Date of Stay: March 21-25, 2012
Weather During Stay: Plenty of sunshine; highs in the 70’s and lows in the 40’s. Often breezy in the afternoon.
Site Description: The campground here has four loops, one of which is for tents only. The remaining three have 110 sites with water and electric hookups (50 amps), the majority of them back-ins. Each loop has its own host (with firewood for sale), dumpster and restroom with showers.
Quail Loop is closest to the entrance station, with 45 sites. Further into the park and up a hill, sites in Red-Tail Hawk Loop and Cooper’s Hawk loop have expansive views. Roads and pads are asphalt, almost all sufficiently long for big rigs. Each site has a substantial picnic table in good shape.
Rate: $25/night for 50 amps and water. Add a $5 reservation fee (one time, not per night) if you make a reservation. We were here during spring break and all sites were reserved.
Phone/radio/TV: Verizon service, both phone and aircard, is excellent. No obstructions for TV satellite dish; several local channels on the air antenna, including PBS. Several NPR stations, including 102.5 and 103.3 FM.
Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This hilly state park covers 423 acres at 3,300 feet in elevation. Vegetation is sparse; very limited shade. The upper camping loops (Red-Tail Hawk and Cooper’s Hawk) have expansive views to the town of Cottonwood and mountains beyond. Quail Loop, lower down the hill, has many more trees and bushes and more privacy (but no distant views).
Lighting/Noise: Quiet and dark, though each restroom has a couple of unobtrusive amber lights on all night.
Favorite Sites: We preferred the sites in the two loops up on the hillside, which are sites 46 through 110. We would not be likely to reserve sites 46 through 52 - they appear to be more sloped than we like. Arizona’s online reservation site has descriptions and photos of each site, a big help when making a reservation at an unknown campground.
Hiking/Walking: GREAT! Trails of varying lengths run through the park, including the day use area with three large, pleasant lagoons for fishing. Trails connect to public lands outside the park, including the Verde River Greenway. It’s possible to walk to nearby Tuzigoot National Monument - if you can get accurate directions!
Comments: We used Dead Horse Ranch State Park as a base camp to visit Tuzigoot National Monument, Sedona, Jerome and the historic section of old Cottonwood, but there is plenty to keep campers busy in the state park, too. Grocery stores, restaurants and other services are nearby.