Arizona is blessed with 33 state parks that all brilliantly showcase its geological, historic and cultural heritage.
Comprising of a varied topography that includes jagged mountains, raging rivers, huge chasms, dense woodland, pretty meadows and gorgeous lakes, these state parks enable you to get out and about in the great outdoors and explore the wonders of nature.
Open pretty much every day of the year, Arizona’s state parks collectively offer fantastic opportunities for fishing, swimming, hiking, hunting, boating, geocaching and of course camping. So they are perfect for those who like to be active!
For those who live in or around Flagstaff, their residential location enables them to easily visit any of these destinations.
Now that Covid lockdown has well and truly finished, if you are looking for inspiration of where you can go, this list of 5 state parks near Flagstaff are all well worth visiting.
Map of State Parks Near Flagstaff, AZ
Here is a map of the state parks in Arizona covered by this post:
List of State Parks Near Flagstaff
The five state parks near Flagstaff showcased below can all be easily accessed via a straightforward drive from the city. They also provide excellent options for camping, as well as other types of overnight accommodation.
1. Alamo Lake State Park
Location: Alamo Rd, Wenden, AZ 85357
If you love fishing, the Alamo State Park is somewhere you should definitely check out.
Reached via a 4 hour drive south west of Flagstaff, this state park is one of the best places in Arizona to fish for bass. As well as crappie, channel catfish, tilapia and bluegill.
Enjoying a fantastic location that is framed by a mountainous landscape and dotted with cacti, brush and wildflowers, it is also a noted spot for hiking and biking too.
At night, stargazers immerse themselves in the wonder of the night sky that benefits from the nearest city lights being over 40 miles away.
While the opportunity to view birds like the golden or bald eagles, as well as a numerous species of wildlife like coyotes, mule deer, wild burros and waterfowl abound all year round.
Onsite there are two campgrounds that between them have 63 sites available with mixed amenities. There are also cabins available too, as well as a store with basic provisions.
2. River Island State Park
Location: 5200 AZ-95, Parker, AZ 85344
Over to the west of Flagstaff, a 3 hour and 45 minute drive away on its west coast, lies the wonderful River Island State Park.
Comprising of 1677 acres, the park is nestled on the banks of the Colorado River, which makes it a convenient base to engage in a wide range of recreational water opportunities. This includes kayaking, paddleboarding, jet-skiing and boating.
Fishing is also a favored past-time here too, while there is a lovely sandy beach to sunbathe and swim around, as well as a scenic cove to explore too.
A popular year-round destination the park offers 37 campsites, 8 of which are beachfront campsites, with 20-amp service and water, that are situated on the grass that overlooks the Colorado River.
The park also has a ramada and boat launch, as well as one hiking trail that takes you up Wedge Hill for sensational views of the Colorado River country.
3. Picacho Peak State Park
Location: 15520 Picacho Peak Rd, Picacho, AZ 85141
Dominated by the jaw-dropping peak of Picacho Peak, which soars 1,500-feet high, the Picacho Peak State Park is situated a 3 hour and 20 minute drive south of Flagstaff.
Renowned for its fantastic trails which gradually wind their way through the Sonoran desert, past a landscape of gorgeous wildflowers, until they reach the top of the peak, the park is a haven for hikers.
It is also a treasured spot for birdwatching, as well as wildlife spotting, in the form of javelina, desert mule deer and foxes.
The park also has a visitor center that showcases an interesting range of exhibits. As well as a playground, store picnic areas and a campground that accommodates 85 electric sites for tent and RV camping.
4. Lyman Lake State Park
Location: 11 US-180, St Johns, AZ 85936
A little closer to Flagstaff, the Lyman Lake State Park is located a 2 hour and 30 minute drive southeast of the city.
Situated at an elevation of 6000 feet, this 1,200 acre park hugs the shoreline of a 1,500-acre reservoir that was created by the damming the Little Colorado River.
Fed by melted snow that runs down from the slopes of Mount Baldy and the Escudilla Mountain – which are the second and third highest mountains in Arizona – the lake is one of the few bodies of water in the northeastern part of Arizona that does not have a size restriction on boats. Therefore it is a very popular spot for sailing, speedboats and water-skiers.
It is also known for being a great fishing spot, whilst swimming and kayaking are enjoyed by many too. Hikers can also explore several miles of trails, some of which take you to rocks that feature fabulous Petroglyphs.
Providing fabulous lake views, the campground here features 56 sites, of which 38 are full hookup. There are also 8 cabins here too, as well as 16 picnic areas and well maintained showers and restrooms.
5. Homolovi State Park
Location: AZ-87, Winslow, AZ 86047
The closest of all the state parks in Arizona on this list is the Homolovi State Park.
At only one hour southeast of Flagstaff, the park has a rich cultural history, as it is believed to be the home of the Hopi who lived here between the 1200s and the 1300s.
Set at an elevation of over 4,900 feet and contained with 4,000 acres, the visitor center here showcases fascinating exhibits about the archaeology of these ancient people.
The park also accommodates five hiking trails which will take you to over 300 archaeological sites of interest. It also boasts the Northern Arizona Observatory which enables you to check out over 40,000 celestial objects, which have been logged on its database, via The Moore Telescope.
The campground here has over 50 sites for tents and RV, whilst there are also plenty of scenic picnic areas and shelters, as well as modern and regularly cleaned showers and restrooms.