Arizona is home to 35 state parks that offer a variety of natural and cultural attractions. Whether you want to explore the scenic beauty of the Grand Canyon, the ancient ruins of the Anasazi, the historic mining towns of the Old West, or the diverse wildlife of the Sonoran Desert, there is a state park for you.
Here are some of the most popular state parks in Arizona:
- Catalina State Park: Located at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains, this park offers hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, as well as camping and picnic facilities. You can also enjoy the views of the saguaro cactus forest and the seasonal wildflowers.
- Oracle State Park: This park is a 4,000 acre wildlife refuge in the northern foothills of the Catalina Mountains. The park offers hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, but is most famous for its dark skies and excellent stargazing. It contains a section of the Arizona Trail and a designated International Dark Sky Park. You can also visit the historic Kannally Ranch House and learn about the park’s environmental education programs.
- Kartchner Caverns State Park: Discover the underground wonders of this park, which features one of the world’s longest stalactite formations and a variety of cave formations and creatures. You can take a guided tour of the caverns, visit the discovery center, or camp at the park.
- Picacho Peak State Park: This park is famous for its distinctive peak that rises 1,500 feet above the desert floor. You can hike to the summit, enjoy the spring wildflower display, or witness a reenactment of the Civil War battle that took place here in 1862.
- Patagonia Lake State Park: If you haven’t explored this southern Arizona park, you are missing one of the state’s hidden gems. This beautiful lake is surrounded by a campground with cabins and spaces for tents and RVs, trails that wind through the Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, and plenty of fun water activities. It's the closest place to get out on the water to Marana!
- Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park: Step back in time and experience the history and legends of Tombstone, the “Town Too Tough to Die”. You can visit the courthouse museum, see a gunfight reenactment, or stroll along the historic district.
These are just some of the amazing state parks that Arizona has to offer.