Subi & The 5

Dead Horse Ranch State Park – Cottonwood, Arizona


Heading North out of Phoenix up to Cottonwood provided us some terrific views as we drove  into the Verde Valley. Phoenix was fogged in but soon the fog burned off and even the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff were visible and covered with snow.


This lovely state park is in Cottonwood, Arizona about 15 miles off I-17 and 20 miles southwest of Sedona. It has four campground loops, three for RVs with electric and water, and one for tenters only (Black Hawk Loop).

Black Hawk Loop (Tenters Only)

Dead Horse Ranch State Park Black Hawk Loop
Black Hawk Loop – Site 112 – tenters only


Quail Loop (43 Sites)

Quail Loop Campground offers a number of both large and small sites (smaller than the other campground loops) with picnic areas.  We found the sites to be a bit close together for our liking.  Most sites have a number of trees around them so you might want to check out the site if you have large slides before committing.  There is still lots of space for big rigs in many of the sites. There were both pull-thrus and back-ins. None of the sites offer views of the surrounding countryside. We thought this loop offered the most charm and maybe some protection from the wind and hot sun if necessary.


A bit further up the hill is Red Tail Hawk Loop and Cooper’s Hawk Loop which are right next to each other and both offer big rig sites of similar size and feel and many offer nice views of the surrounding countryside. Most sites are in the open with very little trees compared to Quail Loop and all sites are a bit close together. Sites are paved with campfire pits and picnic tables. Some have grilles and some don’t have grilles. The picnic areas are smaller than we like but there are a few which are a bit larger than others. Red Tail Hawk Loop had mainly back-ins whereas Cooper’s Hawk Loop had both back-ins and pull-thrus.  Restrooms and showers are nicely maintained.

Cooper’s Hawk Loop (27 Sites)

Red Tail Hawk Loop (36 Sites)


There is a nice double dump station at the entrance and plenty of parking space to hook/unhook your tow vehicle.

Dead Horse Ranch State Park Dump Station
Dead Horse Ranch State Park Dump Station

Campground: Red Tail Hawk Loop
Location: Cottonwood, Arizona
Site: 63
Cost: $30
Services: W/E (50AMP)
Comments: A lovely, peaceful campground. Site 63 had some nice privacy and views overlooking the city of Cottonwood in the distance. The picnic area was smaller than we like and there was no grille at our site unlike most of the other sites. We were at the end of the loop which provided a bit more privacy than other sties. This was a back-in site with plenty of room for the tow vehicle.

All in all, this is a lovely state park with lots of trails,  nice campsites, and easy access to Cottonwood. In addition, it is a short drive to Clarkdale, Jerome, and Sedona. A lovely area.


  1. Looks like there was someone in the site we recommended:) But the site you got looks good, too. I’ll keep this in mind as I hope we get back there in March. There certainly isn’t any place worth staying in Sedona. And I like that we could take the trial into Cottonwood.

    1. Yep, Site 110 was taken, oh darn. Anyway, we ended up on the other side of the campground and enjoyed our view but your previous site sure looked nice too. And, yes, the trails in that area are terrific. Not many other choices for RV parks/campgrounds in the area except for Sedona Pines on Hwy 89A between Cottonwood and Sedona. It has a few RV sites amongst some “cottages” and is by invitation only. We received an invitation from someone in town who was talking to us but when we were told all about it we decided not to go check it out. He was suggesting we go for a tour first. It is a timeshare with little cottages (and a few RV sites) and I am guessing (purely guessing we were never told this) that if you stay there in your RV you will be expected to sit through a timeshare presentation. NOT! But it did look like a beautiful facility and anyone interested in a timeshare (or just sitting through a presentation) should check it out!!!

    1. Hi Ingrid. Same with us, we hadn’t stayed there in a few years and decided to give it a go and thoroughly enjoyed all the hiking in the area.

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