Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Thumper Loop Day Hike
when Trip Report : April 18, 2015
where Dead Horse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood
the hike     This hike is described in Boots and Burgers by Roger Naylor. It is a loop composed of three trails: Lime Kiln, Thumper, and Lower Raptor in a counter clockwise direction. Note there is a $7 per vehicle entry fee. Given the continued reduction in our state budget, the State Parks System can use the money.
    We will park near the lagoons which are themselves worth some time to explore. The lagoons are formed by a diversion of Verde River water to create one of the best fishing areas and bird habitats in the state.
    “The trail traces a limestone ridge past the remains of an old kiln. After a short, steep climb known as the stairs, the route levels off and slices through hills dotted with junipers, pines, and bowed crucifixion thorns.” In two miles we will turn left on the Thumper trail. “This is a lovely segment, rambling across rolling plateaus, dipping in and out of shallow canyons.” At the 4.25 mile point we turn left on Lower Raptor and gradually descend “via terraced ridges”. This segment offers good views of Cottonwood, Tuzigoot National Monument and the Verde River. The trail ends at the campgrounds and we will follow paths back to where we parked our vehicles.
distance 8.7 miles (includes the 0.4 mile spur to Rattlesnake overlook)
time 5-6 hours
EC +-800' elevation change
elevations 3250' (trailhead) to 3850' (Thumper/Lower Raptor junction)
type loop
starting at
Thumper Trailhead 34° 45.183' N,  112° 0.649' W  [NAD27]
on trail 100% — Lime Kiln, Thumper, and Lower Raptor Trails
rating "B-"     Rate yourself as a hiker.
dogs allowed no
cost $7 per vehicle entry + sharing gas expenses with the driver.
The club also allows voluntary contributions of $5 per non-member.
weather Cottonwood
meet 7:00 AM in the Fry’s parking lot on the SW corner of I-17 & Bell Road. Park behind Denny’s, near the entrance to the Deer Valley Park & Ride.
drive •  Travel north on I-17 to Camp Verde.
•  Exit on SR 260 and go west to Cottonwood.
•  In Cottonwood, go northwest on Main Street and follow the signs for Dead Horse Ranch State Park.

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