Slide Show

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


This is the second year in a row we stopped at Dead Horse State Park for a few days before heading North. Don't let the name fool you this is a real horse friendly park. They have two camping areas with corrals for horses. One is in the group camping area there are at least 4 corrals and the other is a new area up in the Flycatcher area with a huge pull through and 4 corrals. There are 3 small stocked lakes for the fisherman. You can rent small boats and canoes to paddle the lakes. There are lovely multi use trails (horses, hikers and bikers). If you don't have your own horses you can rent one and go on a lovely guided ride through the park. Here is more info on trail riding in the park "click here".

How the park got it's 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.

How to get there? 
CautionSome internet map programs sometimes give incorrect directions to Dead Horse Ranch State Park. Follow the Park Recommended Directions below. You can still use the interactive driving directions to get you to the city of Cottonwood near the park.
From Interstate 17 go West at Exit 287 (Highway 260 toward Cottonwood). Continue approximately 11 miles to Main Street in Cottonwood (Hwy 89A) and turn left. Continue through Cottonwood on Main Street (the street will gradually curve to the left). Turn right (North) on North 10th Street. You'll see a brown information sign for the park before the 10th Street turn.

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

This is the new site for horses on the Flycatcher road. There is no water at the site so you have to make the first right after the Sani dump coming into park to the day camping to fill your water. 

Our first day out we took the trail down by the Verde river. 

Click here to download Trail Map .

There are good areas to cross the river. 

The trails are well marked and easy to find. Ask for trail maps at the visitor centre. 

This is the trail in behind the small lakes.

We passed one of the trail rides going in and out on the trails our first day. 

Sunday night our friends from Alberta showed up with there big rig. You think ours is big well they are 72' long LOL 

Here is on of the corrals at the new site.

Our second day out we took the trail above camp. It took us by one of the old buildings to the ranch. 

The second day we took the Raptor trail to the Lime Kiln back to the lakes

Beautiful views from every point on this trail

Here is a picture of our friend Verna and Ken Pohl

Trails are well marked 

This area is like a mini Grand Canyon. 

Looking down at the Verde river. 

This is the old Kiln from the Lime Kiln trail. 

Headed to the river and lakes. 

Sharon in front of the river. 

Sharon and Ken Pohl on their big mounts.  

Before heading back to camp we let the horses all have a big drink. 

The cats and dogs were happy we were back from our ride. 

This is Duma for you that don't know we travel with 2 exotic cats. Kenya a F5 Savannah and Duma a Domesticated Serval. 

Sharon rode Sparky the 3 day out. 

6 year old QH gelding the Pohl's are selling. Nice little horse he has done a little bite of everything.

Third day out we took a trail out around the river. 

Above this big red rock you can see some ancient ruins. 

We headed up the Jail Trail to Old Cottonwood and took some pictures in front of the old jail house that is now a Tea house. 

You ride under some 100 year old cottonwoods on the way up the river.

All the trails are just lovely

Just before the jail house you cross this bridge. 

Verna, Sharon and Ken at the old jail house. 

Verna, myself (Kelly) Ken and Ron at the jail house

This is the whole gang at the jail house. 

We stopped for water on the way home. 

Heading back to camp we passed another trail ride. 

This is one of the full hookup sites with over 100 sites. 

Back over the hill to our campsite. 

Today we head to Page AZ before going into Utah. 

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