Agency Rules & Regulations

See also individual Park Rules listed on the Rules page for each park.

R12-8-101. Definitions
R12-8-102. Permission to Enter or Remain in a State Park
R12-8-103. Vandalism
R12-8-104. Hours of Use; Closure
R12-8-106. Limited Services on Christmas
R12-8-107. Litter and Waste
R12-8-108. Payment of Fees
R12-8-109. Fees and Permits
R12-8-110. Fee Waivers
R12-8-111. Camping
R12-8-112. Campfires
R12-8-113. Vehicles, Speed Limits, and Parking
R12-8-114. Watercraft; Launching and Mooring
R12-8-115. Pets
R12-8-116. Glass Containers
R12-8-119. Weapons
R12-8-120. Fireworks and Explosives
R12-8-122. Commercial Use of a State Park
R12-8-124. Disorderly Conduct
R12-8-125. Special Use Permits
R12-8-126. Violation; Classification

 
R12-8-101. Definitions

In this Chapter:

  • “Board” means the Arizona State Parks Board.
  • “Cabana site” means a camping unit with a shelter and electricity available.
  • “Camp or camping” means overnight use of a camping unit.
  • “Camping unit ” means a defined space within an area designated for overnight use in a state park.
  • "Commercial activity" means soliciting funds, offering to sell a good or service, advertising, receiving money or another thing of value in exchange for a good, service, or activity, or conducting a business or a portion of a business, whether for profit or on behalf of a non-profit entity, on property managed by the Board. Commercial activity does not include distributing written material that describes how to make a donation at a location that is not on property managed by the Board.
  • “Concession” means a contract issued by the Board for the use of land managed by the Board to provide goods, services, or facilities to the public.
  • “Day-use area” means a space within a state park that is closed to camping but open to the public during established hours.
  • “Director” means the Executive Director of the Board or a representative of the Executive Director.
  • "Disorderly conduct" has the same meaning as prescribed in A.R.S. § 13-2904.
  • “Fee area” means a space in a state park for which a fee is charged to use, occupy, or enter.
  • “Hook-up site” means a camping unit with a connection for water, sewer, or electricity.
  • “Interpretive program” means a scheduled program conducted by an employee or volunteer of the Board at a state park, to inform, educate, or interpret resources for the public.
  • “Park Officer” means an employee of the Board who is appointed under A.R.S. § 41-511.09 as a park ranger law enforcement officer with the authority and power of a peace officer.
  • “Park Ranger” means an employee of the Board responsible for protecting and preserving the property at a state park and providing information services to park visitors.
  • “Person” means an individual, corporation, firm, partnership, club, or association.
  • "Service animal" has the same meaning as prescribed in A.R.S. § 11-1024.
  • “Special use” means the following categories of use of property managed by the Board:
    • Private special event: A non-public use that requires exclusion of the general public;
    • Public special event: A commercial activity that is not conducted under a concession or commercial rental or retail permit;
    • Festival special event: An exhibition, performance, or competition, whether for profit or non-profit, that is open to the public and for which a special entrance fee is charged; and
    • Commercial photography use: Taking photographs for any medium or making a motion picture or video.
  • "State-park annual pass" means a document authorizing the holder to enter, remain in, and use state parks multiple times during one year, subject to some restrictions.
  • “State Park System” or “ state park” means the lands, waters, monuments, historical sites, state recreation areas, and any other areas managed by the Board.
  • “Wildlife” has the same meaning as prescribed in A.R.S. § 17-101.

 
R12-8-102. Permission to Enter or Remain in a State Park

  1. A person who enters, remains in, or uses a state park shall comply with state law, including this Chapter.
  2. A person who violates state law, including this Chapter, while in a state park shall leave the state park upon order of a Park Ranger or Park Officer.
  3. A person who leaves a state park under subsection (B) shall not reenter the state park for at least 72 hours.

 
R12-8-103. Vandalism


Within a state park, a person shall not deface, injure, destroy, remove, or use, without authority, any:

  1. Public facility or property;
  2. Wildlife, plant, or animal; or
  3. Archaeological, geological, or historical object.

 
R12-8-104. Hours of Use; Closure

  1. Camping areas are open to public use at all hours.
  2. Day-use areas are open to the public during the hours posted.
  3. The Director may temporarily restrict the hours of public use or close all or a portion of a state park in the interest of public safety or to protect the property.
  4. The Director may modify the hours of use on a temporary basis to accommodate unusual or seasonal circumstances. The Director shall post any exception to usual hours of public use at the entrance to the state park.

 
R12-8-106. Limited Services on Christmas


State park facilities are not staffed on Christmas except in an emergency. On Christmas, caves, museums, contact stations, and visitor centers are closed. Other state park areas are open for public use as posted.

 
R12-8-107. Litter and Waste

  1. Within a state park, a person shall not leave or discard trash, garbage, or human or animal waste unless the person:      
    1. Confines the trash, garbage, or human or animal waste in a sanitary manner; and         
    2. Deposits the trash, garbage, or human or animal waste in a facility specifically designated to receive it.
  2. Within a state park, a person shall not deposit trash, garbage, or human or animal waste collected from a private residence, business, or other place outside the state park.

 
R12-8-108. Payment of Fees

  1. Before entering, remaining in, or using a fee area, a person shall:
    1. Pay the required fee,
    2. Purchase a current state-park annual pass, or
    3. Obtain permission from the Director.
  2. A fee paid under subsection (A)(1) to enter, remain in, or use one state park does not authorize entering, remaining in, or using another state park.

 
R12-8-109. Fees and Permits

  1. Annual fee review. The Board shall annually review and set fees for entrance, camping, and overnight parking at a state park. The Board shall base the fees upon an analysis of the following criteria:
    1. Fee and permit charges of state park agencies in the 11 western states, 
    2. Fee and permit charges of entities with similar facilities within Arizona,
    3. Operational and developmental costs of the Board,
    4. Public demand for services, and
    5. Public-use impacts upon park resources.
  2. The Board shall ensure that fees for entrance, camping, and overnight parking are posted at each state park and printed in state-park literature intended for public information.
  3. Fee schedule. Entrance, camping, and overnight parking fees for each state park are listed in Exhibit A.
  4. Special use fees. The Director shall negotiate a fee for a special use if the Director determines that a fee greater than the fee listed in Exhibit A is justified based upon analysis of the following criteria:
    1. Board expenses resulting from the special use,
    2. Loss of revenue resulting from the special use,
    3. Impacts upon park resources and visitors as a result of the special use, and
    4. The goodwill produced for sponsors of the special use.
  5. Interpretive program fees.  The Director may establish a special fee for or waive the usual state park entrance fee during an interpretive program.  The Director shall determine whether to assess a special fee or waive the usual state park entrance fee for an interpretive program using the criteria specified in subsection (D).  If the Director establishes a special   fee for an interpretive program, the Director shall ensure that the special fee is posted and printed in state-park literature in advance of the interpretive program.
  6. Commercial permit. A person that intends to enter a state park to conduct any portion of a business that is not covered by a concession or special use permit shall obtain either a commercial retail or commercial rental permit from the Board before entering the state park.  A commercial permit authorizes one commercial vehicle carrying no more than four individuals to enter the state park for which the commercial permit is issued.

 
R12-8-110. Fee Waivers

  1. The Director may waive the entrance fee listed in Exhibit A for the following groups.  If the Director does not waive the entrance fee, members of the group shall pay the entrance fee listed in Exhibit A:
    1. A preschool or K-12 school group and accompanying chaperons;
    2. A group of professional individuals participating in a parks and recreation, historic, or interpretive seminar or conference tour; and
    3. A group of disabled individuals affiliated with an organization or agency established to care for, rehabilitate, train, or serve the disabled individuals. For the purpose of this subsection, disabled means blind or visually impaired, deaf or hard of hearing, mobility impaired, or developmentally impaired.
  2. An individual who serves as a volunteer and has a signed volunteer agreement with the Board is exempt from entrance fees listed in Exhibit A.
  3. The Director may modify any fee prescribed under R12-8-109 to grant a discount or promotional rate.

 
R12-8-111. Camping

  1. Camping is permitted only in a designated camping unit.
  2. Except when camping at a Board-approved concession area within a state park, a person using a camping unit shall not:
    1. Camp in a state park for more than 15 days within a 30-day period unless authorized by the Director;
    2. Camp in a state park for more than 29 days within a 45-day period that is posted as a long-term stay period unless authorized by the Director;
    3. Leave an occupied camping unit unattended overnight without written permission from the Director; or
    4. Allow the number of persons occupying a camping unit or the number of vehicles in the camping unit to exceed the limits posted at the entrance to the state park or camping unit.
  3. A camping unit is considered occupied after the use fee is paid and the camper establishes a conspicuous presence. A person shall not occupy a camping unit in violation of instructions from the Director or if there is reason to believe that the camping unit is occupied by another camper.
  4. A Park Ranger shall allow the occupants of a single vehicle to register for more than one camping unit only if the number of occupants exceeds the posted occupancy limit for the camping unit.
  5. A person shall pay the fee for a permit to use a camping unit on a per-day basis. Payment authorizes use of the camping unit until 12 Noon on the day the permit expires.
  6. A person shall remove all personal property from a camping unit by 12 Noon on the day that a permit expires or purchase an additional permit if eligible under subsection (B).

 
R12-8-112. Campfires

  1. A person shall ignite an outdoor fire only in a camping unit or day-use area specifically designated for an outdoor fire.
  2. A person who ignites an outdoor fire shall ensure that the fire is confined to a grill, fire ring, or other facility provided by the state park.
  3. A person shall not ignite or maintain a fire when a high wind is blowing or when open burning is prohibited by order of the Director.
  4. A person who ignites an outdoor fire shall ensure that the fire is attended and controlled at all times.

 
R12-8-113. Vehicles, Speed Limits, and Parking

  1. The operator of a motor vehicle within a state park shall drive the motor vehicle only on a maintained roadway, parking area, or other area designated by signs for motor vehicle use.
  2. The operator of a motor vehicle within a state park shall comply with all state law regarding operation of a motor vehicle and shall not drive the motor vehicle at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the circumstances and conditions or in excess of a posted limit.
  3. The operator of a motor vehicle within a state park shall not park or leave the motor vehicle unattended except in a designated parking area or parking zone.  The Director may remove an unattended motor vehicle that is illegally parked or left standing upon a roadway or in a park area in a manner that may obstruct traffic or impair normal activities of the state park.

 
R12-8-114. Watercraft; Launching and Mooring


A person shall not moor or launch a watercraft from a shore within a state park if the Director has determined that it is in the best interest of the state park to prohibit mooring or launching of watercraft and has posted notice of the prohibition at the shore.

 
R12-8-115. Pets

  1. Except as provided in subsection (B), a person shall keep a dog, cat, or other pet on a leash that does not exceed six feet or otherwise restrain the animal while in a state park.
  2. The restraint requirement in subsection (A) does not apply to a dog in an area open to hunting or field trials if the dog is participating in these activities.
  3. A person shall not take a pet into a state park building, cabana site, developed beach, or other area that the Director has determined is environmentally or ecologically sensitive. This restriction does not apply to a service animal.

 
R12-8-116. Glass Containers


A person shall not possess a glass or ceramic container in a state park area that is designated as a public beach or swimming area, or posted  "No Glass Containers."

 
R12-8-119. Weapons

  1. The following definitions apply to this Section:
    1. “Improved recreation area” means a camping unit, roadway, amphitheater, boat launching ramp, developed picnic area, developed swimming beach, and any other area within a state park that is designated by the Director and reserved for an assembly or other temporary gathering of persons.
    2. “Prohibited weapon” means a firearm as defined by A.R.S. § 13-3101, including a BB or pellet gun, bow, or slingshot.
  2. A peace officer or private security guard employed by the holder of a park concession is authorized to carry a firearm in a state park if:
    1. The peace officer is certified under state law, or
    2. The holder of the park concession complies with A.R.S. § 32-2606(3) regarding private security guards.
  3. Unless authorized under subsection (B), a person shall not enter or remain in an improved recreation area while carrying a prohibited weapon after a reasonable request from a park ranger to remove it. A request to remove a prohibited weapon is reasonable if a park ranger believes that the person carrying the prohibited weapon poses a danger or threat to others lawfully present. If, after a reasonable request is made, a person carrying a prohibited weapon within an improved recreation area chooses to remain in the improved recreation area, the person shall place the weapon in the custody of a park ranger until the person leaves the improved recreation area.
  4. A firearm may be transported or stored in a vehicle on any state park area as allowed by A.R.S. § 13-3102(F).
  5. A hunter who holds a current license issued by the Arizona Game and Fish Department may carry a lawful hunting weapon in any state park area designated for hunting and may carry the hunting weapon through the state park to reach the state park area designated for hunting.

 
R12-8-120. Fireworks and Explosives


A person shall not discharge fireworks or any other explosive device within a state park without first obtaining from the Director a special use permit that authorizes the discharge of fireworks or other explosive device.

 
R12-8-122. Commercial Use of a State Park

  1. A person shall not engage in a commercial activity within a state park unless the commercial activity is authorized by:
    1. A special use permit issued under R12-8-125,
    2. A concession, or
    3. A commercial rental or retail permit.
  2. Subsection (A) does not apply to an individual who enters a state park in a commercially marked vehicle if the individual intends to, provide service to the holder of a special use permit, concession, or commercial rental or retail permit, or respond to an emergency.

 
R12-8-124. Disorderly Conduct

  1. An individual shall not engage in disorderly conduct within a state park.
  2. Within a state park, an individual shall not knowingly disturb the peace of an area or another individual, make unreasonable noise, engage in violent behavior, use provocative language or gestures, or recklessly handle, display, or discharge a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument.
  3. An individual shall not use a loudspeaker in a state park without first obtaining from the Director a special use permit that authorizes the use of a loudspeaker.

 
R12-8-125. Special Use Permits

  1. Special use permit required. Within a state park, a person shall obtain a special use permit from the Board before:
    1. Engaging in an activity that is prohibited by this Chapter without a permit;
    2. Excluding the general public from an area or facility within the state park;
    3. Engaging in a commercial activity not covered by a concession or commercial rental or retail permit;
    4. Engaging in a spectator event designed to attract a large crowd;
    5. Engaging in an activity that requires a permit from another entity such as the Coast Guard, Arizona Game and Fish Department, or a city, county, or municipality;
    6. Engaging in an activity that requires a reservation outside an area designated for use by reservation; or
    7. Using a state park area for a purpose different from that for which the area is designated.
  2. General terms and conditions. The Board shall issue a special use permit only subject to the following general terms and conditions:
    1. An application for the special use permit is submitted less than one year before the planned special use;
    2. The special use permit may be revoked if the Board determines that the permit holder fails to comply with state park statutes, this Chapter, and all Board policies that are terms of the special use permit;
    3. The special use permit does not conflict with a concession without written approval from the concession holder;
    4. The special use permit is issued to the first person that applies for a special use permit for a particular day at a particular location;
    5. The special use permit is issued only after the applicant complies with any indemnity and insurance requirements that the Board determines are necessary to protect the state;
    6. The special use permit is issued only after the applicant pays required fees or obtains a fee waiver under R12-8-110;
    7. The special use does not conflict with the Board's management goals for the state park; and
    8. The special use does not create a safety hazard to participants, spectators, or the general public.
  3. Private special event. The Board shall issue a special use permit for a private special event only subject to the following specific terms and conditions:
    1. The person requesting a special use permit for a private special event requests the special use permit for no more than seven consecutive days of use and no more than 14 days of use in a calendar year;
    2. The private special event does not significantly interfere with the public's use of the state park; and
    3. The person holding a special use permit for a private special event does not engage in commercial activity within a state park.
  4. Public special event. The Board shall issue a special use permit for a public special event only subject to the following specific terms and conditions:
    1. The person requesting a special use permit for a public special event requests the special use permit for no more than four consecutive days of use in a calendar quarter and no more than 16 days of use in a calendar year at a particular state park; and
    2. No more than two special use permits for a public special event are issued per day per state park.
  5. Festival special event. The Board shall issue a special use permit for a festival special event only subject to the following specific terms and conditions:
    1. The person requesting a special use permit for a festival special event requests the special use permit at least 120 days before the festival special event if no more than 1,500 people are expected to attend each day of the festival special event or at least 180 days before the festival special event if more than 1,500 people are expected to attend each day;
    2. The person requesting a special use permit for a festival special event requests no more than seven consecutive days of use and no more than 14 days of use in a calendar year at a particular state park;
    3. No more than one special use permit for a festival special event is issued per day per state park;
    4. The person requesting a special use permit for a festival special event provides to the Board a detailed plan regarding security, sanitary facilities, medical services, parking, food and drink facilities, booths, and sponsorships at least 90 days before the festival special event; and
    5. The person requesting a special use permit for a festival special event obtains all permits required by other entities such as a city, county, municipality, or agency and submits a copy of all permits to the Board at least 30 days before the festival special event.
  6. Commercial photography special use. The Board shall issue a special use permit for commercial photography only subject to the following specific terms and conditions:
    1. The person requesting a special use permit for commercial photography requests the special use permit at least 30 days before the commercial photography event;
    2. The person requesting a special use permit for commercial photography requests no more than seven consecutive days of use and no more than 14 days of use in a calendar year at a particular state park; and
    3. The person holding a commercial photography special use permit does not engage in commercial activity within a state park.

 
R12-8-126. Violation; Classification

Under A.R.S. § 41-511.13, an individual who violates a provision of this Chapter commits a class 2 misdemeanor.

See Also Reservation Policies: Terms & Conditions (Find a Park)

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