5 Great End of Summer Day Trips

September 1, 2022

PHOENIX — Summer is almost over, and that means it’s a great time to get in those last few weekends of fun before the cool weather hits. Arizona’s Sonoran Desert won’t be cooling off for several more weeks, but this is a great chance to explore higher elevations and prep for fall!

  1. Red Rock State Park: This stunning nature preserve and center for environmental education is a great day-trip getaway in September. The park offers five miles of trails, all with the breathtaking Sedona views you expect. Wildlife, birds, and plant life will showcase the area’s diversity.
  2. Oracle State Park: Just north of Tucson, you can hike miles of trails, including a portion of the Arizona Scenic Trail, with plenty of opportunity for wildlife viewing! The diverse ecosystem at Oracle State Park provides a habitat for various wildlife, like whitetail deer, javelina, and seasonal birds.
  3. Kartchner Caverns State Park: Take the whole family for an underground exploration of the fantastic cave system, with amazing formations, history, and a surprising origin story. The hills that contain the incredible caverns also offer a maze of trails aboveground, and you can grab lunch at the Bat Cave Cafe!
  4. Riordan Mansion State Historic Park: Head for Flagstaff and check out this double-sized mansion built for two families. The Arts and Crafts-style home features historic artifacts and original Stickley furniture. Take a guided tour to learn all about Flagstaff’s history and the Riordan brothers’ lumber business. Tours are now available for pre-booking online.
  5. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park: Hit the trails to see the world’s largest natural travertine bridge – a unique experience in the state. You won’t believe what comes into focus as you descend the trail. This park has plenty of picnic space, a local herd of javelina, and four great trails to get you to Pine Creek, and it’s just a short drive north of Phoenix.

Spend some time exploring the state before summer comes to a close, and learn more about Arizona’s amazing diversity and beauty. There are always more adventures ready and waiting in Arizona’s state parks.

Managing and conserving Arizona's natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our parks and through our partners.

For information about Arizona State Parks and the many recreational, historical and cultural programs call 1-877-MY-PARKS or visit AZStateParks.com


PRESS CONTACT: Michelle Thompson at (602) 542-1996 - Email: pio@azstateparks.gov