We visited Dead Horse Ranch State Park as a day trip from Sedona on the advice of a friend from my aerobics class who used to live in the area. She is a fellow birder, and this was one of her favorite birding sites when she lived in Arizona.
We set out early on a beautiful April morning and headed straight for the Verde River trail. This fairly flat trail was an easy walk through an area that is left in its natural state.
My friend was not wrong. We were immediately surrounded by happy birds welcoming the day. Of course, being from the other side of the country, we didn’t recognize some of them, but we enjoyed their enthusiastic songs and joyful antics.
Later, we explored the park and discovered it to be a lovely, relaxing place full of beautiful cottonwoods and lovely lagoons. We were lulled into a state of total bliss in this peaceful and beautifully maintained place and lingered far longer than we had intended, just enjoying the solitude. (I’m sure it’s much busier on the weekends and in season.)
Now, don’t laugh, but my favorite part of the park was the restrooms. Normally, I will go all day and suffer in misery before I’ll use a park restroom. But at hubby’s encouragement upon his return from such a visit, I ventured forth. NEVER have I seen a cleaner facility! I almost cried! But I shouldn’t have been surprised. The entire park was impeccably maintained.
Since we didn’t camp, I can’t speak to that firsthand, but the campers all seemed happy and content. I would encourage you to visit this little gem to enjoy some quiet time, and if you’re a birder, you will be doubly glad you visited.