Routines are made to be broken, so why not start this year and #optoutside with REI and Arizona State Parks and Trails? There’s plenty to do in this beautifully diverse state – hiking, biking, fishing, and just taking in the beauty outside!
Take a look at the options below, or visit the website to learn about all of the parks!
Get out and explore some of the great parks located across the state! Try something new; if you've never seen the beauty of southern Arizona, it's the perfect time of year to visit Patagonia Lake State Park or Catalina State Park in Tucson. If you want to get a little learning in while you enjoy the day, take a trip to Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, or McFarland State Historic Park, all in the southern part of the state.
The weather will be crisp but beautiful if you want to explore north-central Arizona. Take a day trip to Red Rock State Park to see the world-famous rock formations, then head up to Slide Rock State Park, where you can picnic under a canopy of fall colors and explore Oak Creek. There are historical journeys here too – check out Jerome or Fort Verde state historic parks to learn more about Arizona's past.
Picacho Peak State Park offers trails for all difficulty levels. The Children's Cave Trail is a fun for the family, short 0.2-mile path through the desert. For a scenic view, follow the Calloway Trail, a moderate 0.7-mile hike that leads to a beautiful overlook. Gather your determination for the Sunset Vista Trail, which is 3.1 miles of increasingly difficult hiking up steep slopes.
Hiking at Lost Dutchman State Park can be a great way to test your endurance, as many of the trails prove to be quite steep! To take on the challenge, hike the Siphon Draw Trail, which leads you into the Superstition Mountains to the Siphon Draw canyon. It's four miles roundtrip and offers scenic views of the park throughout. If you're a beginner, try Jacob's Crosscut Trail, a 0.8-mile hike around the base of the mountain, or the Treasure Loop Trail, which leads through the mountains from one picnic area to the next, a trek of 2.4 miles.
Whether you're an avid hiker or a mountain biker, Oracle State Park is a must-visit location! Over 15 miles of trails lead you throughout the preservation area, through green grass and scenic views and past plenty of wildlife. The Nature Trail loop is great for walking dogs or riding bikes, with 1.2 miles of San Pedro River Valley and mountain views. To extend your adventure, follow the Windmill Loop Trail, a shared use 4.1-mile hike for dogs, horses, bikers, and hikers! This path connects with 1.1 miles of the Arizona Trail and through the Kannally Wash. For ambitious hikers who want to see the whole state, a portion of the 800-mile long Arizona Trail passes through Oracle State Park.
The trails at Buckskin Mountain State Park show you expansive views of the campgrounds and the gorgeous Colorado River. For a short hike, take the Lightning Bolt Trail, a .5-mile round trip with the best views of the park. If you want to continue your journey, from this trail you can access the one-mile loop of Buckskin Trail, which will lead you through impressive scenery and a footbridge that crosses Interstate 95. For an easier, one-mile trail, follow Interruption Point Trail, which leads to a scenic overlook.
The trails at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park each lead you to a different, incredible perspective of the world's largest travertine bridge! Follow the Waterfall Trail to spend time in the cave, gazing up at the vast travertine formation overhead. Take the long way around along the Gowan Trail to find yourself at the observation deck, in front of the waterfall and with an incredible view of the bridge from the creekbed. The Anna Mae Trail leads you straight to the bridge itself, and connects with the .5-mile Pine Creek Trail through the creek bottom.