Arizona State Parks and Trails was established through House Bill 72 on March 25, 1957. In April of that year, Governor Ernest McFarland appointed the first State Parks Board members. The Arizona State Parks and Trails mission is managing and conserving Arizona's natural, cultural and recreational resources for the benefit of the people, both in our parks and through our partners. Its vision is Arizona State Parks and Trails is the national leader in sustainable outdoor recreation for current and future generations.
The agency manages more than 64,000 acres of land and includes the State Trails Program, outdoor-related grants program, statewide outdoor recreation planning, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the Off-Highway Vehicle Program. The agency not only promotes physical and mental health and wellness within Arizona communities, but also helps drive the economy, and enhance and protect local communities and cultures.
Currently, the agency manages 33 state parks. Of these, 15 are camping parks, eight are historic parks, one is a memorial state park, and seven are recreation parks for day-use only. Two parks, Rockin' River Ranch and San Rafael, are closed to the public. Tubac Presidio State Historic Park, in southern Arizona, is the first state park.
The Arizona State Parks Board guides and advises the agency on its mision. The Board is comprised of two members representing the grazing/ranching industry, one employed in the professional field of parks and recreation, and the State Land Commissioner. The remaining are selected at large. The board meets throughout the year and meetings are open to the public. Several other advisory committees and groups also meet throughout the year.