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We are always pleased with our stay here. The park has so many different activities from hiking, horse trail, lakes and access to the verde river. We stayed in spot 97 this time and had some privacy with the bushes and trees from our neighbors. The bathrooms were clean and well maintained. There is a fun bike track for the kids or even adults up by the tent loop. Cottonwood is just a few miles and lots to do in town.
Very nice, clean campground with clean bath houses and friendly staff. Ask for site 91. It’s one of the best. Also, Site 61 is large, has shrubs for privacy and direct access to the Mesa Trail. There are many hiking trails leading into the desert above Cottonwood. Jerome sits on the mountainside above.
We spent 3 nights here, using our camp spot as a"command center" for exploring the area around Cottonwood(including Sedona, Jerome, Montezuma's Castle, Tuzigoot, etc. etc.) We kept busy and were really not"home" during many daylight hours, but it was a great base to return to each evening. Dead Horse Ranch State Park has A LOT of camping spots, and can accomodate pretty much any vehicle. We were in a pull through site(31) that we really liked. The only surprise was that our nicely blacktopped spot was not very level…we had to put two blocks under the front passenger tire and one under the rear passenger tire. Hardly the end of the world though. One night we were there was Monday night, and folks were outside enjoying grilling and watching the game. But nothing ever got anything close to rowdy. It was a very quiet campground, and even though every site was full, and honestly, the space between sites is only about average, we never felt squeezed in or encroached upon. Every site has a picnic table and a grill. The electric and water hookups were fine(water pressure not the best I've ever had, but more than okay). Because it's such a busy place for camping, the two dump stations on the way out of the park DO sometimes have a wait. And one of them doesn't have access to water, which is tough when you prefer to also backflush your black tank.
The park itself is lovely, but unless you like fishing, probably won't hold you there too long. It's more as a quiet, inexpensive pretty place to stay rather than a destination in and of itself. We walked around a couple of lagoons and enjoyed some bird activity…but I would say don't think of this place as the be-all, end-all of your trip. But you're 30ish minutes to Sedona, 20ish minutes to Jerome, etc. We would certainly stay here again.
We stayed at this campground for 3 nights in mid-October and recommend this state park for camping in the Sedona area.
-all sites in the Blackhawk Loop where we stayed had a level pad for tents (either small gravel or a wood platform), picnic table, and fire pit (though they could not be used due to a fire ban
-can easily fit 2 smaller tents on the tent pad or 1 jumbo family tent
-good amount of shrubbery in between sites so it didn't feel like you were right on top of your neighbors
-driveways have space for 2 cars if needed
-shower house was fairly clean and had hot showers
-dishwashing sink behind the shower house was a nice perk
-usable cell phone service (T-mobile)
-no tent sites with power if you need that. We filled up an air mattress using the outlet in the bathroom which worked fine.
-sites really vary in terms of how far back from the road they are. Our site (122 in the Blackhawk loop) was a bit back from the road and had plenty of shrubbery, but some don't have as much privacy
-not a ton of water fill up stations, but our loop was pretty small, so it was fine
-you have to pay $15 per night for a 2nd car, which was a little steep, but given the campground is reasonably priced, this was fine