Dead Horse Ranch State Park is located in an area known as the Verde River Greenway. Located at approximately 3,300 feet elevation, the park covers 423 acres . The Verde River habitat consists of large Cottonwoods and Willows with the river running through and is surrounded by Mesquite and grasslands. The Park has a few ponds and is bordered by high desert habitat. The annual Verde Valley Birding and Nature Festival, the “Birdy Verde”, is held each April.
We will meet at the parking lot at the first pond at 9:00 am where we will be joined by Tina Greenawalt. the Chief of Natural Resources NPS based at Tuzigoot National Monument. After a trip around the three ponds, we will end up at the transition zone between the park and the high desert surrounding the park. We will next move to the river trail at the end of Owl Road.
After lunch we will move across the river to Cottonwood Riverfront Park. Here a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and several Vireo species were seen recently. Finally on the way home, we will stop at the Cornville Grasslands where are target species are Sage Thrasher, Grasshopper Sparrow , and Sagebrush Sparrow all which were seen on an AZFO field trip 22 Oct 2017.
Meeting Places: Leave Park & Ride lot at I-17 & Bell Rd (SW corner) at 7:30am and the FIRST pond parking lot at Dead Horse Ranch State Park at 9:00am.
Bring a Lunch. Difficulty is a 2, about 2 miles walking. We plan on leaving around 4:00PM.
Plan on it being chilly in the morning with temps in the 30s.