Dead Horse Ranch State Park

Dead Horse Ranch State Park is located adjacent to and across the Verde River from the community of Cottonwood.

Fishing from the dock at Dead Horse State Park

The story of the park’s name begins with the Ireys family, who came to Arizona from Minnesota looking for a ranch to buy in the late 1940’s. At one of the ranches, they discovered a large dead horse lying by the road. After two days of viewing ranches, Dad Ireys asked the kids which ranch they liked the best. The kids said, “the one with the dead horse, dad!” The Ireys family chose the name Dead Horse Ranch and later, in 1973, when Arizona State Parks acquired the park, the Ireys made retaining the name a condition of sale.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park celebrated its official grand opening with a dedication ceremony held on June 1, 1977.

the Dead Horse State Park Trail System Map

Park and Facility Hours
The park is open year-round.
Gates close at dark. Seasonal hours may apply.

Day Use
7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. daily

Visitor Center/Park Store
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily

Park Entrance Fee
Per vehicle (1-4 Adults): $7.00
Individual/bicycle: $3.00

Holiday Hours
8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Christmas Eve:
8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Christmas: Closed