6 best state parks to visit in Arizona

Above: Beaver Falls. Experience AZ | 20 hours ago |

What is your favorite state park to visit in Arizona?

To help decide what Arizona state park you should visit next, we asked Arizona locals and business leaders this question for their favorite state parks. From escaping city life at Lost Dutchman State Park to the unique vistas at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, there are so many amazing Arizona state parks to visit.


READ ALSO: 25 of the best staycation deals in Arizona


Here are six Arizona state parks to visit: 

• Escape City Life for the Day at Lost Dutchman State Park

• Sit Back and Relax in Lake Havasu State Park

• Savor Cabin Living by Patagonia Lake State Park

• Challenge Yourself for the View at Picacho Peak State Park

• Cool Off in the River at Slide Rock State Park

• Enjoy Unique Vistas at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Best State Parks To Visit in Arizona

Escape City Life for the Day at Lost Dutchman State Park

I am a huge fan of Lost Dutchman State Park because it is just a stone’s throw from Phoenix, but it feels like you have escaped to a different world. The picturesque mountain views, blossoming cacti, and numerous hiking trails will surely keep you entertained, and you’ll leave with tons of great memories and group photos. If you haven’t visited it yet, I would highly recommend doing so on your next free weekend!

Randall Smalley, Cruise America

Sit Back and Relax in Lake Havasu State Park

If you need to find a cool getaway in the Mojave Desert, head to Lake Havasu. It’s only one hour south of Kingman and two and half hours from Las Vegas. We love it because you can spend the day or a weekend here and have a relaxing time. This state park has plenty of grills, a great spot to swim, two boat launches, and boat rentals.

Meryl Schulte, Markitors

Savor Cabin Living by Patagonia Lake State Park

The camping cabins are a great deal and have a beautiful location at Patagonia Lake south of Tucson. They call them camper cabins since you have to bring your own linens, but they’re hardly rustic. They can sleep six with a queen and two sets of bunk beds, and even have heating and air conditioning! You’ll need to shower in the communal facilities nearby.

The park is great for the beautiful lake and has great wildlife watching, searching out Coatimundi as a favorite activity. There are boat rentals if you don’t want to bring your own but want to explore the water.

Jude Boudreaux, Road Trips with Kids

Challenge Yourself for the View at Picacho Peak State Park

Conveniently situated between Phoenix and Tucson off Interstate 10, Picacho Peak State Park invites experienced hikers to tackle its extremely difficult peak by using the Hunter or Sunset Vista Trail. I love how the trails’ steel cables, steep cliffs, and constant elevation changes challenge me and make me feel rewarded. My favorite prize is the soaring view of the desert, water canals, Interstate 10, Union Pacific Railroad, and surrounding mountain range. This park even fulfills my love for human history. Once inhabited by the Hohokam Native Americans, Picacho Peak has been a historical landmark for the Juan Bautista de Anza Expedition, the Mormon Battalion, and the Butterfield Overland Stage Route, and now, highway drivers and train engineers. I am most interested in the park’s memorial with historical plaques for the Battle of Picacho Pass, the Civil War’s westernmost battle.

Meggie Tran, Mindful Meggie

Cool Off in the River at Slide Rock State Park

My favorite state park in Arizona is Slide Rock State Park. Located just outside of Sedona (about 90 minutes north of Phoenix), the scenery is absolutely beautiful. Natural rock water slides are a great way to cool off on a hot day. The park costs about $20 per day to park. There are restrooms, and it’s an easy walk to Oak Creek. It’s a great experience, but get there early; it fills up fast when the weather warms up.

Steve Morrow, Paddle About

Enjoy Unique Vistas at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

My favorite Arizona state park to visit is Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. This amazing rock structure is something that needs to be seen to be appreciated. We had no interest in seeing it based on the photos we saw, but once we saw it, it became a solid recommendation for any of our guests traveling in the area. The clear water in the park is a welcome relief to the dry terrain encountered in the rest of the state!

Matthew Meier, MaxTour

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