Want to welcome the new year outdoors? You’re in the perfect place to do it. Arizona State Parks and Trails is joining a national collaboration of all 50 states to host First Day Hikes on Jan. 1, 2022.
Park rangers, naturalists and volunteers will lead hikes and activities at parks across Arizona. Participants will learn about cultural features, history, plants and wildlife.
The topic and level of effort are up to you. You could do a bird walk, history walk, desert hike or if you’re up for a challenge, an uphill trek.
Be sure to come prepared for the weather and trail conditions. Bring plenty of water and snacks, wear proper hiking footwear and dress appropriately — you may need winter clothes or rain gear.
Your First Day Hike also qualifies for Arizona State Parks’ Eight4Two Trail Challenge. People who complete the challenge to hike at least eight trails in four parks by Jan. 18 win two day-use passes.
Ready to join a First Day Hike? Here’s what’s available. Check each park’s website for registration information, admission fees and directions.
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First Day Hikes at Arizona State Parks
Buckskin Mountain State Park: Join a ranger for a 3-mile easy to moderate hike on the Market Trail Loop with plenty of photo opportunities of the mountains and Colorado River north of Parker.
Cattail Cove State Park: Learn about the history, plants and wildlife of the area on this 2- to 3-mile moderate hike. Meet the ranger at the launch/trailhead area. The park is south of Lake Havasu City.
Dead Horse Ranch State Park: This park in Cottonwood offers two activities.
- Birding and nature hike: A 3-mile guided hike will take participants along the Verde River and around the edges of the lagoons to spot signs of beaver, otter, waterfowl and other wildlife. Meet at the West Lagoon parking lot.
- Guided hike: This 3-mile hike will offer great views of the Verde River and Tuzigoot National Monument.
Fool Hollow Lake Recreation Area: Learn the history of the Adair Settlement in the 1800s and how this park in Show Low got its name on this easy 1.5-hour hike.
Homolovi State Park: Join a ranger for a moderate 2-mile hike on the Tsu’vo Trail to Diné Point. Hikers will see petroglyphs made by early …….