Dead Horse Ranch State Park
Notice of Temporary Closure - Jail Trail
The historic Jail Trail will be closed starting on September 19, 2014 at 6 a.m. and will re-open on Monday September 22 at 6 a.m. Access to Old Town Cottonwood from the Jail Trail will be closed due to the Thunder Valley Rally.
Park Wins Certificate of Excellence
Dead Horse Ranch SP has been awarded a 2014 Certificate of Excellence, signifying that it has consistently earned outstanding feedback from TripAdvisor travelers.
Dead Horse Ranch Now Offers 24/7 Online Campground & Camping Cabin Reservations!
Reserve your spot (campground RV or tent site or a camping cabin) from the comfort of your home, anytime of day. Make online reservations Site reservations for this park are also 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.
9 am - 3 pm. The activities on Verde River Day promote preservation and care of the environment by showcasing informative exhibits on the Verde River's riparian habitat. Some of the day's events include environmental exhibits, hands-on-activities, fishing, canoeing, and live entertainment. The Verde River Days celebration begins at 9 am on Saturday and brings together 40-plus nature-based exhibits, sandcastle building, a menagerie of live animals, non-stop activities from canoe rides (with or without assistance), to nature hikes, as well as continuous entertainment and local food vendors. Guests of all ages are welcome to fish in the lagoon that is loaded with hundreds of pounds of catfish. Join us for Fishing, Fun, Food, Hikes, Activities, Exhibits!
October 25 & 26: Family Campout Program
The Fall & Winter 2014 Family Campout Program is designed for families that have little or no experience camping. We will introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family outdoors! You will learn how to set up a tent and an introduction to cooking outside, plus you will get to try some fun activities you can do while camping! Take a one weekend introductory adventure at one of 8 Arizona State Parks. Learn more about the program, see a list of other participating parks and dates, and start the registration process.
Experience the beauty and wonder of the land from horseback! The Verde River makes this park an oasis in the desert where a wide variety of animals and plants live. You can rent a horse inside the park at Trail Horse Adventures. Visit trailhorseadventures.com for more information or call 866-958-7245.
Outlaw Trail = 1 hour trail ride $65.00 plus tax
High Desert Trail = 1.5 hour trail ride $79.00 plus tax
Trail, Rails, Rhythm & Ribs = Enjoy a 1 hour trail ride through the park, then take a journey into the past with a First Class ticket on the Verde Canyon Railroad, followed by a BBQ chuckwagon supper and Western Stage Show at the famous Blazin' M ranch! = $205 plus tax
Dead Horse Ranch State Park is a beautiful park located in the Riparian area of the Verde Valley. The park offers camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, and rents Camping Cabins.The developed portion of Dead Horse Ranch State Park covers 423 acres. The 3,300 foot elevation accounts for the mild temperatures that are ideal for camping, mountain biking in the Coconino National Forest, hiking along the Verde River, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, or just wading in the cool water.
The developed portion of Dead Horse Ranch State Park covers 423 acres. The 3,300 foot elevation accounts for the mild temperatures that are ideal for camping, mountain biking in the Coconino National Forest, hiking along the Verde River, canoeing, picnicking, fishing, or just wading in the cool water.
A six-mile reach of the river is known as the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area. Its unique ecosystem, the Cottonwood and Willow riparian gallery forest, is one of less than 20 such riparian zones in the world. Life along the river changes with the seasons, giving visitors a glimpse of the numerous species of raptors, neotropical migrants, resident songbirds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.
Eight one-room log camping cabins are available at Dead Horse Ranch by reservation. They are tucked away from the other campgrounds, making them an ideal getaway for a weekend or for the week. Learn More
How Dead Horse Ranch Got Its Name
The story of the park's name begins with the Ireys family, who came to Arizona from Minnesota looking for a ranch to buy in the late 1940s. At one of the ranches they discovered a large dead horse lying by the road. After two days of viewing ranches, Dad Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked the best. The kids said, “the one with the dead horse, Dad!” The Ireys family chose the name Dead Horse Ranch and later, in 1973, when Arizona State Parks acquired the park, the Ireys made retaining the name a condition of sale.
Dead Horse Ranch State Park and the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area are located next to each other in Cottonwood, Arizona. The Natural Area conserves the land in its natural state, so you won’t find restrooms or modern camping facilities in the Natural Area.
Use Dead Horse Ranch State Park as your base camp to enjoy the hiking, canoeing, and natural surroundings of the Verde River Greenway. Please practice “Leave No Trace” ethics.
On April 2, 2014, this 13 lb. 6 oz. Largemouth Bass was caught in the lagoon at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood. Nice catch!!
Catfish are usually stocked twice a year: National Fishing Day (in June) and Verde River Day (last Saturday in September). Trout are stocked every other week from early November through late March. Arizona Game & Fish schedules stocking; go to http://www.azgfd.gov/h_f/stocking_schedule.shtml for dates.
For information on fishing throughout the state, visit Arizona Game & Fish.
Biking Video From New Year's Day 2012
Verde Valley Cyclists enjoy a ride on New Year's Day at Dead Horse Ranch SP.
Rich Edwards of Cottonwood, AZ, displays a largemouth bass he caught in the middle lagoon July, 2011.
After you start the video, change resolution to 480 for High Quality. Aaron Jackson displays a catfish caught at Dead Horse Ranch State Park's Free Fishing Day on June 12, 2010.
- 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