Father's Day Gift Ideas

This Father's Day, treat your dad to a day of memories instead of another tie! Whether your dad is into hiking, camping, fishing, or just generally loves the outdoors, we've got a few awesome suggestions to get him outdoors and enjoying time with you! If this sounds like your dad, give him the gift of the outdoors by exploring one of the fun, dad-friendly adventures below for the day (or the weekend)! What better way to say "Happy Father's Day" than with a relaxing day in a park, enjoying the scenery, the wildlife, and the family fun? Plus, if dad's up for some adventure, we have that, too!

Father's Day rolls around once a year and the memories you make with dad are the best gifts of all. When you look back on past experiences, you probably won't even remember that you caught your biggest fish on Father's Day, but your dad will! You'll both look back on quality time together amid beautiful Arizona scenery doing what you both love to do – hanging out and making memories. Every time dad remembers that amazing trip and smiles, he'll appreciate what you have done for him. You see, the best gifts of all can't be held anywhere other than the heart. Make memories with dad this year. 

Take Dad on a Road Trip for the Day!

Dad loves Arizona and the adventure potential found here. He also has a love of the open road and exploring all of the amazing places across the state! Jump in his ride or yours, then check out these awesome day trip itineraries that your outdoor loving dad is sure to remember for a long time.

Central AZ Road Trip

Escape the heat with dad this Father’s Day while exploring Mogollon Rim country…Hike into the scenic and cool creek-lined canyon at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park and let the wonder set in! Pack a cooler and have a scenic picnic on the well-manicured park grounds after your hike. Javelina and Coues white-tailed deer are commonly seen from the picnic area and really put a nice metaphorical cherry on top of this unforgettable outdoor experience!

It takes less than two-hours to reach this park in the pines from the metro Phoenix area, but the trip up Beeline Highway will not soon be forgotten! On this drive you’ll see classic Sonoran Desert landscapes transition slowly into high country, right before your eyes. You’re so close to Father’s Day adventure!

Southern AZ Road Trip

Help dad escape to a watery oasis that feels worlds away from the bustle and high temps of the city, but is really just an easy 90-minute drive from Tucson. At Patagonia Lake State Park, the diverse wildlife, beautiful scenery, and endless recreation opportunities makes for one of the best day trips in southern Arizona. Hop on Interstate 19 and drive south, or if dad loves a scenic drive, take the 52.5-mile Patagonia-Sonoita Scenic Road along State Routes 82 and 83 to wind between the Santa Rita and Patagonia Mountains. Once you’re at the park, enjoy a beachfront cookout (pro tip: bring your propane stove as current dry conditions have imposed a fire ban at the park), take a boat tour or rent a kayak from the park’s marina. 

Other Dad-friendly Adventures

Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Dead Horse Ranch State Park Father's Day

You know your dad is an early bird and has been anxiously awaiting sunrise since you rolled into camp the night before. By the light of a lantern, he’s been tying on fresh hooks and planning a fun-filled day of catfishing in the lagoons and exploring the north-central Arizona countryside. Through the haze of yellowish-orange lantern glow, you both fondly recalled past trips to Dead Horse Ranch, swapping stories until it was time to hop in the tent (or trailer, or cabin) and catch some sleep before the impending adventure. In the morning, after catching your share of delicious, hard-fighting channel catfish, you decide to explore the riparian area by the Verde River which amplifies an already unforgettable experience. The sweet smell of fallen cottonwood leaves breaking down from the previous year is accompanied by the majestic sight of a nesting pair of bald eagles resting in the trees. There are memories to be made here, you just have to grab them and make them yours. Dad will appreciate the invite, the memories, and the chance to share the things he loves about Arizona with the ones he loves most.

Visit Dead Horse Ranch

Lyman Lake State Park

Lyman Lake State Park Father's Day

The cool mountain breeze dances over the foothills encouraging the sun to light another day. As you amble out of the tent, trailer, or cabin, dad is sipping a cup of coffee while admiring the pink and orange hues of another gorgeous Arizona sunrise. Dad likes to live for the moment and appreciate the subtle beauty of the world around him. He appreciates most that you’re right there with him, sharing the sights and sounds of Lyman Lake over coffee before a day of adventure. Dad’s smile hasn’t left his face since arriving to the campground, and it only grows as you paddle around the expansive lake. While exploring, you see a heron swiftly snatch a young walleye from the shallows, and you and dad just look at each other and smile in amazement. After your lake adventure, you and dad bike around the park immersed in deep conversation before heading back to camp. You're both exhausted, but the trip has been just about perfect, and the memories made here will be shared around family campfires for generations to come. 

Visit Lyman Lake

Cattail Cove State Park

Cattail Cove State Park Father's Day

So, dad’s an adrenaline junky who knows how to relax too. This unlikely combination is quite common in Colorado River country! People flock here to live fast on Lake Havasu and rest easy downriver at Cattail Cove State Park. Dad had the jet skis trailered up days before your trip, and you bought a new wakeboard you’ve been dying to try out…Seems like a perfect combination for family fun on the water! After playing hard all day you pull into the park and spend the rest of the day relaxing on the white sand beach, favorite beverage in hand, while watching the sun go down over amazing conversation. Back at camp, dad grills up his famous burgers before you all turn in for a night of rest in anticipation of hitting it hard again the following day. Dad will remember this trip for the remainder of his life, and likely want to repeat it soon!  The simple things in life make the most impact and a good conversation while spending time together will always be more memorable than a neck tie! Yours won't be the first lifetime memories built at Cattail Cove, but they won't be the last either. With such a sturdy foundation to build on, you'll likely be back to create more memories with dad very soon.

Visit Cattail Cove

Final Thoughts...

The best Father's Day gifts aren't built, bought, or manufactured. The very best Father's Day gifts include something much deeper and from the heart. When you're able to communicate feelings to dad through actions and quality time spent together, you'll convey how much you love him. Make this Father's Day the best one ever with the gift of the outdoors straight from your heart to his. You can make the memories all year long with the gift of an Arizona State Parks annual pass. You can spend all the time you want in the parks – camping, fishing, hiking, exploring, and hanging out with dad (or dad can spend time on his own). We're just happy that you're considering spending your special time together in one of our parks.

Buy an Annual Pass

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