Enjoy these First Day Hikes to start the New Year right!

Why not kick off 2024 with a breath of fresh air? Arizona State Parks and Trails is part of a nationwide effort to get people outdoors and starting the new year right with a hike. January 1 is a great day to explore some of the amazing places around the state, learn from a ranger, and spend New Years Day outdoors. Remember to wear the appropriate shoes, bring plenty of water, a camera and your sense of adventure! 

Park entrance fees apply. Please check the park website for more information and to register (if required). All hikes are dependent on weather. Please check this page for updates.

Choose from the following hikes:

Buckskin Mountain State Park (Parker - MAP IT) - (928) 667-3231

9 a.m. - Ranger and volunteer-led hike
Join us at Buckskin Mountain State Park for a great hike along the Market Trail Loop. All hikers are encouraged to meet at the Buckskin Mountain State Park Ranger Station 10 minutes before departure time. The trail is approximately 3 miles with plenty of options for photos overlooking the Colorado River, as well as the serene Buckskin Mountain range. This is an easy to moderate trail, and we ask all hikers to please bring plenty of water and a small snack and to come prepared in proper hiking footwear (no open-toed shoes).

Overview of Buckskin Mountain State Park

Dead Horse Ranch State Park (Cottonwood - MAP IT) - (928) 634-5283

10 a.m. - Guided Upland Desert Hike
Join us behind Cooper's Hawk restroom in the parking area on Roadrunner Rd. for a 3-mile guided upland desert hike, overlooking the Verde Valley. This hike provides great views overlooking the Verde River and Tuzigoot National Monument. Entrance fees apply, please make sure to bring water and appropriate footwear.

A group of hikers on the trail during a First Day Hike

Homolovi State Park (Winslow - MAP IT) - (928) 289-4106

10 a.m. - Tsü'vö Trail to Diné Point Hike
Join a Park Ranger for a hike to Diné Point via the Tsu’vö trail. Hikers will pass by petroglyphs from the early occupation period at Homolovi (620-890AD) up to Diné Point overlook. The hike is on moderate, sandy trails and is approximately two miles total.

A cloudy winter sky over Homolovi State Park

Lake Havasu State Park (Lake Havasu - MAP IT) - (928) 855-2784

10 a.m. - Sunset Trail
Meet at Lot 2 right inside the park to join this guided hike of the Sunset Trail. The hike is moderate, with sand and gravel trails, about 1.5-2 miles long. The hike will feature scenic views of the lake and end in our beautiful cactus garden with water and snacks. Bring comfortable shoes and water.

The white sand beach at Lake Havasu State Park, in early morning light.

Lost Dutchman State Park (Apache Junction - MAP IT) - (480) 982-4485


A trail leads west at Lost Dutchman State Park, with saguaros highlighted in the setting sun

Lyman Lake State Park (St. John's - MAP IT) - (928) 337-4441

10 a.m. - Ranger-led hike
Join us for a guided hike of the Petroglyph Trail (weather dependent). The trail requires a mild climb, and a number of petroglyphs (pictures carved on stone) and interpretive signs are easily visible. Meet at the trailhead.

A view of Lyman Lake State Park from atop the trail.

Oracle State Park (Oracle - MAP IT) - (520) 896-2425

10 a.m. - Decompress with Nature!

Come and decompress from all the holiday hustle and bustle with scenic views, crisp clean air, and desert landscapes. Oracle State Park will be doing a ranger led hike along the beautiful Nature Trail Loop. This trail is approximately 1.5 miles long this trail ranges from easy to moderate, and has some elevation changes along the way. On the trail you will encounter rocks, loose sand, and gravel. There are some steep and narrow inclines and declines with steps along the way as well. 

We will make some stops along the way to take in the scenic views, listen and look for wildlife along the trail and at the parks wildlife blind and watering hole, and enjoy the peace and quiet Oracle State Park has to offer. Make sure to bring a camera, binoculars, plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, appropriate clothing, and shoes. We will start at the Historical Kannally Ranch House patio and make our way to the Nature Trail.  $7.00 day use fee applies unless you have the Arizona State Park annual pass.

The view from the Nature Trail Loop at Oracle State Park

Patagonia Lake State Park (Patagonia - MAP IT) - (520) 287-2791

9 a.m. - Overlook Trail Guided Hike

Join us for a 1.5 mile hike with spectacular views all around. The hike is moderate in difficulty. Please bring water, appropriate shoes, and sun protection! Meet at the visitors center at 8:45 a.m.

Discover the lake pontoon boat tours will be offered at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Space on these tours is limited to eight people, so please call or sign up at the park for a reservation! Meet at the visitors center 15 minutes prior to tour.

Panoramic view of Patagonia Lake. Santa Rita Mountains in the background

Picacho Peak State Park (Eloy - MAP IT) - (520) 466-3183

8 a.m. - Calloway Trail Guided Hike
Hike the Calloway trail up to an overlook below the face of Picacho Peak with Ranger Kira. This trail is moderately difficult. Wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring water. Elevation gain will be 300ft, 1.5 miles round-trip and roughly 1.5 hours. Registration is recommended; however, walk-ups will be allowed based on available space. Maximum number of participants is 20. Meet at Harrington Loop. Please feel free to contact the ranger station for any questions.

10 a.m. - Hunter Trail Guided Hike

Join our local volunteer Charles! He will guide you and a group of hikers up to the peak via our Hunter or Sunset trails. Learn more about the mountain, the surrounding land, and even some of the native plants. While taking consistent breaks, you will make your climb to the peak. This challenging hike involves steep switchbacks, rock scrambles, climbing up several cableways, and an elevation gain of 1,600ft. Total distance is 3.2 miles round-trip and takes 4-5 hours. No children under the age of 10, no dogs, bring 3-4 liters of water, wear hiking boots, and bring gloves for the cableways. Hikers will meet at the Hunter Trailhead located in Barrett Loop.

Fog covers the peak at Picacho Peak State Park, while hikers climb up the trail.

Red Rock State Park (Sedona - MAP IT) - (928) 282-6907

10 a.m. - Guided Nature Walk
A volunteer naturalist will lead a guided nature walk informing visitors about the different life zones of Red Rock State Park. The subjects discussed on this walk include geology, wildlife, history, archaeology, and plant life. 

The creek at Red Rock State Park with bare, winter trees surrounding it.

Riordan Mansion State Historic Park (Flagstaff - MAP IT) (928) 779-4395

2 p.m. - Guided Walk - Nature in Your Backyard Winter Edition
Join us at 2:00 p.m. at Riordan Mansion for an exploration of wintertime nature in Flagstaff. This guided walk will last about an hour as we explore our 5 acres. Please dress warmly and be prepared to go off the paved path. Families are very welcome! RSVP at 928-779-4395. Free with paid $2 per person park admission. 

The Riordan Mansion surrounded by snow

Slide Rock State Park (Sedona - MAP IT) (928) 282-3034

1 p.m. - Guided Hike
Start the New Year with a nature walk led by a Slide Rock State Park ranger. Visitors will head out on a 1.5-mile walk with informative tidbits of geology, wildlife, homestead history and plant life around Slide Rock State Park. Please remember to wear appropriate shoes and layered clothing. Bring plenty of water!

Winter snow blankets the grounds at Slide Rock State Park


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