These southern Arizona state parks are just a few of many, and they’re all connected by legacy, legend, lore, and the great outdoors. We are highlighting these parks because they all are close to our SKP community.



Kartchner Caverns is the premier natural attraction of the area. The formations in this famous, living limestone cave are still growing as water seeps in from above. Temperature inside the cave is a constant 72° Fahrenheit, so it is comfortable year-round. Guided tours of the cave system are available. As these tours are very popular, you will need to make reservations in advance.

Kartchner Caverns State Park also offers camping and hiking


Believe it or not, the old Courthouse in Tombstone, Arizona has been designated State Historic Park.  

Inside you’ll find exhibits from the old west era of Tombstone. You’ll see the courtroom and sheriff’s office, and even a gallows where capital offenders of the time were hanged.


The Elegant Trogon is a sought-after reward for birders in Patagonia Lake State Park.

About an hour away is Patagonia Lake State Park, a world class birding area boasting over 200 species of birds and a 265 acre lake. Search for the elusive Elegant Trogon and other unique wildlife on miles of hiking trails in the Park and the adjacent Sonoita Creek State Natural Area. Take a guided boat tour around the lake and learn its history. Rent a boat and try angling for bass, crappie, or rainbow trout stocked November-March.


A little further afield than some of the other parks, but well worth the drive, is Catalina State Park north of Tucson. At the foot of the scenic Santa Catalina Mountains, you’ll find great scenery and a plethora of desert flora and fauna. A number of trails invite you to explore the canyons and streams in the Santa Catalina foothills. There’s a birding trail, a trail through an ancient Apache village, and a nature trail that gives you a birds-eye view of the park. You’ll navigate through majestic saguaros as you take in the beautiful mountain scenery and wildflowers. And if you keep your eye out, you might encounter some of the desert wildlife as well.