There are so many beautiful state parks and monuments to see within just a few miles of the Inn.  Pack a picnic, grab your hiking shoes and sunscreen and enjoy the outdoors.

We have put together a list for you that includes national parks and monuments in the local area.  If you are looking for other parks or monuments farther away, or you would like more information on what we have listed, here is a link to theArizona State Parks Website   Fees and hours vary for each park and this information is included on the parks’ websites.

Red Rock State Park is a 286 acre nature preserve and environmental education center with stunning scenery. Trails throughout the park wind through manzanita and juniper to reach the rich banks of Oak Creek.  Green meadows are framed by native vegetation and hills of red rock.  The creek meanders through the park, creating a diverse riparian habitat abounding with plants and wildlife.  This riparian habitat provides the setting and the opportunity for the park to offer a focus on environmental education.  Red Rock offers a variety of special programs for school groups and private groups.

Slide Rock State Park is named after the famous Slide Rock, a stretch of slippery creek bottom adjacent to the homestead.  Visitors may slide down a slick natural water chute or wade and sun along the creek.  The swim area is located on National Forest land which is jointly managed by Arizona State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service.

During summer months Slide Rock experiences extremely high visitation.  The parking lot will typically fill up from late morning through early afternoon. Access to the park may be temporarily unavailable – so get there early.

Jerome State Historic Park where the Douglas Mansion has been an eye-catching landmark in Jerome since 1916, when James S. Douglas built it on the hill just above his Little Daisy Mine.

Douglas designed the house as a hotel for mining officials and investors as well as for his own family. It featured a wine cellar, billiard room, marble shower, steam heat, and, much ahead of its time, a central vacuum system. Douglas was most proud of the fact that the house was constructed of adobe bricks that were made on the site.

He also built the Little Daisy Hotel near the mine as a dormitory for the miners. The concrete structure still stands.

The developed portion of Dead Horse Ranch State Parkcovers 423 acres.  The 3,300 foot elevation accounts for the mild temperatures that are ideal for camping, mountain biking in the Coconino National Forest, hiking along the Verde River, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, or just wading in the cool water.

It also offers trailhead access to the Dead Horse Trail System, located on adjacent Coconino National Forest land.  The ranch was originally named by the Ireys family, who sold the land to the state of Arizona to become a state park.

Special events include the annual Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival in April, Verde River Day in September and various field trips led by nationally recognized experts.

In 1986, the state purchased the area that is now known as the Verde River Greenway State Natural Areabetween the Tuzigoot and Bridgeport bridges.  The nearly 180-mile long Verde River is a significant resource in Arizona.  It is one of the desert’s last free-flowing rivers sustaining a large regional wildlife population and a lush riparian community.  The 3,300 foot elevation means mild temperatures for hiking along the Verde, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, or just wading in the cool water.

Use Dead Horse Ranch State Park as your base camp to enjoy the hiking, canoeing, and natural surroundings of the Verde River Greenway.

I know I said we were staying within the local area, but I just could not resist adding the Riordan Mansion State Historic Park to the list.  Built in 1904 for two Riordan families, Riordan Mansion is an impressive reminder of gracious living in a small, territorial logging town.  Your guide will lead you through a pristine historic home filled with original artifacts, handcrafted furniture, and personal mementos of the Riordan families.  The impressive home contains an exceptional collection of Craftsman furnishings with appointments by Edison, Stickley, Ellis, and Steinway. Tour size is limited and reservations are highly recommended.

Experience life through the eyes of a frontier soldier atFort Verde State Historic Park.  The fort was a base for General Crook’s U.S. Army scouts and soldiers in the 1870s and 1880s.  Today visitors can experience three historic house museums, all furnished in the 1880s period, that are listed on the National and State Register of Historic Places.  The park offers picnic tables, restrooms, RV and tour bus parking, and is ADA Accessible.  This park is on a 5 day schedule.

Gaze through the windows of the past into one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America.Montezuma Castle National Monument is a 20 room high-rise apartment, nestled into a towering limestone cliff, tells a 1,000 year-old story of ingenuity and survival in an unforgiving desert landscape.

A self-guided, 1/3-mile loop trail leads you past an incredible 5-story cliff dwelling, through a beautiful sycamore grove and along spring-fed Beaver Creek, one of only a few perennial streams in Arizona.  Don’t forget to visit the Montezuma Well in the area.

Spend a few hours and discover the incredible legacy of an ancient people at Tuzigoot National Monument.  A self-guided, 1/3-mile loop trail leads you around and through an incredible 110 room pueblo. The trail also offers outstanding views of the Verde River and Tavasci Marsh.

Another 1/2 mile round trip trail takes you to a beautiful constructed overlook of Tavasci Marsh.

Homolovi State Park now serves as a center of research for the late migration period of the Hopi from the 1200s to the late 1300s.  While archaeologists study the sites and confer with the Hopi to unravel the history of Homolovi, Arizona State Parks provides the opportunity for visitors to visit the sites and use park facilities including a visitor center and museum, various trails and a campground.  Several covered picnic tables are located throughout the park.  Pullouts provide the opportunity to observe wildlife in this park of over 4,000 acres at an elevation of 4,900 feet.

“Homolovi” is Hopi for “Place of the Little Hills” — the traditional name for Winslow, Arizona.

You will definitely need more than a weekend to see all the beautiful sites in the area, and, as you can see, the national parks and monuments in this part of Arizona are very different.  You may need a jacket in Jerome, a bathing suit at slide rock, and a life vest on the river.  Be prepared and have fun.