There are two national parks in Arizona: the famed Grand Canyon and the Petrified Forest. The Grand Canyon is internationally famous as one of the world's great natural wonders and offers guided nature walks, both day and backcountry hiking, and river-rafting trips of up to 25 days long. The Petrified Forest also offers guided nature tours and both day and backcountry hiking. Admission passes for both parks are good for seven days, and in 2009, the charge was $25 per vehicle at the Grand Canyon and $10 per vehicle at the Petrified Forest. Both parks also have extensive campground facilities.
Grand Canyon National Park
P.O. Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
Petrified Forest National Park
P.O. Box 2217
Petrified Forest, Arizona 86028
Juan Bautista de Anza National Trail
This trail is based on the route followed by Captain Juan Bautista de Anza of Spain and his 300 followers as they set out in 1775 to cross over 1,200 miles and set up a colony in California. About one-third of the trail sits inside Arizona, with trailheads scattered over five southern Arizona counties. This makes it not only one of America's great long-distance hikes but also a good route for day hikes or two- to three-day cross-country treks.
1111 Jackson St., Suite 700
Oakland, CA 94607
Arizona State Parks
The state of Arizona boasts its own excellent state park system, with its recreational parks situated amid deserts, mountains, lakes and rivers. This offers opportunities for canoeing, rafting, kayaking, fishing, rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking. The best example is the famous Red Rock State Park. This fairly recent addition to the state park system opened in 1991 and features 286 acres of stunning red stone scenery and arid vegetation. The park offers guided nature tours, bird watching, hiking paths and hikes by moonlight.
4050 Red Rock Loop Road
Sedona, Arizona 86336
The guest ranch institution is alive and well in Arizona, offering visitors a peculiarly American spin on rural tourism. A different but nonetheless worthwhile outdoor adventure is to sample a little bit of the Old West by trying out cattle-ranching and cattle-driving. These ranch experiences are often about as hard and rough as you want them to be. As a patron, you can find a place with a comfy lodge and merely dabble at it, or you can join a cross-country trip that features plenty of camping and hard work.