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Entry fees to most Arizona State Parks waived over Easter weekend: What you need to know

A photo tour of Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park
Posted at 11:40 AM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-04 08:12:14-04

Editor's note (April 2): Rockin' River Ranch State Park in Camp Verde, Arizona is not open to the public, according to Michelle Thompson, public information officer for Arizona State Parks, despite being mentioned in Gov. Doug Ducey's video message. That park is currently still in development plans.

Whether you're looking for last-minute Easter plans or looking to beat the heat -- forecasts call for 96-99 degrees in the Phoenix metro -- admission to nearly all of Arizona's state parks, such as Slide Rock State Park in Sedona or Tonto Natural Bridge State Park in Pine, will be waived over the Easter weekend, April 3-4, 2021, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Friday.

Michelle Thompson, public information officer for Arizona State Parks, confirmed that entrance fees for most state parks would be waived over Easter weekend.

Fees will still apply for camping, cave tours at Kartchner Caverns, special events, concessions, as well as entrance fees to both of the state's historic parks in Yuma, Colorado River State Historic Park and Yuma Territorial Prison State Historic Park, she said.

Arizona has at least 34 state-owned parks, historic parks, and recreation areas. Entrance fees range between $2-$30 depending on the park. Here is a map of all the state parks.

Gov. Doug Ducey made the announcement in a video message posted to his Twitter account.

In the same video, he also called out Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and the Phoenix Parks and Recreation Department who announced earlier this week that while Phoenix-owned parks would be open over the Easter weekend, their parking lots would remain closed and the use of grills would be prohibited.

The City of Phoenix said the reason for the parking lot closures was "intended to limit the possibility of large group gatherings this weekend" in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Ducey demanded that the City of Phoenix rescind those restrictions arguing they went against his executive orders.

Citing the increase in COVID-19 vaccinations and the decrease in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Ducey has lifted several of the requirements and restrictions that were put into place during the pandemic on businesses, gyms, restaurants, and large-scale events. He has, however, encouraged people to continue to follow the CDC's guidelines.

According to the CDC's website, people have less risk of contracting COVID-19 outside and socially distant than being inside. However, they recommend even being outside to avoid large crowds, wash hands frequently, and wear a mask when unable to distance from people you do not live with.