Monday, October 27, 2008
TAVASCI MARSH Dead Horse Ranch State Park Situated in the backwaters of the upper Verde River, Tavasci Marsh is a bird watcher’s paradise. Herons, egrets, finches, wrens and flycatchers flourish in the profuse vegetation and aren’t shy about spreading their wings. The hike passes through a healthy mesquite bosque—one of the most rare ecosystems in the world—ending at a wooden observation deck with a viewing bench at the edge of the wetlands. Here, river otters cut through pond water like oiled torpedoes accompanied by a boisterous avian soundtrack. LENGTH: 3 miles round-trip RATING: easy elevation gain: 50 feet ELEVATION GAIN: 3,350’ – 3,300’ GETTING THERE: From Phoenix, go north on Interstate 17 to Camp Verde (exit 287) and take Highway 260 west to Cottonwood. Turn left on Main Street (89A toward Clarksdale) and continue to 10th Street. Turn right on 10th St. and proceed over the Verde River Bridge to the park entrance. From the park entrance, follow the main road to Flycatcher Road (2nd road on the left) where there’s a “Tavasci Marsh” sign. Follow this road less than a mile to the signed parking area.