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Dead Horse Point Overlook into Colorado River

Moab, Utah » Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point State Park is perhaps Utah's most spectacular state park. Towering 2,000 feet directly above the Colorado River, the mesa referred to as "Dead Horse Point" provides breathtaking views of the canyon country of southeastern Utah and the pinnacles and buttes of Canyonlands National Park. Spectacular views of Dead Horse point can also be seen from the Colorado River looking up on our Cataract Canyon and Canyonlands National Park Trip.

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What to See in Moab

Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Deadhorse Point State Park
Manti-La Sal National Forest
Moab Scenic Drives

 

» Nature and Science
» The Legend of Dead Horse Point
» Hours, Facilities and Directions
» State Park Contact Info

 

Nature & Science

Millions of years of geologic activity created the spectacular views from Dead Horse Point State Park. Deposition of sediments by ancient oceans, freshwater lakes, streams and wind blown sand dunes created the rock layers of canyon country. Igneous activity formed the high mountains that rise like cool blue islands out of the hot, dry desert.

The plants and animals of Dead Horse Point have adapted to a land of scare water and extreme temperatures. Plants grow very slowly here. Trees 15 feet tall may be hundreds of years old. Leaves of most plants are small and some have a waxy coating to reduce evaporation. Most desert animals are nocturnal, active only during cooler evenings and mornings. Some have large ears to dissipate heat, while others metabolize water from food.

 

The Legend of Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point is a peninsula of rock atop sheer sandstone cliffs. The peninsula is connected to the mesa by a narrow strip of land called the neck. There are many stories about how this high promontory of land received its name.

According to one legend, around the turn of the century the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa top. Cowboys rounded up these horses, herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point. The neck, which is only 30-yards-wide, was then fenced off with branches and brush. This created a natural corral surrounded by precipitous cliffs straight down on all sides, affording no escape. Cowboys then chose the horses they wanted and let the culls or broomtails go free. One time, for some unknown reason, horses were left corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River, 2,000 feet below.

 

Hours, Facilities & Directions

Hours: 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Holiday Closures:
Visitor Center is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
Fees: $7 day-use; $14 overnight camping

Facilities: Dead Horse Point State Park offers picnic areas, camping facilities, restrooms, visitor center, gift shop, sewage disposal, interpretive trail, hiking, and summer evening programs.

Directions: Nine miles northwest of Moab on US 191 and then 23 miles southwest on Utah 313 to the end of the highway.

 

Contact Information

Utah State Parks and Recreation
P.O. Box 146001
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114-6001
(801) 538-7220
parkcomment@utah.gov
Dead Horse Point State Park
P.O. Box 609
Moab, Utah
84532-0609
(435) 259-2614

Information on Dead Horse Point State Park courtesy of Utah State Parks & Recreation.

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» Moab Lodging » Moab 4x4 Tours » Moab Rafting » Arches National Park
» Horseback Riding » Mountain Biking » Moab Scenic Flights » Moab, Utah

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