Who We Are

Arizona State Parks and Trails was established through House Bill 72 on March 25, 1957. In April of that year, Governor Ernest McFarland appointed the first State Parks Board members. The Arizona State Parks and Trails  mission is managing and conserving Arizona's natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our parks and through our partners. Its vision is Arizona State Parks and Trails is the national leader in sustainable outdoor recreation for current and future generations.

The agency manages more than 64,000 acres of land and includes the State Trails Program, outdoor-related grants program, statewide outdoor recreation planning, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the Off-Highway Vehicle Program. The agency not only promotes physical and mental health and wellness within Arizona communities, but also helps drive the economy, and enhance and protect local communities and cultures.

Currently, the agency manages 33 state parks. Of these, 15 are camping parks, eight are historic parks, one is a memorial state park, and eight are recreation parks for day-use only. One park, San Rafael State Natural Area, is closed to the public. Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, in southern Arizona, is the first state park. Rockin' River Ranch State Park, opened in 2024, is the most recently added park.

The Arizona State Parks Board guides and advises the agency on its mission. The Board is comprised of two members representing the grazing/ranching industry, one employed in the professional field of parks and recreation, and the State Land Commissioner. The remaining are selected at large. The board meets throughout the year and meetings are open to the public. Several other advisory committees and groups also meet throughout the year.



Arizona’s state park system does not receive its operating funds from state monies generated through taxes. Ranger pay, park maintenance and operations as well as repairs are all funded through fees collected for visiting or camping at an Arizona state park. You can read more about funding sources and expenditures in the current year's annual report. Arizona State Parks and Trails can accept donations, or many parks have non-profit Friends Groups that support the parks' operations or special projects. Arizona State Parks also partners for the operation of four parks - Colorado River and Yuma Territorial Prison state historic parks, operated by the city of Yuma; McFarland State Historic Park, operated by the Greater Florence Chamber of Commerce; and Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, operated by the Friends of Tubac Presidio and Museum.

Grant Programs

The agency oversees five different grant programs for outdoor recreation and historic preservation. These grant opportunities are open to federal, state, county and municipal governments, as well as tribes, clubs and non-profits. Grants are available for:

  • Trail development 
  • Trail maintenance 
  • Motorized and non-motorized trails
  • ADA/accessibility 
  • Off-road motorcycling, all-terrain vehicle riding, four-wheel driving, other off-road motorized vehicles
  • OHV law enforcement 
  • Trail etiquette and education (safety, environmental and cultural education) 
  • Historic preservation projects that involve the resources listed in the Arizona or National Register of Historic Places or determined eligible for listing by the State Historic Preservation Office
  • Projects must be directly related to bodies of water that allow motorized boat use


Arizona State Parks allows reservations on campsites and cabins via telephone or online. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance and are first-come, first-served. Reservations are open to everyone. US eDirect/Tyler Technologies manage the reservation system for Arizona State Parks.

Back to top