The desert is an adventurous and beautiful place, which is why it's no wonder the state of Arizona has a few adventure parks available that cater to families and children. We've created a list of 9 awesome adventure parks in Arizona that will definitely make your children squeal with delight.
1. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is a great place to take your family for a day of fun. Located just outside of Payson, Arizona, this park features a beautiful natural bridge which is over 200 feet tall and spans a river.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park is located in the Superstition Mountains and has been around since the late 1800's. There are several hiking trails that go through the park and end at different locations along the river bed. If you want to get up close and personal with the natural bridge then you will want to take one of these trails because they all lead right up next to it!
If you're looking for something more relaxing then check out the picnic areas where there are tables available for eating lunch or dinner while enjoying some time outdoors together as a family unit. This really makes for an amazing experience especially when combined with other activities such as hiking or fishing!
2. Lost Dutchman State Park
Lost Dutchman State Park is a great place to take kids on an adventure. It's located in Apache Junction and has lots of hiking trails, picnic areas, and even a swimming area.
The park has lots of activities that are perfect for kids: the White Canyon trail has a swimming hole where you can cool off; the Superstition Loop Trail takes you past some historic sites and petroglyphs; and the Lost Dutchman State Park Golf Course is one of the best in Arizona.
There are also plenty of things for kids to do at the park itself, including horseback riding lessons, fishing at the stocked ponds, or just hanging out at the playgrounds—and if you want to spend a night under the stars, there are camping sites available too!
3. Picacho Peak State Park
Picacho Peak State Park is a great place for kids to enjoy the outdoors. The park has two lakes for fishing and swimming, as well as trails that are suitable for all skill levels. If you want to get away from the crowds of Phoenix, this is the perfect spot!
Picacho Peak State Park is open year round. There is no fee for entry into the park but you will need to pay for parking when entering the area. The park has two lakes, Lake Caroline and Lake Helen, which are stocked with trout throughout the year. You can fish from shore or rent a boat at one of the many marinas located nearby.
If you're looking for something more adventurous than fishing then try hiking on one of their many trails! You'll find plenty of options ranging from easy hikes that are accessible even with young children all the way up to strenuous trails that only experienced hikers should attempt!
4. Red Rock State Park
It is a large park that has many different options for your child to explore and enjoy. The park has a lot of different trails for hiking and biking. If you want to do an easy hike with your kids, then try the Rainbow Forest Trail which is about 1 mile long. If you want something more challenging, then try the Devil’s Bridge Trail which is about 3 miles long but does have some steep elevation changes so it might not be suitable for everyone. For biking, try the Oak Creek Trail which has some nice scenery along it and is about 10 miles long total so it can be broken up into shorter rides if needed.
There are also several playgrounds throughout Red Rock State Park including one at each campground as well as one near the entrance on Highway 89A where there are also picnic tables available if needed. This playground has swings and slides as well as a climbing wall so there are plenty of options to keep everyone happy!
5. Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is a breathtaking outdoor experience that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. This park features an array of plant life, including trees, shrubs, and flowers. It's a great place to take your kids on an adventure.
The arboretum has over 1,100 acres of land that are perfect for hiking, biking, picnicking, and bird watching. The park has many different trails for visitors to explore, including the Arboretum Loop Trail which is over two miles long. There are also many different types of trees throughout the park including: oak trees; juniper trees; pine trees; fir trees; aspen trees; tamarack trees; cottonwood trees; birch trees; maple trees; and spruce trees.
When you visit Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park make sure that you bring plenty of water because there isn't any running water available at the park itself but nearby there is a public restroom facility located at Mill Avenue Recreation Center which has bathrooms available during normal business hours (10 am – 9 pm).
If you're looking for something fun and exciting then this is definitely one place that you should check out during your next trip!
6. McDowell Sonoran Preserve
McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a nature reserve and one of the largest urban parks in the United States. It's located in Scottsdale, Arizona, and it encompasses more than 30,000 acres of land with hiking trails, cactus gardens, and other outdoor activities for families.
The preserve is home to more than 100 species of birds, including the Southwest's only breeding pair of bald eagles. You can also see mule deer, javelinas (wild pigs), bobcats, coyotes, and other wildlife throughout the park.
McDowell Sonoran Preserve offers guided tours by reservation only during peak season (March through October). The tour lasts about two hours and covers just over six miles on foot or bike. The tour guides are knowledgeable about both natural history and geology—they'll teach you about desert plants like saguaro cacti and creosote bushes as well as how Native Americans used these resources historically.
7. South Mountain Park
South Mountain Park is a great place to take your family for a day of fun and adventure. With its unique natural beauty, South Mountain has something for everyone. Here are just a few of the activities you can enjoy at South Mountain:
Hike one of the many trails through the park's desert landscape. If you're looking for something more challenging, try some of the steeper trails like Tumbleweed Trail or the Cactus Garden Loop Trail. Or if you're up for it, consider hiking up Piestewa Peak or Squaw Peak (just make sure you pack plenty of water).
If you're looking for something less strenuous, check out the Botanical Garden Trail which winds its way through vast desert landscapes filled with cacti and native plants. You can also rent bikes at the visitor center and explore the park on two wheels!
Don't miss out on a visit to Hole-in-the-Rock Road while you're there—it's an incredible part of history that few people know about! This road cuts right through a mountain range, allowing travelers access between Phoenix and Tucson via automobile before other major highways were built in this region.
8. Piestewa Peak Trail
Piestewa Peak Trail is a perfect place to take your kids for an adventure in Arizona. The trail is about three miles long and has a lot of fun features for kids to explore. You can find it in the city of Phoenix.
The trail is located on south mountain parkway, which is off of 19th street. It's right by the Phoenix zoo and within walking distance from the Phoenix Mountain Preserve.
You will want to check out the rock climbers wall, which will be great for kids who love to climb and explore. There are also some caves that you can go into if you want something more adventurous!
There are picnic tables along the way where you can stop and eat lunch or snack on some fruit while taking a break from hiking around on your trip back home!
9. Usery Mountain Regional Park
Usery Mountain Regional Park offers many different hiking trails that range from easy to difficult. Some of the easier trails include the Desert Gold Trail and the Desert Foothills Trail which both have relatively flat terrain.
The more difficult trails include the Big Mesa Loop trail which has steep hills and rocky terrain. If you are interested in mountain biking at this park there are several different options available such as the single track trails on Usery Pass Road or off-road biking along Tower Road which leads from Cave Creek Road up to Granite Reef Road near Shea Boulevard.
For those looking for some fun horseback riding adventures there are several different options available at Usery Mountain Regional Park including horseback rides along Cave Creek Road near Shea Boulevard or at McDowell Mountain Regional Park located approximately 15 miles east of Usery Mountain Regional Park along Cave Creek Road near McDowell Road or Cave Creek Road near Alma School Road in Chandler, Arizona.
We hope that we've helped you to find an adventure park that your family will enjoy. Remember, you don't have to live in Arizona to enjoy these parks—many of them also offer camps and hiking trips that allow you to explore the outdoors. So get outside and take your kids on an adventure they won't soon forget!
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