AJ Ringström | Saguaro National Park
Some people (including a few commenters on our Facebook page) think Arizona has only one national park. While the Grand Canyon may be the most famous national park here, Arizona is home to 22 national parks, monuments, memorials and historic sites. There are plenty of Grand Canyon shots in this week’s Friday Fotos gallery, but also plenty from some lesser-known parks in the Grand Canyon State.
Make plans to visit one of these parks soon! Don’t forget, entrance fees are waived next Saturday, September 27.
Keith Zimmerman | Montezuma Castle National Monument
Bob Miller | Saguaro National Park
Maggie Irwin | Saguaro National Park
Greg McKelvey | Tonto National Monument
Diane Ingram | Grand Canyon
Ray Minnick | Chiricahua National Monument
Thomas Folkers | Saguaro National Park West
Sue Cullumber | Wupatki National Monument
Catalina A Caballero | Grand Canyon
Patrick Moore | Tuzigoot National Monument
Betty Shropshire | Grand Canyon
Gaelyn Olmsted | Grand Canyon
Gerry Groeber | Grand Canyon
Judy Graham | Grand Canyon
Peter James | Grand Canyon
Aida M. Scheck Medina | Petrified Forest National Park
Valerie Millett | Petrified Forest National Park
Natasha Artine | Saguaro National Park East
Debbie Angel | Chiricahua National Monument
Patrick Cobb | Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Saija Lehtonen | Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
Michael Joseph Baca | Casa Grande Ruins National Monument
AJ Ringström | Saguaro National Park
Doug Koepsel | Petrified Forest National Park
Maggie Irwin | Coronado National Memorial
April Goldian | Grand Canyon
Gene Ames | Wupatki National Monument
Natasha Artine | Saguaro National Park West
Sandy Feutz | Grand Canyon
Archie Tucker | Grand Canyon
Nicole Drinkwater | Saguaro National Park West
Diana Olson Lordan | Wupatki National Monument
Cheryl Caffarella Wilson | Saguaro National Park
Don Lawrence | Saguaro National Park West
Lawrence Busch | Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument
John Morey | Grand Canyon
Steve Pauken | Petrified Forest National Park
Jeff Maltzman | Chiricahua National Monument
Bill Cantey | Grand Canyon
Sue Cullumber | Tonto National Monument
Gene Ames | Sunset Crater Volcano Natiional Monument
Mario El Pachuco | Saguaro National Park
Greg McCown | Saguaro National Park
Diane Ingram | Petrified Forest National Park
Ellen Ferreira | Hubbell Trading Post
Lawrence Busch | Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Doug Koepsel | Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Ken Sanger | Grand Canyon
Sara Marisa | Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument
Lynne Morck | Grand Canyon
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Remote Leigh | Glen Canyon
Next Saturday, September 27, is National Public Lands Day. To celebrate, the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at national parks and monuments around the U.S.
To find a park in Arizona (or anywhere) where the entrance fee is being waived, click here. Keep in mind that many national parks and monuments never charge entrance fees.
The next fee-free day will be Veterans Day (November 11).
What’s your favorite national park in Arizona? Let us know in the comments!
Walnut Canyon National Monument | Courtesy of National Park Service
A report released this month by the National Park Service shows that visitors to Arizona’s national parks in 2013 spent $773.9 million and supported nearly 12,000 jobs in the state.
More than 10 million people visited national parks in Arizona last year, the report says. Nationwide, nearly 275 million people visited national parks in 2013, and those visits created a benefit of $26.5 billion to the U.S. economy.
The peer-reviewed study also confirms a common statement about America’s national parks: For every $1 invested in parks, $10 in economic benefit is created.
Arizona’s 2013 numbers were up from 2012, when just under 10 million people visited national parks in the state. Those visitors created $745.6 million in economic benefit. That’s despite the 16-day government shutdown that closed national parks in October 2013. Park visitation and economic impact were down slightly nationwide as a result of the shutdown, the study says.
To view and download the full report, visit http://www.nature.nps.gov/socialscience/economics.cfm.
Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument, near Flagstaff | Courtesy of National Park Service
Nearly 10 million people visited Arizona’s national parks in 2012, and those visitors spent $745.6 million here — enough to support 11,470 jobs in the state — according to a National Park Service report released March 3.
The report also confirms an often-repeated anecdote about national parks: For every $1 invested in the Park Service, $10 in economic impact is generated.
The Park Service’s findings were part of a peer-reviewed study that analyzed visitor spending at parks throughout the U.S. Nationally, the report found, the 283 million visitors to national parks in 2012 spent $14.7 billion at communities within 60 miles of the park they were visiting. That spending supported 243,000 jobs and had a cumulative economic benefit of $26.75 billion, the report said.
To read the full report, click here.
Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, Southern Arizona | Courtesy of National Park Service
Four Southern Arizona high-school students have won awards in an essay contest co-sponsored by our friends at the Western National Parks Association, a nonprofit partner of the National Park Service. The theme of the contest was “Do National Parks Matter?” The winners are:
- Grand prize: Maya Wallace, Sabino High School, Tucson
- Second place: Alex Burnaday, Lourdes Catholic School, Nogales
- Third place: Elizabeth Carr, Canyon del Oro High School, Tucson
- Honorable mention: Yana Karapetyan, Sunnyside High School, Tucson
All four honorees’ essays will be published in a WNPA booklet that includes a foreword by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. In addition, the writers will be honored in March at WNPA’s annual reception in Tucson, where O’Connor will be the keynote speaker. For more information, visit www.wnpa.org or call 520-622-6014.
Montezuma Castle National Monument | Courtesy of National Park Service
If you aren’t working on Monday, January 20, why not visit one of America’s 401 national parks, monuments and recreation areas? And here’s a bonus: There are no entrance fees at the parks that day in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Only 133 national parks normally charge entrance fees. The Arizona parks on that list are:
So, enjoy free entry at those parks next Monday! If you’d like to stop worrying about entrance fees altogether, the National Park Service offers an $80 annual pass that covers all national parks. It’s a must for anyone making more than a few visits to our nation’s parks every year.
Other fee-free days in 2014: February 15-17 (Presidents Day weekend), April 19-20 (opening weekend of National Park Week), August 25 (the National Park Service’s birthday), September 27 (National Public Lands Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day). For more information, click here.