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Old 02-01-2015, 10:00 PM   #1
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Arizona state parks

We are travelling to Arizona and would like to know where you stay and if there are any great state parks? We have almost two months to just wonder and can go anywhere in the state. Appreciate any and all information.

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Old 02-01-2015, 10:35 PM   #2
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It is a varied and beautiful state and many will weigh in. Some of our favorite are McDowell Mountain State Park, Lost Dutchman State Park. For us both of these parks are close to Phoenix so city things are available and then you are just a couple of minutes out of town for a peaceful and picturesque evening with incredible views.


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Old 02-01-2015, 10:56 PM   #3
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Usery Mountain Regional Park is very nice. East of Phoenix and on the edge of the Tonto National Forest so easy access to urban services and desert wilderness. Beautiful cactus gardens too. If you're a baseball fan, go in March for the Spring Training games.
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Old 02-01-2015, 11:47 PM   #4
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Check out Lake Pleasant Regional Park, north of Surprise. The park itself comprises some striking desert high country with plenty of Saguaro, at least one interesting hike, and wild burros running around. There are also a couple of small campgrounds. We've not camped there yet, but it's on our list.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:17 AM   #5
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I went to the Arizona Department of Tourism website, and they sent me literature of every imaginable place in Arizona. Its broken down in to areas of interest, Agri-tourism, dining, camping etc. I've been to AZ 7-8 times and never knew some of these places existed. It's a great resource and free! Order online and you will get a package in 5-6 days. I also received coupons and discounts for some things as well.
If you are ever planning on going to Oklahoma, check out their website. They have the most beautiful and comprehensive guest package I have ever seen. It's free too.
As we plan our trip out west, each state has given us a great way to plan the trip at the dinner table, and they even throw in a folded map for us low tech old school types.
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:25 AM   #6
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You might consider ordering the Arizona Guide from these folks:


And definitely get this map/atlas:

Have fun! We are in Florida this winter but are headed out to AZ and Southern CA next fall/winter.

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Old 02-02-2015, 07:55 AM   #7
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Thank you all, can't wait to get there and check out these places. Maybe we will see you there.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:03 AM   #8
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When you come into the state by road make sure you stop at a welcome station, they will have a State Parks brochure that lists location and amenities of all our parks.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:30 AM   #9
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The more popular parks near Phoenix and Tucson (Lost Dutchman and Catalina respectively) get booked up early so reservations are needed. We are booked into Catalina next week and I reserved back in October when there were only a few vacancies left. Dead Horse Ranch in Cottonwood is excellent and a nice base from which to visit Sedona. We've also stayed at Picacho Peak State Park about 40 miles north of Tucson. We liked it notwithstanding its location near I-10 and it was relatively easy to get into (only weekends were busy).

Lake Pleasant Regional park is nice and was easy to get into when Lost Dutchman and Usury Mountain were booked. We were there in early March last year.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:50 AM   #10
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See great recommendations from locals and visitors. When you are here also feel free to join either the 4CU (4 Corners Unit) or Phoenix Units for some great get together's in Feb and March.

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Old 02-02-2015, 10:31 AM   #11
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Hi from AZ. . . just a thought, everything around PHX gets pretty full at Spring training, so reservations would be a good idea. As others have said, Lost Dutchman & White Tanks S.P.s are very nice & very convenient to the area. The State Parks are on line if you get impatient. . .regards, Craig
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Old 02-02-2015, 01:41 PM   #12
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Catalina State Park has an overflow camping area. It has a new, very nice restroom and shower facility, with a central area of picnic tables and fire rings. However, there are no individual tables and fire rings at each site. And, of course, no hookups.

We have stayed in the overflow area several time waiting for a spot to open up in the regular campground. Every time, it ended up easier to remain in the overflow lot, instead of moving.

Great campground with lots of equestrian and hiking trails. Also, many lower trails are wide and well-suited for mountain bikes.
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Old 02-02-2015, 03:41 PM   #13
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Our very favorite AZ State Park is Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area in Show Low, AZ...if you are going to be there in Spring, Summer or early Fall. It's open year round but it can be cold and snowy in the winter... And while you're there you might want to check out the many National Forest Camprounds on the Mogollon Rim that extends across Arizona ... from just above Payson east to the NM border. We like Lost Dutchman and Picacho Peak a lot as well. (Picacho is closed in the summer.) Dead Horse Ranch in Cottonwood is great base park to see the Sedona area.

Some of the parks mentioned above area actually not AZ State Parks (McDowell Mt, White Tank) but part of the Maricopa Count Regional Park System along with Usery Mt, Cave Creek and Lake Pleasant (and more)...they are all great parks and you can make reservations.
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Old 02-02-2015, 04:32 PM   #14
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One state park that we've used several times as a pass-through from here to there and back is Homolovi Ruins just outside of Winslow. It's got lots of interesting Hisat'sinom (Ancestral Pueblan) stuff and is still a sacred place for their descendants, the Hopi. And it's got a decent campground for RVs and is only a short drive in to eat at La Posada!


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