The Arizona State Parks Board voted last week to keep nine parks open and close the remaining 13 parks in a series of phased closures.

The closures are scheduled to start Feb. 22.

The closures were precipitated by the Legislature raiding more than $8 million in state park-specific funds. In addition, four parks remain closed as result of previous budget reductions, according to news release from the Arizona State Parks Department.

The nine parks that will remain open are ones that generate the most revenue back into the parks operating funds.

Those parks include: Buckskin Mountain State Park in Parker, Catalina State Park near Tucson, Cattail Cove State Park in Lake Havasu City, Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood,  Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area in Show Low, Kartchner Caverns State Park in Benson, Lake Havasu State Park, Patagonia Lake State Park and Slide Rock State Park in Sedona.

The parks planned for closure include: Homolovi Ruins State Park in Winslow, Lyman Lake State Park in St. Johns and Riordan Mansion State Historic Park in Flagstaff.

The next park closings are planned for March. Those include: Fort Verde State Historic Park in Camp Verde, Roper Lake State Park in Safford, Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park and Tubac Presidio State Historic Park.

The final phased closings will occur in June, and include: Tonto Natural Bridge State Park near Payson, Alamo Lake State Park in Wenden, Lost Dutchman State Park in Apache Junction, Picacho Peak State Park and Red Rock State Park in Sedona.

Other parks may remain open, operating under partnerships with outside groups or passively managed by adjacent parks, according to a news release.

Those parks include Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park in Superior, Sonoita Creek State Natural Area, Verde River Greenway State Natural Area and Yuma Quartermaster Depot State Historic Park.

Other previously closed parks will remain closed. These include: Jerome State Historic Park, McFarland State Historic Park in Florence, Oracle State Park, and San Rafael State Natural Area.

For more information about the 27 State Parks, statewide hiking opportunities, off-highway vehicle trails, and other outdoor recreational and cultural opportunities in Arizona, call 800-285-3703 or visit AZStateParks.com

 

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