We headed to Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Arizona because we had confused it with pictures we saw of Dead Horse State Park in Utah on Google Images, which is absolutely stunning.
We were a little surprised to show up to Dead Horse RANCH State Park to find it nothing like the pictures, nonetheless we had a great time exploring the park, which has a diverse landscape.
In the lower elevation of the park, the green Verde River runs through the park, nourishing some lush vegetation that shades a greenway trail along the banks.
There are also several shallow lagoons with clear water full of fish. Birds like Bald Eagles and Great Blue Herons soar overhead hunting the fish. A paved path winds around the lagoons, making for easy walking and biking.
In the high elevation, the park is typical of the surrounding arid desert landscape. Hiking and mountain biking trails wind through rocks and cactuses.
We headed out on a high elevation trail for a brief hike, and mountain bikers steadily streamed through the rocky terrain. They seemed to be having a blast.
Below are some pictures from our afternoon exploring Dead Horse Ranch state park.
Further down are some helpful details for visiting this Arizona state park.
Visit Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, AZ
Good Things to Know:
There is a $7 park entrance fee.
On high elevation trails, be sure to pack plenty of water. It gets hot on top of the ridge.
Bald Eagles tend to hang around the lagoons hunting fish. Hang around long enough, and you’ll probably see one.
Judging by the number of fisherman, there appears to be really good bass and catfish fishing in the lagoons. We saw a large catfish released.
The park caters to numerous activities, including camping (RV and backcountry), hiking, mountain biking, equestrian, and canoeing.