Catch Some Memories (and Dinner) in a State Park This Fall

October 1, 2023

PHOENIX — This fall, Arizona State Parks and Trails is ready to help you catch your next adventure! Trout have been stocked at both Dead Horse Ranch and Roper Lake state parks, making them perfect fall getaways for the whole family.

Throughout the fall and spring, the Arizona Game and Fish Department stocks rainbow trout in rivers, lagoons, and lakes across the state. Although rainbow trout are not native to Arizona, they were introduced in 1898 and thrive in cold water lakes and streams. Now, they are Arizona’s most common trout species.

At Dead Horse Ranch State Park, you can choose a campsite or camping cabin and spend your days fishing on the lagoons or fishable areas of the Verde River. The park also has spectacular showings of fall colors and beautiful views from the picnic areas, plus great hiking trails and horseback riding.

Roper Lake State Park also gives visitors the option of choosing a campsite or cabin, and this park’s lake does not allow any gas-powered watercraft, making it more likely for you to catch some trout. The park is nestled at the base of Mt. Graham, and in winter the snowy cap on the mountain enhances the already beautiful scenery. Just three miles north, Dankworth Pond State Park offers more fishing opportunities, along with picnic areas and trails.

When fishing for trout, there are plenty of options, but three top choices will improve the success rate. For tips on bait, lure, and fly fishing for trout, check out Fishing is a fun way to get the whole family engaged outdoors, but catching some trout – even if you catch and release – will always make the memories even better.

There are plenty more parks across the state with great fishing, so visit to find a park, then pack up your reel and rod and set out for the weekend. If fishing isn’t on the menu, great hiking trails, amazing campsites, fun events, and other water activities abound.

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

PRESS CONTACT: Michelle Thompson at (480) 589-8877 - Email: