental education center with stunning scenery. Trails throughout the park wind through manzanita and juniper to reach the rich banks of Oak Creek. Green meadows are framed by native vegetation and hills of red rock. The creek meanders through the park, creating a diverse riparian habitat abounding with plants and wildlife. This riparian habitat provides the setting and the opportunity for the park to offer a focus on environmental education.
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2. Slide Rock State Park in Sedona
Cool off in Sedona at this state park. Located 7 miles north of Sedona, Slide Rock State Park houses a smooth natural water slide formed from red sandstone that cascades into a cooling swimming hole. During the hot and dry Arizona summers, the park often sees capacity crowds coming to cool off at this picturesque desert waterfall." - USA Today
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3. Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood
The Verde River makes this park an oasis in the desert where a wide variety of animals and plants live. You can rent a horse inside the park at Trail Horse Adventures and camp in the campground and cabins.
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4. Verde River Greenway State Natural Area in Cottonwood
This park is next to Dead Horse Ranch State Park. The Greenway encompasses nearly 480 acres and is six miles long. The 3,300 foot elevation means mild temperatures for hiking along the Verde, canoeing, picnicking, fishing or just wading in the cool water.
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5. Fort Verde State Historic Park in Camp Verde
The park is the best-preserved example of an Indian Wars period fort in Arizona. Several of the original buildings still stand and living history programs are scheduled periodically, giving visitors a glimpse into Arizona's history.
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6. Homolovi State Park in Winslow
Just three miles from Winslow lies Homolovi State Park where you can stretch your legs, tour ancient ruins and spend the night in the campground under dark night skies.
"Even though it is right off I-40, not many people know about it," says Michelle Thompson of Arizona State Parks. "It has great trails, sweeping views of the eastern part of the state and you can see petroglyphs and walls of old Hopi residences."
Homolovi is Hopi for "Place of the Little Hills," which was the original name for present-day Winslow. The Hopi lived in the area from 1200 to the later 1300s, and today researchers work with the Hopi to piece together the history of the area. Because it's far from any metro area, the park offers fantastic stargazing, including a new observatory, and star parties with rangers who share their knowledge of the night skies with travelers.
Visitors may visit the archaeological sites and use the park facilities including a visitor center, museum, trails and a campground.
7. Rockin' River Ranch in Camp Verde
Opening in spring 2019, this Camp Verde spot will feature horseback riding and tent camping. It's the newest state park in Arizona.
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8. Jerome State Historic Park in Jerome
Make Jerome State Historic Park and the Douglas Mansion your first stop when you visit Jerome. The park offers a great to introduction to the town's history and affords fantastic views of the city and the valley. There are no camping facilities at this park. Camping is available at private campgrounds near Jerome and at Prescott National Forest.
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9. Riordan Mansion State Historic Park in Flagstaff
The park was built in 1904 for Michael and Timothy Riordan's families. The Mansion features rustic exterior log-slab siding, volcanic stone arches and hand-split wooden shingles. The Park offers lecture events and daily tours of the Mansion.
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10. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park - Payson, AZ
Tucked away in a tiny valley surrounded by a forest of pine trees, Tonto Natural Bridge State Park has been in the making for thousands of years. It is believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. The bridge stands 183 feet high over a 400-foot long tunnel that measures 150 feet at its widest point.
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Camping in State Parks
Arizona State Parks provide over 1,400 camping and RV sites throughout the state and manages eight of the top 25 most visited natural attractions in Arizona.
Camping is available at the following state parks:
Northern Region (Nearest Grand Canyon): Dead Horse Ranch and Homolovi. Western Region: Alamo Lake, Buckskin Mountain, Cattail Cove, Lake Havasu, and River Island. Eastern Region: Catalina, Fool Hollow Lake, Lost Dutchman, and Lyman Lake. Southern Region: Kartchner Caverns, Patagonia Lake, Picacho Peak, and Roper Lake.
Camping Cabins are available at Dead Horse Ranch, Lyman Lake, and Roper Lake.
For Camping Reservations
(520) 586-2283 www.AZStateParks.com
For more information: