The Arizona State Parks Department remains open during the federal shutdown, which has closed national parks and other federal recreation sites.
Park officials said they have seen an increase in the number of visitors camping at state parks in northern Arizona, since more than 250 federal camping sites in the state closed last week.
Campgrounds were full over the weekend at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood and are completely booked for this weekend too, said a department official.
Sharon Miller and her husband drove from Kentucky to visit Tucson and camp at Catalina State Park. She said they also want to see the Grand Canyon, but she’s not sure if they will be able to because of shutdown.
“Not happy with it, when you drive 1,700 miles to see some of the national parks and you can’t," Miller said. "You know, you’re having to rethink where you are going.”
She said they still plan on driving north in hopes that the government will reopen the Grand Canyon before they have to go home.
The state has 14 parks that offer camping to visitors. People in Southern Arizona can camp at Patagonia Lake, Kartchner Caverns, and Catalina State Park.
People looking to make a camping reservation for a state park can visit azstateparks.com.