Tavasci Marsh is one-of-a-kind hiking or birding experience. The marsh itself is quite large and you can hike around approximately 2/3 of it with no trouble at all. It varies from tall grass/reed marsh to Cottonwood stands. There are few, if any paths into the marsh but it is not difficult to walk a short distance off the main trail. The birding favors those who are very patient and listen carefully for birds in the tall dense reed growth.
There are two ways for the hiker to access Tavasci Marsh:
- Tuzigoot Trail: park at Tuzigoot National Monument (free parking here) and hike down the steep dirt road into the bottom land which is the marsh. You are there! But turn right and keep on going along the marsh through a small copse of Cottonwoods and emerge onto a grass land area. Bear left through the grassland and find a foot bridge which crosses the exit ditch for the marsh. Once there, you might want to take a very short walk over to the Verde River for a beautiful view. Once you cross the foot bridge turn left on the old dirt road and you will joined the trail down from Dead Horse Ranch SP. Keep hiking until you get to where the trail narrows and eventually you will find yourself at the observation platform and the end of the trail.
- Dead Horse Ranch Trail: This is accessed from the end of Flycatcher Rd in the Park. The Park itself is a fee area but it offers much more than just a trail head. Park your vehicle and hike down the hill on a wide old and abandoned dirt road. Shortly after reaching the bottom you will see where the Tuzigoot Trail joins the road. Keep on going to the observation platform.
Regardless of the trail you use, you will be hiking in a National Monument administered by the National Park Service and Park rules are in effect. Also, please be aware that there are no facilities of any nature in this area.
Tavasci Marsh is very interesting historically and ecologically. A good insight into its background can be found here: http://www.azheritagewaters.nau.edu/loc_shea_spring.html .