No Camping Experience? No Problem.
Arizona Family Campout Program weekends are designed for families with kids that have little or no experience camping. We will introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family and inspire you to continue to explore the great outdoors from one of our campgrounds! You will learn how to set up a tent and an introduction to cooking outside, plus you will get to try some fun activities you can do while camping!
Join us on a family campout to learn the ropes of camping and experience all the fun of being in the outdoors!
Fall Dates - NOW OPEN - Register here
- September 9-10, 2023 - Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, Payson - SOLD OUT
- September 16-17, 2023 - Slide Rock State Park, Sedona - SOLD OUT
- September 30-October 1, 2023 - Kartchner Caverns State Park, Benson - SOLD OUT
- October 14-15, 2023 - Lake Havasu State Park, Lake Havasu
- October 21-22, 2023 - Roper Lake State Park, Safford
- November 4-5, 2023 - Oracle State Park, Oracle
- December 16-17, 2023 - Lost Dutchman State Park, Apache Junction - SOLD OUT
The registration process will be slightly different for experienced Family Campout attendees. We will now offer a PRE-REGISTRATION for campouts. You may be moved into an official spot once you have completed the pre-registration, and payment will be accepted at that time. Pre-registering does not guarantee you a spot in a campout, but will add you to the waitlist. Families are allowed to sign up for one event per season, and two campouts total.
Registration is $90 for a family of up to four. Additional family members $5 each. One family per registration. Families can register for one event per season and two campouts total. For families greater than four, special arrangements are needed — please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, children 5 years and younger and pets cannot attend this program. Since this event focuses on learning to tent camp, RVs are not allowed.
Families should bring food, sleeping bags or any bedding, pillows, camping chairs, clothing, sturdy shoes and personal items including toothpaste, towels, soap, etc. The program will provide tents, sleeping mats, flashlights, chairs and all activity equipment. Beverages provided include water, coffee, tea, and sports drinks. Provided snacks include seasonal fruit, granola bars and more. Families are responsible for bringing two lunches, dinner, and breakfast.
Accessible Campouts are Available!
Family Campout is about sharing the wonder of camping in nature with everyone, including people with all types of disabilities! Families who want to learn how to negotiate camping with a disability can sign up at least three weeks in advance and we will make any necessary arrangements. Our staff has a vast knowledge of camping and all sorts of outdoor activities. Someone from our ADA team will contact you to discuss any specific requests.
During the weekend of camping, kids can experience many different fun activities. The activities vary depending on the park, participant ages, and weather conditions: Guided Hikes • Mountain Bike Clinic • Archery • Geocaching • Fishing Clinic • Live Animal Demonstrations • Campfire Stories • Presentations on Geography, Birding, Geology, Astronomy • Service Project.
To learn more about camping and recreation opportunities in your Arizona State Parks, see this comprehensive guide to camping in Arizona.
- Sleeping mats
- Camp chairs
- First aid kits
- All activity equipment
- Plus: Water, coffee, daily snacks, Dutch Oven dessert for dinner, and campfire treats!
- Food for Saturday's lunch and dinner, and Sunday's breakfast and lunch (see sample menu and shopping list below)
- Sleeping bags or any available bedding
- Good, sturdy shoes
- Water bottles
- Personal items (toothpaste, towels, soap, etc.)
Suggested Food and Supplies to Bring with You
You will need to provide four meals for your family during your Family Campout weekend – lunch and dinner for Saturday and breakfast and lunch on Sunday. Arizona State Parks Family Campout Program will provide propane stoves for cooking as well as healthy snacks and a few essentials listed below. You should bring whatever pots, pans, and cooking utensils you will need to prepare your meals. Also, please bring eating utensils (forks, knives, spoons) for each member of your family. Your everyday home utensils are a fine option. We will supply plates, bowls, and cups for your family. Be sure to include additional items as necessary for anyone in your family with special dietary concerns.
If you need to cancel your reservation up to 14 days before your scheduled event date, you can receive a refund. No refunds will be given for cancelations less than 14 days before the campout. Please email email@example.com to cancel.
Looking for more fun things to do in Arizona? Your Arizona state parks are full of opportunity for the whole family!
"I want to say thank you soooo much for putting together such a nice camping program. Our family drove about 7 hours each way from California to join your family camp at Alamo Lake state park. Our friend who did the program with you before recommended it to us and boy! We were so glad we came. This is probably the most amazing camping trip our family ever had. I am amazed at the equipment you had ready for the campers. That made life so much easier. I am impressed particularly with all the fishing equipments you had ready for us. And you took time to educate us step by step. This program is so fun and memorable and we have learned a lot and cannot wait to return next year. I seriously think every state should copy such program." - Alamo Lake camper, March 2023
"What a rare gem you have in Louis! I am sure you already know this, but it needs to be said again. He is just fantastic! He made my family's camping weekend so much fun and wonderful. There were all kinds of personalities at camp and he handled all of them with grace. He is very, very good at his job. He taught and explained things in a way that my 10 year old had confidence to try all of it! This program is so unique and cool, so much of that is attributed to Louis and the other volunteers. Thank you so much for providing this opportunity! We will be back!" - Rachel, December 2022
"We wanted to share with you that our family had a fantastic time last weekend at Oracle State Park! We had a lot of fun and at the same time it was very educational. The weather was perfect, but what made this trip so enjoyable was the how great the staff was led by Louis. They were prompt, knowledgeable, helpful, and most importantly, just great people to hang out with. We rave about this trip to our friends and definitely look forward to future trips with AZ State Parks!" —Truong Family, November 2022
"I want to thank Louis for doing a great job of organizing the family campout in Kartchner Caverns. We have never camped on our own in the past. Louis is a great teacher. He taught us to set up our tent and how to navigate the outdoors. He is a great people person and it is a joy to spend time with him. He wants the families to learn as much as possible about spending time outdoors in a safe manner. We were lucky to get a spot. I would give the program 8 out of 5 stars." —Vijaya, October 2022
"I am so thrilled that I was able to find this Arizona State Parks program. It is truly a program that should be replicated everywhere so others can learn the joy of camping and gain the confidence to do so. Thank you to everyone involved in organizing and running this program. I cannot wait to plan my next camping trip!" —Brittany, October 2021
"Thank you to Louie and your team of volunteers for an excellent weekend of camping at Fool Hollow Lake. We as a family got an opportunity to learn many new things about camping, enjoy time as a family and relish in the beauty of nature. Thank you again for your leadership, expertise and enthusiasm for this great camping program - we were impressed and want to continue learning more and expanding our skill set." —Family, April 2019
"This is a wonderful, very special program for families, especially those with limited camping gear and experience. Everyone from the staff to fellow campers was so helpful and kind in teaching us new skills or sharing resources! This program was very educational, but in the most fun way - we learned a lot about the plants, birds, and insects of the desert. We really look forward to our next adventure with AZ Family Campout! —Parent, April 2019
"Last weekend me and my family went camping through the state family camping program at River Island and it was awesome! I loved how much knowledge we came away with and all the activities that were provided for us! We would have signed up for the Roper Lake one next month too, but it was all sold out already! I'm sure that we will be doing more camping in the future and sign up for the family camping program as well! One last note...I think I liked the service project of planting the trees the best, because its a way to give back to the community and environment as well!" —Parent, April 28, 2017
"We went on our first camping trip with the AZ State Parks Family Campout Program. We had to bring our food, clothes and personal effects, and sleeping bags and they provided the rest. We spent two full days and one night full of activities, fun, hiking, listening to speakers, campfire with s'mores, playing with critters, stargazing with telescopes, and a whole bunch of young families enjoying the great outdoors. We had so much fun, I cannot wait to get out and do it again!" —Parent, May 23, 2015
Donate to the Program
Can't make it to a campout? That's fine! You can still support the Family Campout program with a donation. Click below and feel good knowing you've helped secure the future of this innovative outdoor program.