Online Campground Reservations

Location

Dead Horse Ranch Locator Map

Elevation 3,300 feet   Fees

Contact the Park:
(928) 634-5283
Dead Horse Ranch SP
675 Dead Horse Ranch Rd.
Cottonwood, AZ 86326

Facilities

Visitor Center Restrooms Gift Shop Group: Day Use Areas Group: Camping Sites Camping Cabins Ramadas Electric RV Sites Non Electric RV Sites Dump Station Showers Picnic Areas/Shelters Hiking Trails Equestrian Trails Biking Fishing Boat Ramp Non-Motorized Watercraft Wildlife Viewing

Nearest Services: 1 mile

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511 Speed Code

511 logo

Park's Speed Code: 4210#

Fees

Park Entrance Fees:
Per Vehicle (1-4 Adults): $7.00
Individual/Bicycle: $3.00

Camping Fees:
Non-Electric/tent site: $15
Red Tail: $25
Cooper's Hawk: $25
Quail Loop: $30
Cabin Rental: $55

Fee Schedule

Facilities

Facilities available at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Day use hours are from 8 am to 10 pm; gates close at dark. Seasonal hours may apply and will be posted.

 
Visitor Center Visitor Center

Visitor CenterThe Dead Horse Ranch Ranger Station offers registration, park information, first aid assistance, and a gift shop. Hours: 8 am – 5 pm every day, except December 25.

 
Restrooms Restrooms

Day Use Areas: Modern ADA accessible restrooms with hot water.
Camping Loops: Modern ADA accessible restrooms at each loop with hot water & showers at no extra fee to registered campers.
Cabin Area: Family-style accessible restrooms with hot showers are available to cabin guests.   

 
Gift Shop Gift Shop

Gift ShopThe Dead Horse Ranch gift shop located in the Visitor Center offers water, fishing bait, books, T-shirts, and a variety of items that will make nice souvenirs of your Dead Horse Ranch visit.

 
Group Day Use Areas Group: Day Use Areas

River Day Use Area: Located in the proximity of the Verde River. Trails leading from the River Day Use Area follow the river as well as lead into a lush cottonwood, willow gallery riparian area. The Canopy Trail is ADA accessible providing excellent birding and wildlife viewing opportunities for the mobility impaired. There are two ramadas available for group reservations. Each ramada has a large family-size grill, electricity, and picnic tables. Maximum Group Size for the entire day use area is 200+ people.

Los Alamos Day Use Area: Located under a cottonwood tree canopy between two fishing lagoons — eight ramadas are available for reservation. A dock, launch ramp, fish cleaning station, and modern restrooms are close by. Nearby are trails leading around the lagoons, to the Verde River Greenway and onto the Coconino National Forest. The two lagoons adjacent to Los Alamos total approximately 16 surface acres.

Reservations are taken no more than 12 months in advance.

 
Group Camping Areas Group: Camping Sites

Raven Loop:  A 23 site group campground available by reservation by calling the park directly (928) 634-5283. The loop contains modern restroom facilities providing hot water & showers, a large ramada, and group fire ring. Maximum Group Size: 46 Units.

Reservation Policy and Fees:

  • A minimum of 10 vehicles are required to qualify as a group for the Raven Loop Group Campground.
  • Raven Loop has a $180 minimum fee. (Includes $25 facility fee and $5.00 reservation fee and 10 camping passes at $15 each.)
  • Exclusive use of the site is $375. (Includes the $25 facility fee and $5.00 reservation fee and 23 camping passes at $15 each.)
  • Additional vehicles pay the $15 camping fee.
  • The $5.00 reservation fee is non-refundable.
  • Reservations are taken no more than 12 months in advance.

   
Camping Sites Electric RV Sites Non Electric RV Sites RV & Camping Sites

Camping ReservationsSite reservations are available by calling the Reservation Center at (520) 586-2283. You can call 7 days a week, from 8 am to 5 pm MST. There is a $5 non-refundable reservation fee per site. You may also reserve campsites 24/7 for this park online Online Campground Reservations

RV & Camping SitesThere are over 100 large RV sites available. For after-hours arrivals, vacant sites may be occupied on a night-by-night basis only. Most of the pull through sites can accommodate 40-foot motor homes and truck & trailer rigs up to 65 feet, and include potable water and 30/50-amp service. Generators are prohibited. All loops include modern, ADA accessible restroom facilities providing hot water & showers and are free to registered campers. There is a stay limit of 14 nights in a 30-day period. We can be full in the spring and fall so check online or call 1-2 days in advance to check availability.

Fees: Fees range from $25–30 per night for sites with electricity, and $15 per night for sites without electricity. Campsite fees shall be based upon 2 vehicles per site with no more than one of the vehicles being an RV/Motorhome. There is a $15 per night fee for second vehicles. Fee does not apply to vehicles towed behind a primary vehicle when the primary vehicle remains at the site and the towed vehicle is used for transportation.

Quail Loop: 43 campsites, including one ADA accessible site.

Red-Tail Loop: 36 campsites, including one ADA accessible site.

Cooper’s Hawk Loop: 27 campsites, including two ADA accessible sites.

Blackhawk Loop: 17 non-electric campsites, including one ADA accessible site, reserved exclusively for tents. RVs, including campers and vans, are not permitted. The loop is adjacent to modern restroom facilities providing hot water & showers.

For cancellation policy see Reservation Policies: Terms & Conditions

 
Cabins Camping Cabins at Dead Horse Ranch SP

Camping ReservationsCamping Cabin reservations are available by calling the Reservation Center at (520) 586-2283. You can call 7 days a week, from 8 am to 5 pm MST. There is a $5 reservation fee per site. You may also reserve Camping Cabins online 24/7 (Accessibility info)

Camping CabinsDead Horse Ranch Camping CabinCamping Cabin Loop: Eight one-room log camping cabins are available at Dead Horse Ranch by online reservations More. They are tucked away from the other campgrounds, making them an ideal getaway for a weekend or for the week. The cabins are variably furnished with a full size bed, a bunk bed, table & chairs, dresser-drawer, ceiling fan with overhead light, and electricity. Cabins now have heating and cooling! Campers must supply their own linens. Each cabin also has a barbecue and picnic table outside, plus a small individual fire ring. Family-style shower facilities are only a short walk from all of the cabins. There is an electrified ramada with barbecues that can be shared by cabin guests. (Learn about other parks with Camping Cabins)

Reservation Policy and Fees:

  • Cabin Fee: $55 per night. $5 reservation fee.
  • Reservations are confirmed by receipt of an application and approval of a credit card (Visa/Mastercard only). Full payment is required at time of reservation.
  • Rental rates are charged per night. 14 nights maximum stay length in any 30-day period.
  • Reservations may be made up to 365 days in advance.
  • Two nights minimum stay on weekends. 
  • Pets must be declared upon reservation. Pets are only allowed at cabins 3 through 8. There is a pet charge of $5.00 per pet per day.
  • Smoking and cooking are prohibited in cabins. Fires are limited to barbecue grilles and the community fire pit.
  • Furniture must remain inside cabin.
  • Cabin guest must ensure that the cabin is left clean and undamaged. Cleaning and damage fees will be billed to the credit card on file. 
  • Damage fees will be assessed to cover the total cost of repairs.
  • Vehicles: Each vehicle must display a permit on the rear view mirror of their vehicle indicating payment of fees. Maximum 2 vehicles per cabin. RVs longer than 24 feet are not permitted in the Mesquite area and will be assessed the standard camping fee.
  • Cabin Occupancy: The rental party must comprise at least 1 person 18 years of age or older. Occupancy is a maximum of 4 adults not to exceed 6 persons total, including children.
  • Bedding consists of 1 bunk bed and 1 full-sized bed.
  • Tents: There is a tent fee of $15.00 per night. The tent must be declared upon reservation. The tent must be placed within 10 feet of the cabin.
  • Check in time is 3 pm. Check out time is 10 am.
  • All other policies governing Arizona State Parks shall apply.

For cancellation policy see Reservation Policies: Terms & Conditions

 
Ramadas Ramadas

Reservation fee includes electricity only where available. Each table will hold 4 – 8 people. Restrooms are within walking distance of all ramadas. Los Alamos Ramadas are near the fishing lagoons.

Raven Loop Ramada (center of loop), estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 60-80 (including 2 ADA)

  • 10 picnic tables (1 ADA)
  • 2 large grills
  • Electricity
  • Adjacent to camping
  • Water spigot
  • Paved ramp/walkway
  • 50 yards from restroom

North River Day Use Ramada, estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 24-32 (including 2 ADA)

  • 5 picnic tables (1 ADA)
  • 2 small grills
  • Electricity
  • Adjacent to large field
  • Water spigot
  • DOES NOT have paved ramp/walkway
  • 100 yards from restroom

South River Day Use Ramada , estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 27-40 (including 2 ADA)

  • 6 tables (2 ADA)
  • 1 large grill (3' X 3')
  • Restrooms
  • Electricity
  • Water spigot
  • ADA accessibility
  • Adjacent to large field
  • 150 yards from Verde River (depending on river’s flow)

LA#1, estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 10-14 (including 1 ADA)

  • 2 tables (1 ADA)
  • 1 grill
  • Water spigot
  • Electricity

LA#2, estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 20-28 (including 2 ADA)

  • 4 tables (2 ADA)
  • 2 grills
  • Water spigot
  • Electricity

LA#3, estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 20-28 (including 2 ADA)

  • 4 tables (2 ADA)
  • 1 grill
  • Water spigot
  • Electricity

LA#4, estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 10-14 (including 1 ADA)

  • 2 tables (1 ADA)
  • 1 grill
  • Water spigot
  • Electricity

LA#5, estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 20-28 (including 2 ADA)

  • 4 tables (2 ADA)
  • 1 large grill
  • 1 small grill
  • Water spigot
  • Electricity

LA#6 (not ADA accessible), estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 10-14

  • 2 tables (No ADA tables)
  • 1 grill
  • Water spigot
  • Electricity
  • LA#6 is situated very close to LA#5

LA#7, estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 10-14 (including 1 ADA)

  • 2 tables (1 ADA)
  • 1 grill
  • Water spigot
  • Electricity

LA#8, estimated seating set up with:
Picnic Tables – 12-18 (including 1 ADA)

  • 3 tables (1 ADA)
  • 1 grill
  • NO WATER & NO ELECTRIC
  • 310 yards from restrooms

 
Dump Station Dump Station

A dump station is available with payment of the $15 non-electric camping fee or at no extra fee to registered campers.

 
Showers Showers

Showers are available at the campgrounds.

 
Picnic Areas/Shelters Picnic Areas/Shelters

Picnic tables are located throughout the park, in both the day use areas and campground ramadas as well as being placed individually in various locations around the lagoons. Unless reserved, picnic tables in the ramadas are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Many ramadas also include ADA accessible picnic tables.

 
Hiking Hiking Trails

Hiking TrailsThe trails in this system are in Dead Horse Ranch State Park and in the Coconino Natinal Forest. Trail users, the Dead Horse Ranch Trails Coalition, Arizona State Parks Rangers & Volunteers, and the Forest Service have worked together to develop and manage this system for you enjoyment. Bring extra water and get an early start in the summer months. Trailheads are located north of the lagoon area or at the end of Flycatcher road.

Dead Horse Trail System: A non-motorized 20+ mile shared-use mix of doubletrack & singletrack. Four trailheads throughout the park lead up to the high desert of Coconino National Forest. The Lime Kiln Trail leg follows a portion of the historic Lime Kiln Wagon Road. Hikers & equestrians are encouraged to travel counterclockwise on the the basic loop — Lime Kiln, Thumper, and Raptor Trails. Mountain bikers usually find that starting at the Roadrunner trailhead and riding the loop clockwise is more fun. For most cyclists, the trail is rated intermediate to expert. The Lime Kiln Trail follows a portion of the historic Lime Kiln Wagon Road from Cottonwood to Sedona. Learn more about Lime Kiln Trail below. Also learn more about Share the Trail.

Forest Loop: A 0.5-mile loop. Shared-use. Circles around and through a diversely forested area and provides river access by way of short narrow side trails. Starts and ends in the River Day Use Area.

Canopy: A 0.25 mile ADA accessible trail looping under a Freemont Cottonwood tree canopy giving park visitors with limited mobility an opportunity to get off the beaten path. Excellent for bird watching and wildlife viewing.  Starts and ends in the River Day Use Area.

Mesa: A 1-mile interpretive loop trail. Circles the top of the hill west of the Red-Tail Hawk Campground and provides scenic views of Mingus Mountain, the Verde Valley, and Dead Horse Ranch. The trailhead is located on the west side of Roadrunner Road south of Red-Tail Hawk Campground loop.

Tavasci Marsh: A 1-mile trail. Shared-use. The trailhead is located at the end of Flycatcher Road.

Quail Wash: A 0.25-mile trail. Hike, bike. Stairs and bridges prevent equestrian use. Plant diversity and flowing water in the wash make this trail popular. Intersects with Hickey Ditch Trail. The trailhead is located at the south end of the West Lagoon parking lot.

Hickey Ditch: A 0.5-mile trail. Shared-use. Follow along the historic Hickey irrigation ditch through a canopy of Willow, Netleaf Hackberry, AZ Black Walnut, & Mesquite trees. Intersects with Quail Wash Trail. The trailhead is located at north end of the West Lagoon parking lot.

Creosote: A 0.5-mile shortcut. Shared-use. Intersects with Hickey Ditch and Quail Wash Trails.

Lagoons: One accessible loop around each lagoon.  West Lagoon 0.39 miles; Middle Lagoon 0.41 miles; East Lagoon 0.72 miles. Hike, bike. Accessed from any of the lagoon parking lots, these trails allow you to stroll around the lagoons. We do request that horses not be taken around lagoon banks.

Verde River Greenway: A 2-mile shared-use trail along the river. The trail weaves through some of the best nesting habitat in the area, a bird watchers' paradise. Intersects with Quail Wash and Lagoon Trails. The trailhead is located in the River Day Use area or can be accessed on the south side of the lagoons.

Riverfront: A 0.5-mile trail. Shared-use. The trail runs along the south side of the Verde River and is good for walking. Trail is accessed from either the south end of the Dead Horse Ranch State Park Bridge or from Riverfront Park.

Equestrian Trails: Many of the Dead Horse Ranch trails are shared-use. There are 1 hour and a 2 hour guided trail rides available on the park. The rides take in the Verde River Greenway and provide scenic views of the lagoons, the Verde River and Dead Horse Ranch. 

 
Equestrian Trails Equestrian Trails

The trails at Dead Horse Ranch State Park are all classified as shared-use, nonmotorized and permit equestrian use with a few exceptions. In 2006, thethe Lime Kiln Trail was completed, linking Dead Horse Ranch with Red Rock State Park. The ride from Dead Horse to Red Rock is 15 miles and follows the alignment of the old Lime Kiln wagon trail. See more info below

Horse corrals are available on a limited basis for overnight use with advance arrangements.

Dead Horse Ranch now has an equestrian concessionaire on the park who leads wrangler-guided trail rides. Take a leisurely ride through the park, past the river and even have a picnic lunch! Visit trailhorseadventures.com External Link for more information.

 
Biking Biking

Dead Horse Ranch State Park offers a variety of bicycling opportunities for all levels of riders. Beginning road cyclists will find relatively flat paved roads with only a few gentle climbs and large parking areas perfect for practicing basic skills. Beginning mountain bikers will find a place to hone new skills on the trails adjacent to Red-Tail and Cooper's Hawk campgrounds.

Experienced roadies can use the park as a launching point for rides throughout the Verde Valley. Intermediate to expert mountain bikers will find fun and challenge on the Dead Horse Ranch Trail System's “Thumper Loop”. Download a map of the Dead Horse Trail System (PDF document 220 KB PDF). Because the park is so close to Sedona, mountain bikers from all over the world come to Dead Horse Ranch to camp and use the park as a staging area for rides on the Red Rock trails of the Coconino National Forest. No other campground in the Verde Valley offers shower facilities - virtually a must after a full day on the trail! Also learn more about the Lime Kiln Trail.

Video: 13-year-old Aaron Jackson of Cottonwood descends "the Patio" on the Thumper Trail's Ocotillo Bend, part of the Dead Horse Ranch State Park Trail System. The rains have had a beneficial effect on the trails, resulting in some of the best riding conditions in over a decade. Video taken March, 2010.

Lime Kiln Trail: Bike, Hike, or Horse Ride

Best OfThe votes are in! The Lime Kiln Trail connecting Dead Horse Ranch State Park and Red Rock State Park won the 2012 Critic’s Choice Award for Best Bike Ride! For the sixth year, AZCentral.com experts have picked their favorite people, places, businesses, and things to do!

In 2006, the Lime Kiln Trail was completed, linking Dead Horse Ranch State Park (Cottonwood) with Red Rock State Park (Sedona). The Lime Kiln Trail is a 15-mile shared-use, non-motorized and permit equestrian trail.

Lime Kiln TrailThe Lime Kiln leg follows a portion of the historic Lime Kiln Wagon Road. Originally the Lime Kiln road provided access to a Kiln that was constructed in the 1800s. The Kiln was used to burn limestone to create lime used as an ingredient of the mortar needed to construct fireplaces and chimneys. Soon after the construction of the kiln, the road was extended and used as a route between Sedona and Jerome. The remains of the kiln can still be seen beside the trail. Download Lime Kiln Trail Map (PDF Document 245 KB PDF)

Want to learn more about Biking? Park is offering Mountain Biking Basic courses with Park Ranger and expert biker Randy Victory in March and April. Learn More on park home page.


 
Fishing Fishing

Excellent fishing opportunities for the beginner and experienced alike. Arizona Game & Fish Department stocks the river and lagoons with Rainbow Trout throughout the winter months. The lagoons are stocked with Channel Catfish in the warmer season. Fly-fishing the river and lagoons is becoming increasingly popular. Fish species include Largemouth Bass, Catfish, Bluegill, Crappie, and Trout. Video Clip: Aaron Jackson displays a catfish caught at Dead Horse Ranch State Park's Free Fishing Day.

A valid Arizona fishing license is required for anglers 10 years and older. Licensing information is available online at Arizona Game & Fish, or purchase a fishing license at a local dealer.

  
Boat Ramp Canoeing Motorized & Non-Motorized Watercraft

Non-Motorized WatercraftCanoeing and kayaking is popular in the river and lagoons. Non-motorized watercraft (oar power only, no sails) are allowed in the lower lagoons. Boating is not permitted in the upper (West) lagoon. A launch ramp and dock are available at the East lagoon. Gas & electric motors must be removed before launching. Children 12 and under are required to wear a personal flotation device (PFD) at all times when boating.

 
Wildlife Viewing Wildlife Viewing

Mammals common in the park include Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus), Coyote (Canis latrans), Jackrabbit (Lepus californicus), Cottontail Rabbit (Sylvilagus sp.), Coues or White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus couesi), Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus), Bobcat (Felis rufus), Mountain Lion (Puma concolor), Javelina (Pecari angulatus), and of course, the Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis).

The park is also home to a huge variety of reptiles and amphibians. You can sometimes catch a glimpse of an otter in the river too (watch embedded video).

The lagoons and the Verde River provide excellent habitat for birds. The park boasts an extensive bird list (almost 200 species) and is also home to the yearly Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival. Dead Horse Ranch State Park is also included in the Tuzigoot Important Bird Area (IBA). Avian species within this IBA include several sensitive, threatened, or endangered birds listed as species of concern.

Download Printable Bird List (PDF Document 770 KB PDF)


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