ARIZONA NEWS

Here’s what we know about Arizona’s newest state park opening in February

Jan 30, 2024, 10:50 AM | Updated: Feb 1, 2024, 11:09 am

PHOENIX — A long-awaited state park in central Arizona will soon open to the public, offering breathtaking scenery, outdoor activities and wildlife watching.

Rockin’ River Ranch State Park located in Camp Verde, about 90 miles north of Phoenix, is opening Feb. 9.

The 209-acre former ranch will present opportunities to hike and fish, and the chance to watch wildlife in central Arizona.

“Being able to share this beautiful space is something that our agency has been working toward for more than a decade, and we are excited to open the park and welcome visitors,” Arizona State Parks and Trails Executive Director Bob Broscheid said in a press release.

Everything Rockin’ River Ranch north of Phoenix has to offer

The day-use park will be open Fridays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with last entry accepted at 4 p.m. Entry into the park is $7 per vehicle (1-4 passengers) and $3 for individuals/bicyclists.

It offers six trails and grandiose views, but few facilities, such as restrooms and a contact station/gift shop. There are also no drinking fountains, so visitors are advised to bring water.

Other things to watch for include wildlife. Visitors should lookout for javelinas, deer, beavers, otters, coyotes, bobcats, and a wide variety of birds. During the warmer months, rattlesnakes, tarantulas, lizards and non-venomous snakes occasionally make an appearance.

The area has a temperature climate average of about 5-10 degrees cooler than Phoenix and 10-15 degrees warmer than Flagstaff.

The park sits on Coconino and National Forests, as well and private lands.

History of how Rockin’ River Ranch became latest state park

Property for the site, located at the confluence of West Clear Creek and the Verde River, was acquired by Arizona State Parks in October 2008.

It was named Rockin’ River Ranch in 2017, the same year master planning for the site began.

Construction was scheduled to begin in 2018, but there were unexpected challenges that needed to be addressed before proceeding.

There are 33 Arizona state parks, including Rockin’ River Ranch. Of them, eight are historic parks, seven are day-use only recreation parks, one is a memorial state park and 15 are camping parks. San Rafael State Natural Area is also closed to the public.

Other nearby state parks include Fort Verde State Historic Park, Dead Horse Ranch State Park and Verde River Greenway State Natural Area.

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Here’s what we know about Arizona’s newest state park opening in February