Just spent five great days camping at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Arizona. Dead Horse is a great all-around campground – either for an overnight stay or extended camping and recreation. Here’s why:
1. It’s located close to town. Groceries, propane
, gas, etc are all close.
2. It has great facilities. Water and electric hookups at most sites and a very large, multi-station dump station. Each loop has a large bathhouse with electric, hot water, showers – including handicapped accessible – and outside the bathhouse a large sink area with hot and cold water for tenters or anyone to wash dishes.
3. A network of trails that can be used by hikers, bikers and equestrians.
4. The park is located adjacent to the Verde River and along a rich riparian area with trails.
5. There are three large lagoons in the park with fishing and nice ramadas for day use.
6. Sites with water and electric are $20/ night and $12 for water with no electric.
7. There are small KOA-style log cabins that can be rented for $50 per night. These have no water or electric (other than lights) – just sleeping bunks but they are new and nice.
8. Very well maintained campground. The hosts and resident volunteers seem to outnumber the campers!
9. There is a group site area that is big enough for rallys or large groups. There are horse corrals near the group site for those with horses. There is a commercial riding stable on site with horse rentals and guides available.
Go here for details on the park. http://azstateparks.com/Parks/DEHO/index.html
We camped on Quail loop. It is the original campground and therefore has mature trees. The sites are smaller (Casita size!) and a little closer together than the newer loops but there is still decent separation and mature growth separating the sites.
The newer loops can accommodate larger rigs but these sites are “up the hill” from the river and are out of the riparian area and therefore have less vegetation.
While we were there we saw hundreds of ducks including a half dozen different species. We saw a pair of blue herons. There also is a family of otters that lives in one of the lagoons. The otters were the only ones catching any fish. They would dive and come up with some very nice looking 8 – 10 inch trout! The otters have no regard for the size slot limitations! The human anglers were coming up with zip! While we were there the state fish hatchery truck came and stocked the lake. Gotta keep those otters well fed!
There is a very old pioneer cemetery on the grounds which you can visit and admire with respect. It is obvious that some of the graves are still being tended although the most recent dates on the sites date back to the 1930’s.
There is an old ranch cabin on site that is being restored.
One of the trails leads to a kiln used by the pioneers and early ranchers that was dug into the living rock on the side of a dry wash.
Usually with our Casita
we are the smallest rig in any campground we stay at but this time we saw many as smaller and some smaller. I think there is a trend toward downsizing of rigs. There were several Scamps, several Casitas (two of which were owned by hosts, volunteers and park employees; a couple of small stickies, and a couple of teardrops. There were several rigs smaller than ours. Check out these pics. Some very interesting rigs.
Here are some pics of the trip.