Dead Horse Ranch State Park

A six-mile reach of the river is known as the Verde River Greenway State Natural Area. Its unique ecosystem, the Cottonwood and Willow riparian gallery forest, is one of less than 20 such riparian zones in the world. Life along the river changes with the seasons, giving visitors a glimpse of the numerous species of raptors, neotropical migrants, resident songbirds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.

They have campgrounds and some cabins here and it look like some good fishing. I don’t fish but it looked like a nice place to sit with a fishing pole.  We neglected to take any pictures of the lagoons that they have there.

How Dead Horse Ranch Got Its Name

Dead Horse Ranch designThe 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 1940s. 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.

We were talking to one of the rangers in the visitors center and asked about directions to Red Rock State Park. The ranger said there is a route that does not include as much of the highway.  It’s a back road that he likes to take on his motorcycle and thought we might like it.  And he was right, we did like it.  We were surprised to see that we were going thru wine country,  as you can see from some of the pictures Minnie took.  She got some grape vines and winery sign.  We saw a couple wineries and one tasting room caught my eye.  You can see them in the last couple of pics


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