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Experience unique adventures at Arizona State Parks! Read our complete listing below to learn about upcoming events and activities. To learn more about a park, including downloading park maps and getting step by step driving directions, follow the link to the park's web pages. To learn more, read our External Link Disclaimer. Schedule subject to change.

APRIL | MAY

ON-GOING EVENTS

Every Weekend - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Aerial photo above Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park.Daily Guided Walking Tours

11:00 am. Check out our Facebook page for more pictures. What bird leaves foot-long primary wing feathers in the eucalyptus grove -- how old is a 6-foot high Saguaro... and can you name a few edible desert plants? Hear the answers and learn about the Arboretum's history and mission on a guided walked of the 1.5 mile long main trail each day, starting at 11:00 am from the breezeway lobby of our visitor center. Confirm event times here

Every Weekend - Catalina State Park

Guided HikesBlooming Prikly Pear Cactus

7am @ Scheduled Hike Meeting Location, Every Sunday, come and explore the trails of Catalina State Park and the Santa Catalina Mountains through these guided morning hikes. Led by Catalina State Park volunteer and experienced hiker Gaston, come and see the park in a new light! Hike difficultly varies; hikers are required to carry plenty of water and snacks, and wear proper clothing, shoes, and hats. Please call Hike Leader Gaston @ 520-638- 5404, for upcoming hike information and to register. Registration closes by 4pm on the Saturday prior to the scheduled hike. Hikes subject to cancellations or changes depending on weather conditions and hike attendance.

A Quail poses for a photo at Catalina State Park.Guided Bird Walks

8 am @ the Picnic Area Ramada; Every Friday & Sunday, until 1/11
8 am @ the Trailhead; Tuesday: through 12/30 AND every Wednesday in January
Whether you are a novice or a seasoned birder, come and enjoy the variety of bird species that visit and live in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Our experienced birding guides will take you on a walk through different areas of the park, helping to spot and identify different birds. Prepare for a couple of hour walk by wearing good shoes, bringing water and a snack, and wear weather appropriate clothing. Also, make sure to bring binoculars and a bird guide!

Every Weekend - Oracle State Park

The Kannaly Ranch House at Oracle State Park.The Kannally Ranch House Tour

10a.m. and again at 2p.m.
Learn more about one of the earliest cattle ranching families to Oracle, and the architectural treasure they left behind, on a 45-minute Docent or Ranger-led tour of the Kannally family home. The Mediterranean-Revival Style ranch house built in 1929, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. No reservation is needed. Free with park admission.

 


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 April Calendar header
MAY
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Terrarium Class at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park.April 30 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Craft Workshop: "Make a Terrarium"

9am. $30-$40. Have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll. Create your own terrarium, a portable and self-contained indoor garden, in a 3-hour workshop with artists-in-residence Vicki & Gerald. Materials included. Would your  craft circle or other community group like to schedule this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at lpacheco@cals.arizona.edu. Confirm event times Here


May Calendar Header

May - All Month - Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

Art Exhibit:

The Arizona Cavalcade of History – The Alan B. Davis Gallery is open with 16 paintings by renowned Western artist William Ahrendt, each depicting a significant event in Arizona’s colorful history. The paintings and their historical narratives were featured as a special 16-part “Cavalcade of History” series in Arizona Highways magazine from 1987 through 1990. Arizona Highways remembers this series as “among the magazine's most remembered illustrations.” The giclées reproductions on canvas were donated to the Tubac Historical Society in memory of longtime Tubac resident and businessman Alan B. Davis. The collection is on permanent display at the Tubac Presidio’s Otero Hall. Included with park admission: $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

May 2 - Catalina State Park

First Saturday Concert Series at Catalina State ParkFirst Saturday Concert in the Park

7pm. On the 1st & 3rd Saturday of the month (during the spring), enjoy an evening concert at the Trailhead with standard park admission. Bring a chair, and your own food and water to enjoy these concerts! Come and enjoy music the first Saturday of each month in the park with the Santa Catalina Mountains as the backdrop. All of the concerts take place at the Trailhead picnic area.Feel free to bring a chair and your dinner and enjoy the evening outside. March's concert will also feature a Food Truck, and free popcorn is available, both brought to you by the Friends of Catalina State Park.

Featured Artist: MIKE MOUTOUX

History Walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State ParkMay 3 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Sunday History Walk With Sylvia Lee

10am. You may have walked the Arboretum trails a dozen times and never crossed paths with the Galapagos Tortoise pens. Take a moment to scan the horizon above Picket Post Mountain, can you imagine cavalry soldiers camped in this region in the late 1800s? Learn about the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum on a walking tour guided by Phoenix historian Sylvia Lee. Walks typically last about 90-minutes, departing at 10am from the Visitor Center breezeway. Correspond with Sylvia, or read more Here

May 3 - Red Rock State Park

Moonlight Hike

6:00pm. The Moonlight Hike is among the most popular interpretive hikes at the Park. Led by a naturalist, it gives hikers the rare opportunity to enjoy the sunset and moonrise from an overlook and return by the light of the moon, while also having the chance to learn about Sedona and its surrounding areas. Verde Valley and park history, as well as archeology, geology, botany, and riparian wildlife information, is also offered by a knowledgeable guide. The hike lasts two to 2 1/2 hours and covers a distance of approximately two miles.

A $5.00 reservation fee is required as well as an entry fee upon arrival ($5.00 per adult (14 and up) $3.00 per youth (7-13), and free for children (0-6). Rangers ask hikers to please arrive approximately 30 minutes before the starting time to insure participation. Program fees are non-refundable unless the park must cancel the hike after your arrival. Wear suitable clothing, shoes (prepare for cool nights) bring water, and a flashlight.

May 5 - Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

Frontier Printing Press Demonstrations:

9am-1pm. (repeats Wednesday, May 13, 9am-1pm; Thursdays, May 7 & 14, 9am-1pm; Fridays, May 8 & 15, 9am-1pm) Professional printer and teacher James Pagels demonstrates the Washington Hand Press used to print Arizona’s first newspaper in 1859 and answers questions about hand press printing, typesetting, and other aspects of this marvel of industrial engineering. Included with park admission: $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

National Public Gardens Day - May 8th Free Admission to Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park.May 8 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Friday National Public Gardens Day - FREE ADMISSION at the
Arboretum

6am-3pm. Please note that Hours at BTA return to the Spring-Summer schedule in May, and the garden is open from 6am-3pm daily. Verify specifics about the Public Gardens Day free admission coupon at http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

Lizard Walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State ParkMay 9 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Saturday 'Lizard Walk' guided by Wild Man Phil & Steven Prager

8am. Sonoran Desert educator "Wild Man Phil" Rakoci and Arizona Audubon's Steven Prager guide a walking tour in search of Ornate Tree Lizard and Western Whiprtails, Desert Spiny and Side-blotched Lizards. Bring a camera for close-up pictures of these colorful little reptiles. See photos and read more http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

Fort Tuthill signMay 9 - Riordan Mansion State Historic Park

Flagstaff's Fort Tuthill's Role in Arizona's Military History

7pm. Presented by: Jim Warbasse
The story of Flagstaff's military history and its association with the 158th Infantry Regiment can be traced from the units organization in 1865 as the 1st Regiment Arizona Volunteers through Afghanistan service of 1st Battalion 158th Infantry from 2007-08 and deployment of smaller units until June 2013. The regiment became best known in WWI1 as the infantry component of the 158th Infantry Regimental Combat Team "Bushmasters". The history  of this famous regiment  and the role Fort Tuthill played in that history will be discussed by Jim Warbasse a former  member of  the regiment and Grandson of General Tuthill.

May 9 - Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Star Night

11am. - 4pm. & 7 - 9:30 pm. J.D. Maddy, president of the Astronomers of Verde Valley, will be sponsoring the Star Night event at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. There will be two separate viewings at the park, the first one being a solar viewing from 11 am to 4 pm. Participants will be able to view the sun through a telescope with a specialized lens that allows you to look directly into the sun. There will also be crafts available for kids to do that will help increase their knowledge of the solar system. This viewing will be open to the public at just our regular park entrance fee of $5 per person for everyone 14 and older, and $2 per person for everyone 7-13. Reservations are required for night event. Read more Here.

May 11-12 - Red Rock State Park

Designed for families that have little or no experience camping. We will introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family outdoors! You will learn how to set up a tent and an introduction to cooking outside, plus you will get to try some fun activities you can do while camping!

Geology Hike - Saturday

1pm. Red Rock State Park is located at the base of the Mogollon Rim, the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau. The escarpment is over 200 miles long and ranges in elevation from 2,000 to 3,000 feet. Over millions of years of erosion the rim has receded over four miles leaving behind the picturesque features of Sedona. Our monthly-guided geology walk will be held on May 11th at 1:00 PM. Join our knowledgeable volunteers as they venture out on our trails and discuss how Sedona transformed into what we see today. This is an interpretive experience for both the beginner and experienced hiker, lasting between 2-2 ½ hours and an elevation gain of 250 feet. Please bring water and wear suitable footwear.

Michael RiordanMay 11 - Riordan Mansion State Historic Park

The Man in the Woods

12:15 pm. Shared by Riordan Mansion volunteers. Celebrating the poetry of Michael Riordan in the month of his birth. A Riordan Readings Special Edition. Please join us for a reading of selected poems from Michael's pen, including works expressing his relationship with nature, art, and his faith. Shared by Riordan Mansion volunteers: Rosemary Gray, Erik Larson, Charlotte Madden, and Richard Patton. Refreshments will be offered.

May 13 - 15 - Flagstaff

AZ Historic Preservation Conference logo

The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office, the Arizona Preservation Foundation, and the City of Flagstaff invite you to join them at the 13th Annual Arizona Historic Preservation Conference. This year's conference, "Paths to Preservation" is being held in Flagstaff on May 13th-15th, 2015. For more info, please visit: https://azpreservation.com

May 15 - Red Rock State Park

Star Party

7:30pm. Come out and enjoy the night skies with the Astronomers of Verde Valley and the Rangers of Red Rock State Park in Sedona on Friday, May 15th. An introduction presentation at 7:30 P.M. will show current sky events and what's "up" in the spring skies. The planets Jupiter and Venus will provide views of our near neighbors and Saturn will make a brief appearance as the viewing session ends at 10:00 P.M. Galaxies litter the skies in the constellations of Virgo, Coma Berenices and Ursa Major. Open Clusters, Globular Clusters, Planetary Nebula and many other stellar objects will be available for the attendees to see. There will also be a craft project available for children during the presentation as well as space cookies, moon juice, and other complementary beverages.

Sedona has recently been accredited as the 8th International Dark Sky City in the World. This will help protect our night skies at Red Rock State Park. Attendance is limited and reservations are required. Please call Red Rock State Park at 928 282 6907 to make your reservations. This program will require a $5.00 reservation fee per person prior to the event in addition to the park’s admission fees: $5.00 per adult (14 and up), $3.00 per youth (7-13), and free for children (0-6). For additional information and reservations, please call (928) 282-6907.

Foods of the Spanish Colonial Period talk at the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.May 15 - Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

Living History: Foods of the Spanish Colonial Period

11am-2pm. (repeats on 5/29) For the summer months we are adjusting our Old World/New World foods program to focus on 1) the native and imported fruits of New Spain, and 2) how Mexico has developed and enhanced the notion of dessert. The presentations will educate visitors about the origins, nutritional/survival values and the incredible variety of these delectable foodstuffs. Featuring a special display and samples from the Old and New Worlds. Included with park admission: $5 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

May 16 - Multiple Parks

Kids to Parks Day

ALL DAY. Children, families, teachers, cities, towns, and parks are gearing up for this year’s Kids to Parks Day (KTP), a nation-wide day of outdoor play organized by National Park Trust (NPT) in cooperation with a host of local and national collaborators. This year’s KTP Day will be held on Saturday May 16, 2015, the week before the official start of summer. NPT is encouraging children across the country to explore their neighborhood parks and discover science, history, nature and adventure right around the corner or just across town. Our website can help jumpstart your adventure. Visit us at kidstoparks.org

May 16 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Saturday Plants-of-the-Bible Land walk guided by Dave Oberpriller

8am. Pomegranates, figs, pines and palms are all plants referenced in scriptures -- they can also be seen in the gardens at BTA. See photos and read more HERE

Papermaking with Plants Workshop with Van Bembenek at Oracle State ParkMay 16 - Oracle State Park

Kids to Parks Day

ALL DAY. Bring the family for a picnic and trail walk at Oracle State Park. Ask in the office/gift-shop for a Junior Ranger Program pack, full of activities to complete while at the park. Interactive environmental education activities will be offered for the drop in public throughout the day. No reservation required; free with park entrance fee.

Papermaking with Plants Workshop, with Instructor, Val Bembenek

11am-1pm. Learn basic papermaking using mold and deckle in vats of pulp from plants such as Iris leaf, Ocotillo flower, and Creosote leaf; and take home your richly textured sheets. Reservation required; $10 workshop fee includes park entrance fee.

Mariachi Festival at Patagonia Lake State Park - May 16, 2015, 7:00 am.m - 5:00 p.m.May 16 - Patagonia Lake State Park

Annual Mariachi Festival

7 am. - 5pm. Spice up your spring with the Annual Mariachi Festival. Enjoy a wide variety of Southern Arizona Mariachi bands on stage. Featuring authentic Mexican food, hot dogs, hamburgers, kettle corn & shaved ice! Visitors may also bring their own picnic basket and there will be a Piñata for the kids! Don’t forget to bring: Plenty of water, lawn chair, sunscreen, hat. In addition, Patagonia offers fishing, birding, boat tours, and nature walks. $15 Per Vehicle (up to four adults).

Fort Tuthill SignMay 16 - Riordan Mansion State Historic Park

Flagstaff's Fort Tuthill's Role in Arizona's Military History

7:00pm. Presented by: Jim Warbasse. The story of Flagstaff's military history and its association with the 158th Infantry Regiment can be traced from the units organization in 1865 as the 1st Regiment Arizona Volunteers through Afghanistan service of 1st Battalion 158th Infantry from 2007-08 and deployment of smaller units until June 2013. The regiment became best known in WWI1 as the infantry component of the 158th Infantry Regimental Combat Team "Bushmasters". The history  of this famous regiment  and the role Fort Tuthill played in that history will be discussed by Jim Warbasse a former member of  the regiment and Grandson of General Tuthill.

 

May 16 - Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Prehistoric Peoples Talk

11am. - Noon. Representatives from the Northern Gila County Historical Society will be the Park to talk about the early (prehistoric) people of the Payson area. They will have displays on site about what we know of their daily lives. This will include what kind tools they used, the crops that they would have grown, and other information of their daily lives. Free handouts as well as books about the area can be purchased. Event cost will be covered by your entrance fee into the park, $5 per person everyone 14 and older, $2 per person everyone between 7-13, and 6 and under are free.

Father KinoMay 16 - Tubac Presidio State Historic Park

Documentary Film on Father Kino

2pm. Arizona and Sonora are not the only states that venerate Eusebio Francisco Kino, the first European to enter Santa Cruz Valley. During the 300th anniversary of Fr. Kino’s death in 2011, a group of more than 30 people traveled from Italy to Arizona and Sonora to celebrate the life of this remarkable man. Included were family descendants from his hometown of Segno, a delegation of church officials from the Italian Diocese of Trento, and municipal and provincial dignitaries. This Italian contingent created a video documentary of the most important events that took place during the 300th anniversary celebration interwoven with the story of Kino’s life. In recognition of the 49th anniversary of the discovery of Padre Kino’s mortal remains, we will show this film at the Tubac Presidio on Thursday, May 21. We will have special refreshments for the performance! $7.50 adult, $2 youth 7-13, children free.

May 17 - Oracle State Park

Mineralogy Talk

11am. Meet at the Kannally Ranch House. Join mineralogist, Wolfgang Mueller for a show and tell about minerals associated with the copper mining industry of Arizona, including stones used in jewelry; and including a demonstration of how carbide lamps work in mining. Free with park entrance fee; reservation suggested.

Geology Walking Tour at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State ParkMay 23 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Geology walking tour with Scott McFadden (note 8am start time)

8am. Daily hours at BTA are 6am-3pm from May-through-September, and this tour moves to an 8am start time during summer months. See rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff. See photos and read more Here

Saturday Butterfly Walk

9am. Central Arizona Butterfly Association volunteers Jan Harding and Laura Miller guide a walk in search of colorful butterflies around the gardens. Learn tips on how to ID them by color, patterns - and "host plants" essential to their life cycle. http://ag.arizona.edu/bta 

Night Under the Stars at Lost Dutchman State ParkMay 23 - Lost Dutchman State Park

Amazing Night Under the Skies

8:30-9:30 p.m. Join Dr. Sky, a radio/TV journalist based in Phoenix, for An Amazing Night Under the Skies. What planets will we see in the dark desert sky? Dress warmly and be prepared to be amazed at the sightings. Palo Verde Day Use area (weather permitting).

Edible Plants Walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State ParkMay 24 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Sunday Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants walk with Dave Morris

8am. Explore the Curandero Trail on this slow-paced guided walking tour, a one-hour walk where ethno-botanist and Choctaw Nation tribal member Dave Morris shares his knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. **Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers.
http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

Tonto Natural Bridge State ParkMay 24 - Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Geology and History of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

2pm. Come out to the park and enjoy an easy to moderate walk around the park, where volunteer Barry Jones will teach you about the geology and history of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. This event is free with the purchase of the regular admission fee of $5 per person for everyone 14 years and older, $2 per person for everyone 7-13, and 6 and under are free as long as an adult accompanies them. Tour is friendly for all ages. Please wear good shoes and make sure to bring water with you.


June Calendar Header

May 2 - Catalina State Park

First Saturday Concert Series at Catalina State ParkFirst Saturday Concert in the Park

7pm. On the 1st & 3rd Saturday of the month (during the spring), enjoy an evening concert at the Trailhead with standard park admission. Bring a chair, and your own food and water to enjoy these concerts! Come and enjoy music the first Saturday of each month in the park with the Santa Catalina Mountains as the backdrop. All of the concerts take place at the Trailhead picnic area.Feel free to bring a chair and your dinner and enjoy the evening outside. March's concert will also feature a Food Truck, and free popcorn is available, both brought to you by the Friends of Catalina State Park.

Featured Artist: BILL GANZ

June 6-7 - Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Designed for families that have little or no experience camping. We will introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family outdoors! You will learn how to set up a tent and an introduction to cooking outside, plus you will get to try some fun activities you can do while camping!

June 6-7 - Lyman Lake State Park

Designed for families that have little or no experience camping. We will introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family outdoors! You will learn how to set up a tent and an introduction to cooking outside, plus you will get to try some fun activities you can do while camping!

Tonto Natural Bridge State ParkJune 7 - Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Geology and History of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

2pm. Come out to the park and enjoy an easy to moderate walk around the park, where volunteer Barry Jones will teach you about the geology and history of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. This event is free with the purchase of the regular admission fee of $5 per person for everyone 14 years and older, $2 per person for everyone 7-13, and 6 and under are free as long as an adult accompanies them. Tour is friendly for all ages. Please wear good shoes and make sure to bring water with you.

Wildman Phil Rakoci - Lizard Walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State ParkJune 13 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Saturday 'Lizard Walk' guided by Wild Man Phil and Steven Prager

8am. Sonoran Desert educator "Wild Man Phil" Rakoci and Arizona Audubon's Steven Prager guide a walking tour in search of Ornate Tree Lizard and Western Whiprtails, Desert Spiny and Side-blotched Lizards. Bring a camera for close-up pictures of these colorful little reptiles. See photos and read more http://ag.arizona.edu/bta

June 13 - Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

Clovis Points to Copper Bells: the Prehistoric Archaeology of the Payson Basin - with J. Scott Wood

11am. Tonto Natural Bridge State Park will be hosting an archaeological talk presented by J. Scott Wood from 11 A.M. to 12:15 P.M.. He was the Tonto National Forest Archaeologist from 1975 to 2015; for the last 7 years, Advisor to the Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society and director of the on-going Goat Camp Ruin Excavation, Stabilization, and Interpretive Development Project for the Town of Payson.

The topic of the day will be a talk about Clovis Points to Copper Bells: the Prehistoric Archaeology of the Payson Basin. For an hour or so in the beautiful outdoor setting of Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, we will talk about the archaeology of the area around the Park, from Payson to the Rim and from Star Valley to Strawberry, who lived her when, what they did, why they came, and why they left, from the first nomadic big game hunters to the farmers living in 200 room villages. We will also talk about the relationships all of these people had with their environment, how they influenced it and how, ultimately, it directed their behavior and determined their ultimate fate. This will be followed up with a Q & A session.

The event is free with purchase of day use entrance into the park. $5 per person everyone 14 and older, $2 per person everyone 7-13, 6 and under are free if they are accompanied by an adult. For information about this event email Gavin at gerickson@azstateparks.gov or call 928 476-4202.

Plants of the Bible Walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State ParkJune 20 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Saturday Plants-of-the-Bible Land walk guided by Dave Oberpriller

8am. Pomegranates, figs, pines and palms are all plants referenced in scriptures -- they can also be seen in the gardens at BTA. See photos and read more HERE

June 27 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Geology walking tour with Scott McFadden (note 8am start time)

8am. Daily hours at BTA are 6am-3pm from May-through-September, and this tour moves to an 8am start time during summer months. See rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff. See photos and read more HERE

Edible Plants Walk at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State ParkJune 28 - Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park

Sunday Edible & Medicinal Desert Plants walk with Kathy & Tom Mcdonald

8am. Explore the Curandero Trail on this slow-paced guided walking tour, a one-hour walk where desert plant enthusiasts Kathy & Tom McDonald share their knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. Read more http://ag.arizona.edu/bta


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