- Maximum of 2 vehicles per campsite.
- Camping fees are per vehicle.
- When leaving your campsite unattended, please do something to demonstrate occupancy.
- Pets must be kept on a leash and may not be left unattended. Please clean up after your pet. Pets are not permitted in park buildings.
- Firewood gathering is prohibited on park grounds.
- Check in time for visitors with reservations is 2 pm.
- Checkout time is Noon.
- Quiet hours are from 10 pm to 8 am.
- Generators are prohibited.
- Amplified music / public address systems are prohibited.
- Park stay is limited to 14 nights in any 30 day period.
- Vehicles and trailers must be parked on paved surfaces only (including campsites).
- Grey water must be contained.
- R.V. and vehicle washing is prohibited in the park.
- Swimming is prohibited in the lagoons.
- Oar-powered boats are permitted in the lagoons. Boats must be Coast Guard approved and personal floatation devices must be worn.
- Discharging firearms is prohibited in developed areas within the park (including BB & pellet guns, bows, and slingshots).
- No metal detecting.
Q: How did the park get its name?
A: The Irey’s family came to Arizona from Minnesota looking for a ranch to buy. As the family searched for a ranch, they found one with a dead horse lying by the road. When the family asked the children which ranch they liked, they replied “the one with the dead horse” — the name stuck.
Q: What is there to do at this park?
A: Arizona State Parks fall into three major categories: historic, educational, and recreational. Dead Horse Ranch is a recreational facility with RV accommodations, camping facilities, shared-use trails, fishing lagoons, river access, and an equestrian concession.
Q: What is the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area? What is a "Riparian" Area?
A: The word “riparian” is derived from Latin ripa, meaning river bank. Riparian zones occur along the interface between land and a waterway. The Verde River Greenway State Natural Area includes the Fremont Cottonwood-Goodling Willow Riparian Forest, one of only 20 such stands in the world; and is a separately managed part of the Arizona State Parks system. You may camp or park at Dead Horse Ranch to access the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area.
Q: What kind of birds can be seen here?
A: The park’s official bird list includes 180 species, although the Northern Arizona Audubon Society reports as many as 240 species in the immediate area. Since the park’s boundaries fall entirely within the Tavasci Marsh IBA (Important Birding Area), there are many different types of birds present, including loons, herons, wrens, egrets, eagles, hawks, hummingbirds, owls, quail, flycatchers, swallows, swifts, and even ducks.
Q: Do you have snakes?
A: Arizona has more species of snakes than any other state. Although the park does have snakes, they avoid contact with humans. There has never been a reported bite since the park was established over 30 years ago, in 1977. We ask you to help us maintain the park’s natural ecological balance by treating all wildlife with respect, including snakes.
Q: What kind of fish live in the lagoons and river?
A: Largemouth Bass, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, Crappie, and Rainbow trout.
Q: Where do the lagoons get their water?
A: Water flows into the park from the Verde River via the Hickey Ditch, which boasts the oldest water rights in Northern Arizona. Unlike other parts of the U.S., where a “ditch” might simply be a trench by the side of a road, ditches in Arizona are legally defined and protected by Arizona state law.
Q: How difficult are the trails?
A: The trails accommodate a wide range of ability levels, including folks with mobility limitations as well as expert hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers.
Q: Do you have any campsites that are right next to the river?
A: No. The river occasionally floods; camping on the river could be hazardous, and campsites would be expensive for the state to rebuild frequently.
Q: What can you tell me about the old graveyard?
A: The cemetery is not owned by the state or the park, but is privately owned by the Trustees of the San Luis Rey Cemetery. Local residents, including miners, cowboys and Hispanic laborers are buried in the graveyard. The park does not act as curator.
Q: Can I use my Golden Age Pass (National Parks) at this State Park?
A: Although some smaller state park systems do accept the Golden Age Pass, Arizona State Parks is not one of those. Public lands in Arizona are managed by number of government agencies, both state and national, which are separately funded. You can, however, purchase an Arizona State Parks Annual Pass.
- Alamo Lake
- Buckskin Mountain
- Cattail Cove
- Lake Havasu
- River Island
- Yuma Quartermaster Depot
- Yuma Territorial Prison
- Dead Horse Ranch
- Fort Verde
- Red Rock
- Riordan Mansion
- Slide Rock
- Verde River Greenway
- Boyce Thompson Arboretum
- Fool Hollow Lake
- Lost Dutchman
- Lyman Lake
- Tonto Natural Bridge