Arizona State Parks
Red Rock State Park
Courtesy Greater Phoenix CVB
Arizona State Parks
Arizona’s parks feature everything from swimming, fishing and boating to camping and picnicking, and from prehistoric Indian writings and century-old military posts to beautiful desert scenery.
Fort Verde State Historic Park is in Camp Verde, on I-17. Three furnished officers’ quarters and the administration building of this fort along with historical military exhibits are on view. From Phoenix: 92 miles north. From Tucson: 208 miles north. 520-567-3275
Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park is in the city of Yuma, off I-8. From 1876 to 1909 this historic prison housed some of the West’s worst criminals. Strap iron cells, crude bunk beds, ball and chains, and the “hole” can be viewed inside the prison along with displays of the criminals’ histories. From Phoenix: 181 miles southwest. From Tucson: 237 miles west. 928-783-4771.Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park is in the town of Tombstone, off US 80. Built in 1882, during the wild west days of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and surrounded by saloons, the O.K. Corral and Boot Hill, the courthouse is now a museum exhibiting artifacts of Tombstone’s lively past. From Phoenix: 185 miles southeast. From Tucson: 73 miles southeast. 520-457-3311.
Jerome State Historic Park is off US 89A in Jerome, a one-time copper mining town which has been restored. The park museum was a mansion designed to house visiting mine officials. Antique mining equipment and exhibits, as well as the mansion, are on view. From Phoenix: 110 miles north. From Tucson: 226 miles north. 928-634-5381
Riordan Mission State Historic Park is in Flagstaff at 1300 Riordan Ranch Street. This lavish 40-room mansion was home to the Riordan brothers, lumber and railroad tycoons. Original furnishings, period antiques and personal family items can be viewed during a guided tour. From Phoenix: 145 miles north. From Tucson: 261 miles north. 928-779-4395.
McFarland Historical State Park is in Florence, off US 89 and AZ 287. Named after former U.S. Senator, Arizona Governor and State Supreme Court Justice Ernest W. McFarland, the park features the first Pinal County courthouse which was later used as a hospital. Displays include a replica courtroom, hospital artifacts and historical exhibits. From Phoenix: 65 miles southeast. From Tucson: 67 miles northwest. 520-868-5216.
Tubac Presidio State Historic Park is in Tubac, off I-19. In 1752, the Spaniards established a presidio (fort) and mission in Tubac. The park encompasses the old presidio site and features a restored 1880 schoolhouse, Indian and Spanish artifacts and an underground exhibit of the fort’s foundation. From Phoenix: 156 miles southeast. From Tucson: 45 miles south. 520-398-2252.
Lost Dutchman State Park is at the base of the Superstition Mountains, on AZ 88, the Apache Trail. The park serves as a base for campers and hikers who are exploring the mountains – the site of the supposed Lost Dutchman gold mine. From Phoenix: 36 miles east. From Tucson: 100 miles north. 480-982-4485.
Catalina State Park is at the base of the Catalina Mountains, on US 89. With 5,511 acres, this park is the third largest in the state and has campgrounds and picnic areas. A special birding trail for viewing over 150 species runs through the park. From Phoenix: 119 miles southeast. From Tucson: 12 miles north. 520-628-5797
Picacho Peak State Park, on I-10, is the site of Arizona’s only Civil War battle. The peak can be seen 40 miles in any direction. There are picnic and camping facilities. From Phoenix: 80 miles south. From Tucson: 38 miles northwest. 520-466-3183
Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum, on US 60, has self-guided tours on trails through 420 acres of a variety of semi-desert plants collected from around the world. A Visitor Center and two greenhouses are available. Also, there is a large picnic area. From Phoenix: 65 miles east. From Tucson: 84 miles north. 520-689-2723
Homolovi Ruins State Park is off I-40 near Winslow. The name means “place of the mounds.” This area is one of the last prehistoric stopping places of the Hopi Indians. There are a series of six archaeological sites forming the focus of this unique park. Educational research tours are available. From Phoenix: 206 miles northeast. From Tucson: 322 miles north. 928-289-4106
Oracle State Park is off the old Mt. Lemmon Road. Set within the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this wildlife refuge is an environmental education center open to accredited educational groups for nature study, bird watching, hiking and picnicking. From Phoenix: 110 miles southeast. From Tucson: 6 miles north. 520-896-2425
Red Rock State Park is off Red Rock Loop Road near Sedona. It sits next to Oak Creek among red cliffs and is a photographer’s delight. From Phoenix: 120 miles north. From Tucson: 236 miles north. 928-282-6907
Kartchner Caverns State Park is located off I-10 near Benson. Tours of the 2.5-mile-long, beautiful cavern are available. From Phoenix: 160 miles southeast. From Tucson: 46 miles southeast. 520-586-2283
Water Based Parks
Dead Horse Ranch State Park, off US 89A, is set in the Verde Valley. There is camping, picnicking, fishing and canoeing. From Phoenix: 90 miles north. From Tucson: 206 miles north. 928-634-5283
Slide Rock State Park, off US 89A, is located in Oak Creek Canyon. A natural water slide provides plenty of entertainment. Picnicking, fishing and just relaxing are favorite pastimes here. From Phoenix: 125 miles north. From Tucson: 241 miles north. 928-282-3034
Buckskin Mountain State Park is just north of Parker on AZ 95 and is on the Colorado River. Waterfront cabanas, tent sites and trailer areas are available at this popular park for water sports and fishing. Hiking trails wind into the Buckskin range and provide panoramic overlooks. From Phoenix: 169 miles northwest. From Tucson: 285 miles northwest. 928-855-2784
Lake Havasu State Park has two recreational areas. Cattail Cove is on AZ 95 and Windsor Beach is in Lake Havasu City. Lake Havasu was formed by Parker Dam and is forty-five miles long offering plenty of space for all water sports. Both areas have quiet campsites, some only accessible by boat, and the fishing is excellent. The London Bridge is alive and well in Lake Havasu. From Phoenix: Cattail Cove – 190 miles northwest; Windsor Beach – 105 miles northwest. From Tucson: Cattail Cove – 306 miles northwest; Windsor Beach – 221 miles northwest. 928-855-2784
Roper Lake State Park is one-half mile off US 191 near Safford. Located at the foot of Mt. Graham, the park has camping and picnicking facilities. The lake is stocked seasonally and is off limits to gasoline-powered boats. From Phoenix: 170 miles southeast. From Tucson: 128 miles northeast. 520-428-6760
Painted Rocks State Park is off I-8 on Painted Rock Road. There are two diverse areas – one historic, one lake. In the historic part, an outstanding collection of rocks covered with ancient Indian writings known as petroglyphs can be viewed. Most water activities, as well as bird watching, are available at the lake area. Both units have campgrounds, shelters and picnic areas. From Phoenix: 91 miles southwest. From Tucson: 125 miles northwest. 406-542-5500
Lyman Lake State Park is off US 191 near St. Johns in the plateau country. A 1,500-acre lake, at an elevation of over 6,000 feet, offers boating, canoeing, swimming and fishing. Hiking, rockhounding and camping are also popular activities. From Phoenix: 225 miles northeast. From Tucson: 260 miles northeast. 928-337-4441
Patagonia Lake State Park, off AZ 82, is situated in the hills of the Sonoita Creek area. The park features modern campsites and good fishing – the lake is stocked with trout, but also has bass, bluegill, catfish and crappie. Swimming, a beach marina, launching ramp and boat rentals are also here. From Phoenix: 175 miles southeast. From Tucson: 59 miles south. 520-287-6965
Alamo Lake State Park is on Cummingham Pass Road off US 60 at Wenden. Camping, swimming, boating, hiking, canoeing and bass fishing can be enjoyed at this large reservoir set on 5,642 acres. There are 400 campsites, a trailer park, amphitheater, picnic area and two boat ramps. From Phoenix: 140 miles northwest. From Tucson: 256 miles northwest. 928-669-2088