This place has it all. River access, 2 lagoon areas, horseback riding (not affiliated with park), hiking, a playground with a zip line, fishing and Cottonwood is 1 mile away! There are full hook up sites and tent camping plus cabins. I love this state park- camp hosts are helpful.
We were in the tent loop - the loop in the upper part of the campground. This loop has the advantage of a larger view…although little respite from the sun. A busy campground so reservations were necessary in April. Enjoyed the convenience of being near Cottonwood which worked well as we were using this stop as a respite and transition between different parts of our trip.
If the sites had a little more privacy, I'd give five stars. Whenever I take my family, I remind myself I'm not there for the actual tent camping, I'm there for everything else the state park offers. There are about eight small cabins as well. This park offers a much needed break from the Arizona heat in the spring and summer months. The "lakes" are really more like ponds but plenty large enough to fish in as is the Verde River, running through the park. Make sure to go down and take a dip during the warm seasons. They've recently improved the playground for young ones and offer horseback riding as well. Facilities are always clean. If you're tired of camping food, drive down the road to Cottonwood and be sure to visit Larry's Antiques (if you're into that of course).
Our family of 7 went camping with our neighbors who are a family of 6, needless to say we needed a lot of room. The only downside to these sites was that our tents were too big to fit on the tent pad! BUT….we got two sites next to each other and were able to eat and we put the tents else where and made one big camp site and it was great! The grounds are impeccably clean!!! The bathroom and shower were warm and clean and there was even a deep sink at the back of the bathrooms! There was also a community spigot in the tent area so that you didn’t have to go all the way to the bathroom! We did a short day hike and the trails were kept nicely as well!
We arrived at this campground at night. It wasn’t hard to find and we went camping in August. The weather wasn’t too hot but not too cold either. Beware of the bugs at night!!! There are a ton of moths and other flying bugs that will totally swarm you at this campground. Beware of tarantulas walking through the camp ground.
We stayed in a pop up camper for a long weekend. The site has electric (30 amp & 15 amp) and water hookups. Bathroom and shower facilities are super clean and work well. The campground in located in Cottonwood, AZ but far enough removed that you don't feel like you are in the city. For those of you that want to adventure there are numerous hikes and the Verde River allows several places to kayak. A host of small towns are within a half hour drive including Sedona, Jerome and Prescott. We will be going back for sure!
Has showers and bathrooms. Easy to get around to the river and the ponds to fish or swim.
Ranger Review: Humangear at Dead Horse Ranch State Park
We had a great time at Dead Horse Ranch! We just moved to Arizona, so we went in with zero expectations and were very pleased with just about everything.
Just 2 days beforehand, we booked our cabin on the campground website, the official Arizona State Parks site. The process was seamless, and we even got to pick our specific cabin out at no extra cost or fuss. We even got a confirmation email with our cabin unlock code on it when we booked. So convenient!
When we arrived at the park, we were warmly greeted by the Ranger and given instructions on getting to the cabin and activities in the park. Our cabin was small but just what we needed. It has an air conditioner/heater, so what more could you want!
After settling in, we drove around and saw the park has a lovely fishing and paddling area. Sadly we didn’t bring our fishing gear or boat, so we will have to do that next time. But there are lots of covered picnic areas and shading trees along the water.
While there, we did three “hikes”. They have real hikes there, but we have a 5, 3 and 1 year old so we had to keep it mellow. But the nature walks they had were great for that age group and was just enough to not burn out the kids. One of the hikes, per suggestion of the ranger, leads down to a little lagoon of water stopped between two dams. The kids were able to splash and play there -- it was just perfect! We went there twice in the 24 hours we were at the park.
All in all, a wonderful experience. There is a lot to see and do at this park. My only criticism is the bathrooms for the cabins. They are just fine, but there are only 2 of them for 8 cabins. Instead of having a bathroom with stalls and showers, it is just two stalls total that include a toilet, urinal, sink, and shower in a big lockable room. Seemed like an odd choice. I had to wait to use the bathroom several times because of this, and only have the cabins were occupied.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products. At Dead Horse Ranch, I tested a GoToob+, Flexibowl, and GoBites products from Humangear.
With the GoToob+, I decided to homemake a special hot dog sauce ahead of time and bring it to the campsite with me in the GoToob+. It worked perfectly! I especially love the new feature, called the LoopLock that slips up over the top of the cap as an extra security against leaks. When I have all my food packed for camping, the last thing I want to think about is leaking sticky sauce all over everything. Awesome feature.
Here is the recipe for the Sweet Campin’ Sauce:
- 1/2 tsp Onion powder
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 3/4 cup Ketchup
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 cup Brown sugar
- 1 tsp Cider vinegar
Mix all these together in a saucepan until all sugars are dissolved and ingredients are melted together. Allow to cool slightly and pour carefully into your GoToob+ and snap on the LoopLock. Throw into your camping cooler and enjoy some high-class dogs as you camp!
Here is a video I made to show you how: Ranger Review: https://youtu.be/Oj7enCSig5U
I also really loved the Flexibowl and GoBites utensils. The Flexibowl has a lip that can be flipped up or down, if you want more of a secure “bowl” or more of an open “cup”. I used it for homemade cole slaw.
The GoBites utensils came in really handy, especially the sharp knife! I needed to cut up hot dog into tiny pieces for my baby, and the knife did a great job. Also love the little toothpick included in the box -- shows a level of thougtfulness.
If you want any of these products, visit http://www.humangear.com/
Very nice large state park in between Sedona and Prescotte. Lots to do hike, fish, horseback ride right in the park. Nice polite neighbor, and great bath houses. Not too much shade available. Would stay again just not in June.
Loved this campground, very peaceful, great views of the surrounding mountains. Watched the sunrise over the mountain.
The bathrooms are very clean.