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logo_arizonagameandfishCottonwood AZ (December 6, 2017) – Named by a family that came to Arizona in search of a ranch in the 1940s, Dead Horse Ranch State Park is located near Cottonwood and supports a diverse range of wildlife species. Visitors may see terrestrial gartersnakes, plateau lizards, lowland leopard frogs, mule deer, javelina and bobcats. And with the Verde River located at the heart of the park, it’s one of the few places in Arizona where you might observe river otters.

The park, which is part of the Tuzigoot Important Bird Area, is also a great destination for birders. The area supports bald eagles, Gambel’s quail, common black-hawk, osprey, yellow-billed cuckoo and numerous migratory bird species.

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A diverse and well marked trail system — with options ranging from a one-fourth mile trek to a 15-mile hike — means there’s bound to be an outing that appeals to everyone. In addition, some trails feature universal accessibility and interpretive signage, and others allow mountain biking and equestrian use. Visitors also can fish, camp and go canoeing in the park.

To get there: From Cottonwood take Main Street and turn north on North 10th Street. Cross the Verde River Bridge to the park entrance. Photo courtesy of Arizona State Parks and Trails