Budget deal allows state parks to remain open

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PHOENIX -- While the Arizona State Parks Department had initially started asking campers to leave due to uncertainty over the budget, all of Arizona's state parks will be open today and through the holiday weekend.

State parks back open

State parks back open today - Although the Arizona State Parks department began asking campers to leave 13 State Parks' campgrounds, the parks will be open today and through the holiday weekend.

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Anticipating a government shutdown, officials at 13 of the state's 30 parks asked visitors to leave Tuesday afternoon.

At the time, it was thought that only Fool Hollow Lake and Lake Havasu State Park (Windsor Beach) would be able to remain open thanks to special operating agreements the Arizona State Parks department had worked out with the cities of Show Low and Lake Havasu.

Once the budget deal was reached early Wednesday morning, rangers were told to go ahead and let people back in to those parks.

"As of this morning, all of our parks will be open -- back to normal business," said Renee Bahl, executive director of the State Parks department. "Campgrounds are re-opening. Our day-use parks will open at their normal times."

In addition to the parks remaining open to visitors, cave tours at Kartchener Caverns State Park will also go ahead as scheduled.

For more information about Arizona's 30 state parks, other hiking opportunities such as hiking all the 550 State Trails, off-highway vehicle trails and other outdoor recreational and cultural opportunities, visit or call 602-542-4174.