Visiting Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, Arizona

Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona
Visit the Beautiful Dead Horse Ranch State Park during your Sedona Vacation!

Many of us and our friends here at the Inn of Sedona take great pleasure in getting out in nature and hiking the trails in Sedona and the Verde Valley. We often encourage our guest who are staying with us to take a day and explore the surrounding areas. This past weekend we took our friends from Phoenix to a State Park located in Cottonwood, Arizona. Not only have they never heard of it, they had no idea that there was a park in Cottonwood where you could fish, hike, bike ride, camp, kayak, and so much more! The park, Dead Horse Ranch State Park, I know the name sounds a little uninviting, but trust us the name is not a reflection of the beauty you will find in the park, from the flow of the Verde River to the towering lush Cottonwood trees.

We started our morning walking around the lagoons, people were fishing, and there were a few kayaks in the water. The walk around the lagoons is a very low impact, scenic enjoyable stroll. it is a great way to stretch out your legs and get a glimpse of what the park has to offer. We were delighted to the flight play of many Red Winged Black Birds along the walk, our only regret was that we did not get pictures to share with you of the birds, we were just to busy watching them.

It started to get a little warm after our morning walk, so we decided we should head down to hike along the Verde River where cottonwoods help to shade the trails and keep you cool. This is also one of our favorite places to hike. We headed back toward the entrance of the park and took a left onto Owl Road. There is always plenty of parking, clean restrooms and a covered picnic area to enjoy a snack. You can walk right down to the river and chill for a few minutes before you begin your hike. We ended up hiking the Forest Loop Trail, part of the Ditch Trail and ended the day with the Verde River Greenway Trail. A great time was had by all!

So, just keep in mind the next time you visit Sedona, Arizona and want to take a fun family day trip to a place that offers a variety of outdoor activities and the beauty of the Verde River, Dead Horse Ranch State Park awaits you! If you would like to learn more about this Arizona State Park please visit Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

Tips for visiting Dead Horse Ranch State Park

  • Map from
  • Park Entrance Fees:
    Per Vehicle (1-4 Adults): $7.00
    Individual/Bicycle: $3.00
  • Create a hiking backpack that includes water, first aid kit, protein snacks, trail map, compass, sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • It is always safer to hike with others. Always let somebody know what trails you plan on hiking.
  • Wear suitable clothing and shoes for hiking.
  • Don’t leave the trail. The ecosystem of the desert is fragile and leaving even a footprint can damage it.
  • Please make sure to bring plenty of water, preferably in reusable water bottles, if you are using plastic water bottles please respect the area and use the recyclable bins in the park.
  • Don’t forget you camera and have a wonderful day exploring!

 Directions to Dead Horse Ranch State Park from the Best Western PLUS Inn of Sedona

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