Today’s 2014 #BayouTravel series: A Walk In the Park, State Park Spotlight features Arizona State Parks. If you are interested in reading our previous A Walk In the Park, State Park Spotlight featuring Alabama State Parks, Arizona State Parks and other exciting travel posts, you can type the word #BayouTravel into our blog’s search bar for additional travel links. Enjoy Arizona’s Walk in the Park.
If you’re looking to head a little west this year for vacation, check out the great state parks in Arizona. Many offer history lessons and a look at the Wild West, as well as stunning scenery and breathtaking natural adventures for everyone in the family. Here are just five of those.
Alamo Lake State Park
A camping adventure at Alamo Lake State Park offers incredible star viewing opportunities no matter if you’re in a tent or an RV, and there are RV and long-term campsites available. You’ll want to stay a while to get all the beauty the park has to offer, from the lake to the dessert, the gorgeous cacti to the wildflowers available in Spring. Mountains surround the lake and wildlife, like bald and golden eagles, foxes, mule deer and wild burros frequent the area.
Alamo Lake was created when the Alamo Dam was built in 1968. During floods, the lake has been known to rise an amazing 11 feet in one single night, which helps to create one of Arizona’s best fishing holes. Fishing tournaments are often held on the lake.
You can make online reservations by visiting the site at http://azstateparks.com/Parks/ALLA/index.html or by calling (520) 586-2283. There is a $5 non-refundable reservation fee per site.
Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park
If you’re looking for a park that includes a museum, exhibits, gift shop, campgrounds, picnic areas, and nature sights for days, then Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park is where you want to go.
Visit the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, which was built in 1882 in the shape of a Roman cross, for a taste of the real Wild West. The building once housed the offices of the sheriff, recorder, treasurer, board of supervisors, jail, and courtrooms, but today it is a museum filled with the treasure and old guns of those who helped tame the West.
Tombstone was once known as the West’s wildest mining town of silver, and it rose and fell in less than one decade. Exhibits at the park show the authentic history of the town and visitors can learn about miners, cattlemen and pioneers, and see a replica of the gallows (the originals burned in 1912) in the courtyard. Seven men were publicly hanged there. Learn more about this ill-fated town and see amazing natural beauty all around you when you book a reservation to the park by visiting http://azstateparks.com/Parks/TOCO/index.html
Catalina State Park
Catalina State Park offers its Spring & Summer 2014 Arizona Family Campout Program, which is designed for families that have little or no experience camping. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the great outdoors and what nature has to offer all of us. But whether you’re a seasoned camper or a novice, Catalina State Park has something for everyone with an extensive year-long calendar of events that is sure to have something for you no matter when you go. You can enjoy live animals, kid’s activities, biking events, hiking groups, bird-watching events, and so much more. Educational groups and programs are also offered at various times of the year.
Catalina State Park sits at the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains and features almost 6,000 acres of foothills, canyons and streams, more than 150 species of birds, and biking and hiking trails that lead into the Coronado National Forest. Aside from campground, picnic tables, grills, trails, restrooms, and a gift shop, the park also offers an equestrian center. If you don’t have a horse, rent one for the day or book a horse ride!
For more information or to schedule a trip, contact the park office at (520) 628-5798for details, or visit http://azstateparks.com/Parks/CATA/index.html
Lake Havasu State Park
If outdoor recreation is your goal, Lake Havasu State Park is your destination. The park offers many water recreation activities, as well as hiking trails and campsites. Beautiful beaches, boat ramps, the nearby famous London Bridge of Lake Havasu City all make it a fantastic water sports location.
The park offers 3 boat ramps, 47 campsites, picnic area, event space, and beach area, as well as the 1.75 mile long Mohave Sunset Trail. The Arroyo-Camino Interpretive Garden showcases birds, lizards, and an array of foliage and flowers.
Entrance Fees are $15 on weekends (including Fridays) and holidays, and $10 other days for a carload of people (up to four adults).
Camping Fees are $35 for beachfront sites.
You can reserve your spot by going online at, http://azstateparks.com/Parks/LAHA/index.html or by calling the Reservation Center at (520) 586-2283. Lake Havasu is ready to welcome you for an unplugged adventure you won’t soon forget.
Patagonia Lake State Park
Like other parks around Arizona, the Spring & Summer 2014 Arizona Family Campout Program is offered at Patagonia Lake State Park. A Junior Ranger program is offered, as well, to get kids interested in state parks and nature.
If birding is something you want to do, there is really no better place to do it than Patagonia Lake State Park. More than 200 species of birds can be seen here within a single weekend and boat and birding tours are both offered almost all year long. For more information on thee tours, call 520-287-2791 to register. The cost is $5 per person per tour plus the park’s Day Use Admission.
Aside from birding, you can also explore vegetation canyons, dams, and coves, as well as take night tours to view riparian wildlife. On certain days, bird walks and tours are FREE!
Established in 1975 as a place to watch whitetail deer and blue herons, Patagonia Lake State Park overlooks a 265-acre man-made, fully-stocked, lake. The tracks of the New Mexico/Arizona railroad lie beneath the lake. It’s a popular lake for fishing and it offers a handicap fishing dock. Water skiing is prohibited on certain weekends for the sake of the fishers.
Camping sites range from undeveloped spots to sites with water and electric hookups. Park Entrance Fees are $10-$15 per carload, and $3 for individuals. Camping Fees are $17 for non-electric sites and $25-$28 for electric enabled sites. Boat sites are $17-$20. To reserve a campground, visit Patagonia Lake State Park online at http://azstateparks.com/Parks/PALA/index.html or call them at the Reservation Center at (520) 586-2283.
Thank you to azstateparks.com who allowed all of the pictures used within this post.
Have you ever traveled to Arizona? What State Park sparks your interest?
Additional Walk in the Park State by State Spotlight
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