Explore the beautiful Dead Horse Ranch State Park

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Dead Horse Ranch State Park (Source: ThatsNotCamping.com) Dead Horse Ranch State Park (Source: ThatsNotCamping.com)
Dead Horse Ranch State Parks (Source: Arizona State Parks) Dead Horse Ranch State Parks (Source: Arizona State Parks)
A red-tailed hawk photographed at the Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival, held at Dead Horse Ranch the last weekend every April. (Source: Arizona State Parks) A red-tailed hawk photographed at the Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival, held at Dead Horse Ranch the last weekend every April. (Source: Arizona State Parks)
Camping Cabins, available for rent, feature picnic tables, grills, and a community fire pit.  (Source: Arizona State Parks) Camping Cabins, available for rent, feature picnic tables, grills, and a community fire pit. (Source: Arizona State Parks)
COTTONWOOD, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Dead Horse Ranch State Park is one of five State Parks in the Sedona Verde Valley region. The park is located in the Riparian area of the Verde Valley.

The 423-acre park is an oasis for wildlife and features 10 miles of well-maintained trails, some of which connect to form loops.

For campers, the park offers a 23-site group campground and more than 100 RV camping sites, including five ADA accessible sites. There also are eight one-room log cabins that are available by reservation. Those are tucked away from the other campgrounds.

A popular activity is fishing in the Verde River or in the 4-acre stocked lagoon.

The park's unique name came from the Ireys family, which moved from Minnesota to Arizona in the late 1940s. The family was looking for a ranch to buy. At one of the properties they looked at, they discovered a dead horse in the road.

When the father asked the kids which ranch they liked, they answered, "The one with the dead horse, Dad!" At least that's how the story goes.

The Ireys family named the place Dead Horse Ranch. When they sold it to Arizona State Parks in 1973, one of the conditions of the sale was that the name not be changed.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park hosts two festivals each year -- The Verde Valley Birding & Nature Festival in April and the Verde River Days in September.

In 2014, Dead Horse Ranch State Park was award a Certificat of Excellence in recognition of the outstanding feedback it consistently earned from TripAdvisor travelers.

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