The 10 Best Parks in Arizona!

Arizona is a park lover’s dream. With a steady mix of national parks, state parks, and sports facilities, the Grand Canyon state often feels like one big playground. It’s easy to see why Arizona parks are regarded as some of the best in the nation. Arizona is naturally gifted with huge swaths of land and year-round sunshine. Its best parks take full advantage of the benefits the state has to offer while having top-notch facilities and locations. Here are the best parks located in the state of Arizona.

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, Scottsdale, AZ

McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park is one of the best parks for families in the state. This 30-acre park located in Scottsdale features playgrounds and museums for people of all ages. It includes several playgrounds, grassy play areas and even a vintage carousel. The grounds also hold picnic tables and host vendors selling ice cream treats. The main draw, however, are the Paradise & Pacific Railroad and Arboretum replica trains. Kids can take a train ride through the park for just $2 while getting a tour of one of Scottsdale’s most beautiful parks.

Chaparral Park, Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale is widely regarded as having some of the best parks in the country. In fact, this was a key factor in the United States Conference of Mayors naming it the “Most Livable City” in 1993. Out of the myriad parks in Scottsdale, Chaparral might be the very best. This 100-acre park includes a greenbelt multi-use path surrounding a large lake for boating and fishing. There’s also a pool, playground, community center, sporting facilities and a dog park. On any given weekend, this park is packed with families, sports teams, and athletes taking advantage of the many features of this multi-use park.

McDowell Mountain Ranch Park & Aquatic Center, Scottsdale, AZ

McDowell Mountain Ranch Park & Aquatic Center has such good facilities that it seems like it belongs at a resort. This park includes an eight-lane, 25 lap pool complete with one-meter and three-meter diving boards. It also includes a large tube water slide, play pool and a lazy river. Aside from the pool area, it also includes a skate park, fitness center, and hosts many fitness and swimming lessons. McDowell Mountain Ranch Park is often rented out for large parties and host’s competitive and recreational swimming teams.

Scottsdale Sports Complex, Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale Sports Complex is a 71-acre state of the art sports facility. The park has 10 carefully-groomed sports fields designed to offer tournament level playing conditions. The fields attract recreational, national and regional tournament play for soccer, lacrosse, football and rugby. In addition to its many fields, the park also features a lighted basketball court, shaded playground, and multi-use paths.

Civic Center Mall, Scottsdale, AZ

Scottsdale’s Civic Center Mall is a jack-of-all-trades park. It has gorgeous fountains, grassy lawns, and a lagoon all of which serve as a great backdrop to the many events and festivals hosted on its grounds. The outdoor amphitheater is an ideal place to take in an evening concert. Shops, restaurants, and the iconic Scottsdale Center also surround the park for the Performing Arts. This can’t miss park is a great option for a leisure afternoon or a large-scale festival. 

Reid Park, Tucson, AZ

Reid Park is a 24-acre city-owned park that includes a zoo with over 500 animals. Founded in 1967, the non-profit zoo within the park includes over 500 animals and houses everything from birds to farm animals and monkeys.  The park also includes lakes, Ramada’s, and playgrounds that add to the zoo experience.

Japanese Friendship Garden, Phoenix, AZ

If measuring by pure beauty, the Japanese Friendship Garden might be the best park in the state. Named Ro Ho En, this 3.5-acre park includes 50 varieties of plants, 1,500 tons of handpicked rock, a 12-foot waterfall, and a 300-fish Koi pond. It’s impossible not to feel tranquility and calmness while walking through the garden. This may not be your standard park, but the carefully crafted garden is an ideal place to take a walk and enjoy the sunshine of Arizona.

Catalina Park, Tucson, AZ

Catalina Park is one of the oldest parks in Tucson and was built in 1902. Today, it’s a four-acre located next to the popular 4th Avenue shopping district. The park has numerous amenities that make a trip worthwhile. There’s a shaded playground area, exercise stations around the park, and areas for grilling and picnics. For hot summer days, kids can enjoy the splash pad. This play fountain area is bustling with families looking to escape the heat in a fun environment.

Papago Park, Phoenix, AZ

Papago Park is known for its desert trails leading to some of the most scenic vantage points in the Valley. Its famous “Hole in the Rock” trail is a natural rock formation and offers picturesque sunset views. Park visitors can hike, mountain bike, or walk around the park and it’s large fishing lagoon. The park also includes an exercise course, baseball and softball facilities, archery range, and dog park.

Slide Rock State Park, Oak Creek Canyon, AZ

Slide Rock is a 43-acre park in Oak Creek Canyon—a few miles away from downtown Sedona. The park is named after a stretch of creek water that is slippery and allows visitors to ride down the water chute like a slide. This state park is a huge tourist attraction and makes for one of the most unique park experiences available. After sliding down the creek, many visitors picnic and enjoy the sun on the stunning red rocks of Oak Creek Canyon.

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11800 N. Desert Vista, Fountain Hills, AZ
In November 2009, the Town dedicated nearly $3.2 million in improvements to the Desert Vista Park, including lighted athletic fields, a restroom an... Read More
12925 N. Saguaro Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ
Fountain Park is a 64-acre passive recreation area and anchor to the town center. Built in 1970, the park includes: 35-acres of turf 29-acre 100 ... Read More
4155 East Virginia Street, Mesa, AZ
Features:- Off-leash dog area (Closed Thursdays for maintenance)- First-come, First-serve Ramada- 4 lighted soccer fields (by permit only)- 2 light... Read More
18333 N Thompson Peak Pkwy, Scottsdale, AZ
The Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve is a permanently protected 30,200-acre sustainable desert habitat open for non-motorized trail use.Hours:T... Read More
6109 North Apache Trail, Apache Junction, AZ
Named after the fabled lost gold mine, Lost Dutchman State Park is located in the Sonoran Desert, 40 miles east of Phoenix. Several trails lead fro... Read More
15444 North 100th Street, Scottsdale, AZ
Hours: Sunrise - 10:30pm Read More
3130 E. Southern, Mesa, AZ
Off-leash dog area - closed Tuesdays for maintenanceLighted baseball (60 ft) fieldsPlaygroundRestroom2 lighted basketball courtsLighted beach volle... Read More
5401 North Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ
As a part of the greenbelt, Chaparral shares a recreation path system that is ideal for running, walking, biking, and rollerblading. Chaparral Park... Read More
7301 E Indian Bend Rd, Scottsdale, AZ
History:- In 1967, the Fowler McCormick's donated 100 acres of McCormick Ranch to the City of Scottsdale stipulating that it be used as a park for ... Read More
2155 E. Knox Rd, Gilbert, AZ
The three picnic ramadas at Crossroads District Park are located on the east side of the park adjacent to the ballfields and the shaded playground ... Read More
7700 East Roosevelt Street, Scottsdale, AZ
Hours: Sunrise - 10:30pm Read More
8th Street and Una Avenue, Tempe, AZ
Creamery Park is one of the few parks in Tempe that was named in honor of a significant historical element in the community rather than for a signi... Read More
1000 N College Avenue, Tempe, AZ
AMENITIES: Baseball DiamondBasketball CourtsDog ParkGrillsLakeLightingPicnic TablesPlaygroundRamadasRestroomsSoftball FieldsVolleyball Courts Read More
1300 North College Avenue, Tempe, AZ
Welcome to the AZ Heritage Center, home of the Centennial Museum, where we honor the state's rich heritage, celebrate the present, and together, cr... Read More
625 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ
its massive, otherworldly sandstone buttes set Papago Park apart, even in a city and state filled with world-class natural attractions. While visit... Read More
1400 W. Mesquite, Chandler, AZ
Bring your canine friends out for some well-deserved exercise and fun at one of Chandler's dog parks.The City's Dog Parks have some unique amenitie... Read More
54 West Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ
Tempe Beach Park, like Tempe it has had a long and storied history. It has changed, adapted and arguably readapted to its environment, each time ac... Read More
5th Street and Hardy Drive, Tempe, AZ
The park was originally developed by the Jaycees of Tempe in 1962. Eventually, the park was turned over to the City of Tempe.  It is adjacent to t... Read More
Mitchell Drive and 9th Street, Tempe, AZ
Mitchell Park was once part of the vibrant Mitchell School campus. When the Tempe Elementary School District closed Mitchell School along with Ward... Read More
Mill Avenue and All America Way, Tempe, AZ
The land for Kiwanis Park was purchased in 1972 with a 50% grant from the Bureau of Recreation. This site was selected as a result of an open space... Read More
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