Arizona State Parks protects and preserves 30 State Parks and Natural Areas. The agency also includes the State Trails Program, outdoor-related Grants Program, the State Historic Preservation Office, as well as the Off-Highway Vehicle Program, and more. Arizona State Parks manages 8 of the top 25 most visited natural attractions in Arizona.* On this page you can download information and publications on a wide range of topics.
The 2013 SCORP includes research on Arizona’s outdoor recreation situation, national trends, and other influences. Special sections include the benefits of parks and recreation, outdoor recreation and tourism, wildlife related recreation, and reports on trails, off-highway vehicles, boating, and cultural resources.
The 2013 SCORP also features the results of an online survey with Arizona’s parks and recreation providers and land managing agencies. Other survey results highlight changes that have occurred from the perspective of outdoor recreation users in Arizona during the last five years. The 2013 SCORP is available for downloading as one document, below:
Fiscal Year 2012: July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012
FY12 Annual Report ( 8.5 MB PDF)
Fiscal Year 2011: July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011
FY11 Annual Report ( 1.8 MB PDF)
Fiscal Year 2010: July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010
FY10 Annual Report ( 9.8 MB PDF)
Fiscal Year 2009: July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009
FY09 Annual Report ( 10 MB PDF)
Fiscal Year 2008: July 1, 2007 to June 30, 2008
FY08 Annual Report ( 3.7 MB PDF)
Fiscal Year 2007: July 1, 2006 to June 30, 2007
FY07 Annual Report ( 2.6 MB PDF)
The Arizona State Parks Board (ASPB) was created in 1957 as a government agency with the purposes and objectives to include acquiring, preserving and maintaining areas of natural features, scenic beauty, and historic and scientific significance, pleasure recreation and health of Arizona’s people.
In the last 55 years 32 parks have been added to the State Parks system and many different programs are now being managed by the Agency. Federal Grant programs include the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Recreational Trails Programs which include both motorized and nonmotorized divisions, and the Federal Historic Grant Program.
The state grant programs include the State Lake Improvement Fund, recently eliminated Heritage Fund *$10 million for rural communities, Law Enforcement and Boating Safety Fund (transferred to Game and Fish in 2011), and voter protected Land Conservation Fund ($20 million per year) which ended in 2011. Grants will be distributed from that Fund until the monies are disbursed. Another state-‐wide program, the State Historic Prservation Office was added to the agency in 1982 and manages. The Arizona State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), a division of Arizona State Parks, assists private citizens, private institutions, local governments, tribes, and state and federal agencies in the identification, evaluation, protection, and enhancement of historic and archaeological properties that have significance for local communities, the State of Arizona, or the Nation. The role and function of the SHPO is defined in both state law (Arizona Historic Preservation Act) and federal law (National Historic Preservation Act, as amended.)
2012-2016 Five Year Strategic Plan ( 1.2 MB PDF)
Arizona State Parks Economic Impact Report ( 2.7 MB PDF)
Prepared by the Arizona Hospitality Research & Resource Center, Center for Business Outreach, The W. A. Franke College of Business, Northern Arizona University. Published February 2009.
Arizona State Parks have a significant economic impact on the communities and counties in which they are located. A state park’s value is, of course, not measured by economic impact alone. Parks enhance community quality-of-life and preserve priceless historic, cultural, and recreational resources for residents and visitors from around the world. However, communities are increasingly recognizing that State Parks improve the economic well-being of rural counties and serve as an important tourism resource.
This report analyzes the impact of 27 Arizona State Parks on the economies of the 13 counties in which they are located. The economic impact of a state park is a function of visitor population and direct visitor spending, combined with multipliers (that vary across counties) reflecting the extent of re-circulation of visitors’ money in the local economy. Thus, this study of the economic impact of Arizona State Parks produced the following findings:
Direct spending by Arizona State Park visitors totaled $162,799,442 in FY07.
Arizona State Parks are divided into three types – Conservation Parks (4 parks), Historic Parks (9 parks), and Recreation Parks (14 parks).
|Park / County||Total County Income ($)||Total County Jobs|
|Lyman Lake (Rec)||$2,447,506||35|
|Apache County Total||$2,447,506||35|
|Tombstone Courthouse (His)||$7,225,150||101|
|Kartchner Caverns (Con)||$12,333,199||188|
|Cochise County Total||$19,558,349||289|
|Riordan Mansion (His)||$6,781,494||101|
|Slide Rock (Rec)||$30,087,905||422|
|Coconino County Total||$36,869,399||523|
|Tonto Natural Bridge (Rec)||$3,621,346||38|
|Gila County Total||$3,621,346||38|
|Roper Lake (Rec)||$5,724,685||77|
|Graham County Total||$5,724,685||77|
|Alamo Lake (Rec)||$5,608,937||72|
|Buckskin Island (Rec)||$10,456,400||137|
|La Paz County Total||$16,065,337||209|
|Cattail Cove (Rec)||$13,184,301||187|
|Lake Havasu (Rec)||$34,514,609||484|
|Mohave County Total||$47,698,910||671|
|Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area (Rec)||$5,824,440||73|
|Navajo County Total||$9,325,908||117|
|Pima County Total||$19,604,659||262|
|Boyce Thompson (Con)||$2,644,753||20|
|Lost Dutchman (Rec)||$4,190,586||46|
|Picacho Peak (Rec)||$2,453,130||26|
|Pinal County Total||$10,119,261||101|
|Patagonia Lake (Rec)||$8,974,106||128|
|Tubac Presidio (His)||$256,377||4|
|Santa Cruz County Total||$9,230,483||132|
|Dead Horse Ranch (Rec)||$10,135,704||143|
|Fort Verde (His)||$2,420,337||33|
|Red Rock (Con)||$17,005,170||225|
|Yavapai County Total||$36,567,452||494|
|Yuma Territorial Prison (His)||$5,815,585||84|
|Yuma Quartermaster Depot (His)||$1,826,521||26|
|Yuma County Total||$7,642,106||110|
Note: Abbreviations in parentheses refer to Park Type:
Rec = Recreation Park; His = Historic Park; Con = Conservation Park.
For a full explanation of the methodology used to calculate the data in this table, please download the full Economic Impact Report.
Established in March 2009 by Governor Jan Brewer, the Task Force on Sustainable State Parks Funding was directed to investigate how to make the parks system financially sustainable. The Task Force issued their final report on October 30, 2009. Their final report includes background information and recommendations.
The final report also includes references to the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University's study “The Price of Stewardship: The Future of Arizona's State Parks.” Download that report at the Morrison Institute website.
State Parks Task Force Final Report ( 1.2 MB PDF) Final Report, 18 pages.
|% of In-State Visitors
|% of Out-of-State Visitors
|Dead Horse Ranch||133,822||60||40|
|Fool Hollow Lake||110,741||84||16|
|Tonto Natural Bridge||87,930||68||32|
|Yuma Quartermaster Depot||11,676||20||80|
|Yuma Territorial Prison||67,851||36||64|
The percentages are the reported in-state and out-of-state visitor percentages from the FY07 Arizona State Parks Visitor Survey. Out-of-State Visitors include international visitors.
Estimate of In-State vs. Out-of-State Visitors ( 41 KB PDF)
Grants Section FY 2012 Annual Report ( 64 KB PDF)
Grants Section FY 2009 Annual Report ( 153 KB PDF)
Grants Section FY 2008 Annual Report ( 247 KB PDF)
Grants Section FY 2007 Annual Report ( 252 KB PDF)
The Grants Section of Arizona State Parks is responsible for managing eight grant programs administered by the Arizona State Parks Board. More than $32 million is available annually to Arizona communities, resource managers and agencies to preserve and enhance Arizona’s significant natural open space, cultural and recreational resources. Learn more Grant Programs
This is the Final Version of this document.
This planning document details the results of extensive surveys of Arizonans’ thoughts,
preferences and priorities regarding trails and OHV routes. Throughout the year 2008, staff at
Arizona State Parks and faculty at Arizona State University partnered to solicit information from
more than 5,500 Arizonans about what types of motorized or non-motorized trails they use, how
often they use trails, what they like or don’t like about trails, and what trail managers should
focus their time and dollars on to make the trail experience better. The questions were asked via
telephone, online (Internet), mail, at public meetings and open forums, and in the field at
trailheads. The survey and workshop results can be found throughout this document and in the
appendices. They form the foundation for the priority recommendations and actions that are at
the heart of the Plan. These priority recommendations will be used to develop grant rating criteria and distribute funds from the Arizona Trails Heritage Fund, Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Fund and the federal Recreational Trails Program.
This Plan includes both motorized and non-motorized trail information, public involvement results and recommendations for future actions regarding trails in Arizona. This Plan, which supercedes the Arizona Trails 2005 Plan, was prepared by Arizona State Parks as required by state legislation (off-highway vehicle recreation plan, A.R.S. § 41-511.04 (20) and trails plan § 41-511.22).
Arizona Trails 2010 Plan ( 15 MB PDF) Final Version, 318 pages.
2012 Arizona Watercraft Survey Executive Summary ( 415 KB PDF) To be posted soon.
2012 Arizona Watercraft Survey ( 847 KB PDF) 127 pages.
Prepared by: Behavior Research Center, Inc. May 2012 Prepared for: Arizona Department of Transportation, Arizona Game & Fish Department, Arizona State Parks
The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the Arizona Game & Fish Department (AGFD) and the Arizona State Parks Board (ASPB) are required, under Arizona Revised Statutes (Sec. 28-5926), to conduct a study every three years on watercraft fuel consumption and recreational watercraft usage. The primary purposes of this effort are as follows:
The fuel consumption data is collected to determine the allocation of motor vehicle fuel tax to the State Lake Improvement Fund (SLIF). The information on recreational watercraft usage patterns on Arizona’s lakes and rivers is necessary, in part, to determine the distribution of SLIF funds to applicants.
SHPO FY 2011-12 Report on State Agency Compliance ( 456 KB PDF)
SHPO FY 2010-11 Report on State Agency Compliance ( 400 KB PDF)
SHPO FY 2009-10 Report on State Agency Compliance ( 3 MB PDF)
SHPO FY 2008-09 Report on State Agency Compliance ( 2.1 MB PDF)
Arizona State Statutes §41-861 through §41-864 direct state agencies to: preserve historic properties under their ownership or control; consider the use of historic properties for agency responsibilities; establish a program to locate, inventory, and nominate properties to the Arizona Register of Historic Places; insure that properties are not destroyed or substantially altered by state action or assistance; make appropriate documentation in accordance with State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) standards if a property is destroyed or altered; and seek review and comment from the SHPO on agency plans. This report provides a summary of the performance of state agencies in compliance with these state statutes. The information provided was compiled from SHPO records and an agency self-evaluation questionnaire. Learn more SHPO
2013 AZSITE Consortium Annual Report ( 2.3 MB PDF)
2012 AZSITE Consortium Annual Report ( 610 KB PDF)
2011 AZSITE Consortium Annual Report ( 1.5 MB PDF)
2010 AZSITE Consortium Annual Report ( 395 KB PDF)
2009 AZSITE Consortium Annual Report ( 852 KB PDF)
In 1995, three state agencies and one private museum signed a memorandum of agreement that created the AZSITE Consortium, with the multi-year goal to computerize and share electronically archaeological and historical site files for the State of Arizona. In 2006, Governor’s Executive Order 2006-03 named the Consortium, and the original four founding agencies as the official decision making and planning body within Arizona’s Executive Branch for the AZSITE database and GIS inventory of Arizona’s historical and archaeological properties.
2013 GAAC Annual Report ( 2 MB PDF)
2012 GAAC Annual Report ( 180 KB PDF)
2011 GAAC Annual Report ( 180 KB PDF)
2010 GAAC Annual Report ( 1.5 MB PDF)
The Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission (GAAC) is a statutory body charged with advising the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) on archaeological issues in Arizona. GAAC is composed of 11 members with expertise in prehistoric or historic archaeology, anthropology, tourism, public education, economic development, business, and Native American affairs.
To help commemorate Arizona’s centennial on February 14, 2012, a centennial project was begun to inventory and promote the protection of historic cemeteries throughout the state. Historic cemeteries were chosen as the focus of a centennial project because they are important irreplaceable resources many of which are in danger of being lost through neglect, natural erosion, and vandalism. As the Arizona Centennial approached, it seemed appropriate that an organized statewide effort be undertaken to locate, inventory and provide guidance for the conservation and maintenance of these significant properties.
2012 Guidance for Inventorying and Maintaining Historic Cemeteries ( 8.4 MB PDF)
2012 Historic Cemeteries by County ( 474 MB PDF)
Arizona Historic Preservation Plan 2009 ( 1.2 MB PDF)
The immediate future presents challenges great enough to sink us in despair unless we apply that most basic element of American character, optimism. American optimism is the force that transforms challenge into opportunity, the vision that sees risk as a chance for enterprise, the determination to proceed even if prospects appear gloomy. The Arizona Historic Preservation Plan of 2009 takes courage from the successes of our previous efforts and finds reassurance in the support of an ever-larger portion of the state’s citizenry. With faith in the public value of our work and dedication to the mission we have been entrusted to further, the Plan offers goals and objectives crafted to advance the tasks necessary to ensure that Arizona remains a prosperous and fulfilling home to the individuals and families who now and in the future will make it their home.
The Plan describes a number of principles that will guide the activities of the State Historic Preservation Office and are offered to our current and potential partners as means of achieving mutually beneficial outcomes:
Arizona Historic Preservation Plan 2000 ( 2.6 MB PDF)
In effect through March 2007. See update above.
2013 Historical Archaeology Research Guide ( 9.4 MB PDF)
Compiled by James E. Ayres, Carol Griffith, and Teresita Majewski. With Contributions by The Historical Archaeology Advisory Committee, Thomas Jones and Archaeological Consulting Services, Ltd.
Sixth Revised Edition, June 2013, this guide will direct you to resources for researching a historical place or person in Arizona. Categories include maps, photographs, architectural plans and drawings, local histories, mining records, newspapers, and more. The appendices include bibliographies of material culture sources and background resources as well as historical archaeology reports. Revised June 2013. Learn more about SHPO.
by Carol J. Ellick: An annotated bibliography of archaeological, architectural, and preservation education materials relating to Arizona for grades K–12.
These publications compile research and evaluation of several topics that are key to understanding Arizona history, prehistory, and resources. Topics include Homesteading, Commerce in Phoenix, Gold and Silver Mining, the Chinese in Arizona, the United States Military in Arizona, Transcontinental Railroading, Prehistoric Rock Art, Historic Trails, Prehistoric to Historic Transition Period, and Paleoindian and Archaic Sites. The newest context study, Prehistoric Water Utilization and Technology in Arizona, is now available! To order, visit the Arizona State Parks Gift Catalog.
How can older towns revitalize their languishing downtown districts? And what gives these historic downtowns their distinctive character? A lively video called "Arizona's Towns: Planning the Past, Saving the Future" explores these issues by showing design charrettes held in Winslow and Globe. The 28-minute video was produced for the Arizona State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service by the Joint Urban Design Program of Arizona State University. To order, please print out an To order, visit the Arizona State Parks Gift Catalog.