Top State Parks near Sedona
Arizona’s State Parks are adorned with natural riches, geological wonders, hidden treasures and rich red desert landscapes fully of magic and mystery. Sedona is a base camp for some of the top State Parks in Arizona, and only a scenic drive (130 miles) to the southern rim of the Grand Canyon – a bucket-list destination and one of the “Seven Natural Wonders of the World”.
If you’re planning a vacation to Sedona, here’s our top pick of state parks not to be overlooked during your stay.
Slide Rock State ParkDistance from Sedona: 7 miles
Slide Rock State Park is one of “America’s Top 10 Swimming Holes” and a top Sedona attraction. Nestled on a thriving 43-acre apple orchard in Oak Creek Canyon, Slide Rock has a world-famous 80ft natural slippery slide, a half-mile long swimming hole, rocks for sunbathing and fun-filled water adventures for all ages.
A nature trail weaves through the apple farm and Pendley Homestead with a gift shop, park store, an apple packing farm, old homestead buildings dating back to the turn of the 20th century, and scenic picnic areas. Slide Rock State Park is a Sedona landmark and extremely popular destination so get there early to park!
Red Rock State ParkDistance from Sedona: 10 miles
Red Rock State Park is one of Arizona’s most scenic destinations with outdoor experiences for every type of traveler. The small 286-acre nature preserve lies on the scenic banks of Oak Creek with a visitors center, park stores, a classroom & theater for educational programs, a ramada for picnics, and 5-miles of well-marked, interconnecting trails looping through the park.
The park offers an abundance of family-friendly activities from Junior Ranger programs and birdwatching walks to unique guided experiences and full moon hikes. Red Rock Day Passes are available for visitors to explore the park at their leisure, hike the trails through the manzanita and junipers to Oak Creek, discover a diverse habitat of vivid red rocks and lush greenery abounding with plants, wildlife and birdlife, and capture the beauty of one of Sedona’s famous views of the iconic Cathedral Rock. While most of Red Rock State Park’s trails are off-limits to bikers, the Lime Kiln Trail traces parts of a historic wagon road for a rocky, downhill mountain bike ride to Dead Horse State Park.
Dead Horse State ParkDistance from Sedona: 20 miles
Dead Horse State Park is a lush oasis on the banks of the Verde River near Cottonwood, just a short and scenic drive from Sedona. There are two day use areas for visitors with ramadas for BBQs and picnics, a playground and small zipline for the kids, a launch ramp and dock for kayaking and canoeing, three stocked fishing lagoons, and over 20 miles of double track and singletrack mixed-use trails for hiking, biking and horseriding (including easy ADA accessible trails for wheelchairs and strollers!)
Dead Horse State Park is a haven for nature lovers with trails leading up into the high desert of the Coconino National Forest, beautiful birdlife and wildlife viewing and secluded, untouched scenery. Perhaps the best way to experience Dead Horse State Park is on a guided wrangler tour of the trails. Whether you’re a lil’ wrangler or a seasoned cowboy, Trail Horse Adventures offer an experience you’ll never forget!
Dead Horse State Park is only a short drive from the historic pueblo swellings and traditional Sinagua artifacts at the Tuzigoot National Monument & Museum.
Fort Verde Historic State ParkDistance from Sedona: 27 miles
Fort Verde State Historic Park in Camp Verde is a must for the history buffs in your travel group (young and old!). The park is the best preserved example of the Indian War period in Arizona with three original period house museums, a historic Visitors Center with military artifacts and interpretive exhibits, interactive living history events, and fun Junior Ranger programs for the kids.
Add another of Sedona’s top historical attractions to your Arizona state park adventures. The Montezuma Castle National Monument is 4-miles north of Fort Verde and boasts one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America, a historic Native American high-rise dwelling nestled in a towering limestone cliff with scenic trails and picnic areas along Beaver Creek.
Jerome State Historic ParkDistance from Sedona: 28 miles
Jerome is a historic mining town, once home to Arizona’s largest copper mine. Today, it is one of America’s most famous ghost towns referred to as “The Wickedest Town in the West” but visitors can still get a glimpse of the rich history of the area at Jerome State Historic Park. The park is centered around the restored home of the Douglas family, a local landmark since 1916, and is dedicated to the mining history of Jerome with a 3D model of Jerome and the underground mine shafts, historic photos and unique artifacts, and picnic areas with views over the Verde Valley.
2022 National Parks Day Free Entrance
If you’re yet to plan your visit to Sedona’s state parks, consider this - all National Parks that charge entrance will offer FREE admission to everyone on 5 days throughout the year! This applies to entrance fees only, user fees for amenities, activities or park programs still apply.
- Jan 17: Martin Luther King Jr. Day
- April 16: First day of National Park Week
- Aug 4: Anniversary of Great American Outdoors Act.
- Sep 24: National Public Lands Day Nov 11: Veterans Day