Dead Horse Ranch State Park
“Thanks for a wonderful weekend. You hit a homerun with my family. My boys are still talking about the mountain biking and archery.” –Parent from Fall 2013 Session
Spring & Summer 2014 Arizona Family Campout Program is designed for families that have little or no experience camping. We hope to introduce you to the great experiences you can share with your family and inspire you to continue to explore the great outdoors! Take a one weekend introductory adventure at one of 9 Arizona State Parks. Learn more about the program and register.
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.
Better Mountain Biking Workshop: March 22, 29, April 5, 12, 19, 26, May 3
If you ...
- Have a mountain bike, and want to try taking it off-road.
- Are nervous riding with friends or significant others because they ride "those hard trails".
- Don't want to slow your friends down, because "they're a lot better than me".
- Have tried to teach friends how to mountain bike, but find it hard to explain things.
- Are experienced and want to refine your technique ... then check out this workshop!
Better Mountain Biking sessions start at Noon on Saturdays and go until approximately 4:00, according to Ranger Randy Victory. "We start with a couple of drills on the pavement, then move immediately to the dirt." Victory, a mountain biker since 1977, outlines topics including basic riding techniques, physics, trail etiquette, and more. The rides are fun and educational for beginners, but even experienced bikers ride away with new skills & knowledge. "There's always a certain amount of interaction between riders," explains Victory. "Group rides where the beginners are supportive of each other, and more experienced riders can offer their insight are an excellent way to build skills, and have fun doing it!" Riders will be REQUIRED to wear a helmet and gloves and complete an Acknowledgment of Risk Form ( 78 KB PDF) (parents must sign for riders under 18 years old, minimum age 14-16).
Critical items: 1. bring water and, 2. make sure your bike is thoroughly tuned-up and has some sort of flat protection. The rides will start at the Raptor Trailhead at the top of Roadrunner Road in the park. For more information, call Ranger Victory at 928-301-1190 or email email@example.com. The Day use fee of $7.00 applies, or Annual Passes are accepted. In addition there will be a program fee of $5.00 per rider collected at the time of the session.
PRAISE FOR THE WORKSHOP
"In short, Randy and the class are outstanding. I am recommending this class to everyone I talk to who rides a bike on the trails around here. Randy is a precious resource and I hope this class continues. Thanks."
—Rick Riedel, Village of Oak Creek
"Thanks for the great training day! You put on a great course. I have heard many of the students mention things that they learned at the class, believe it or not! Even though so many of them are experienced, they still learned important things about riding. I think it is a perfect addition to the patrollers training! Thanks again for working with us and Marty to get everyone this training."
—Jennifer M. Burns, Recreation Staff Officer, Red Rock Ranger District
"Just a quick thank you note for the class yesterday. It was great to meet you and learn from you. My wife also enjoyed the experience (who'd of thought a broad her age could descend over a step 2 railroad ties tall on a hard tail 26 incher ... lol). The approach you take presenting the material makes the class educational for all levels. Thanks again and look forward to seeing you on the trails in the years ahead. BTW ... we live around the corner from the Soldier's Pass trail head so if you are ever heading this way for a ride ... let me know. Cheers."
—Del + Michele, Sedona
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 August 4, 2013, Owen and Keagan Jones, with help from their dad Ryan Jones, caught Largemouth Bass in the lagoons weighing over 4 and 6 lbs. Congratulations!
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