There are a lot of parks and campgrounds all over the world that come with pretty strange names and Utah’s Dead Horse Point State Park definitely falls into that category. However, like most other oddly-named places, this park is one of the most beautiful around and also offers some spectacular views of the majestic La Salle Mountains and the mighty Colorado River.
The park’s ideal for camping since it has facilities for tents and RVs. This makes it a wonderful place to set up a base camp if you’d like to explore nearby Canyonlands National Park and the park’s surrounding area.
(photo by pong)
The Dead Horse Point park sits about 30 miles to the west of the town of Moab. All you need to do from Moab is hit Highway 191 north and then follow the signs to the park. There are some fantastic spots to pull over on the drive where you’ll be able to get some great views of the mountains and local red rock formations.
There’s a fee per vehicle to enter the park, so the more the merrier as this will reduce the overall cost. There’s also a visitor center where you can buy an assortment of souvenirs, posters, and books and check out some displays on the area’s natural history. You’ll also find an observation deck here which offers more amazing views of the surrounding rock formations and mountains.
There’s a story behind the park’s name of course, and according to local legend cowboys used to corral wild horses through a narrow overlook which sat on top of cliffs and was about 2,000 feet above the valley below. The cowboys left some horses at the point one winter and sadly they died because they were unable to reach food and water.
You can still reach the overlook today by hiking or driving to the point. Again, the views from here are second to none as you can look into the valley deep below and witness the Colorado River as it takes a sharp turn on its way toward the Grand Canyon.
There is a campground in the park that provides 21 campsites for RVs and cars. Each site comes with a charcoal pit for barbecuing and bathrooms are available in the park. Because there are a limited number of campsites it’s a good idea to make a reservation before you head pout on your adventure.
There isn’t any fresh water supply in the park though and all of the water there is delivered by truck from Moab. So while there are bathrooms and drinking fountains, there aren’t any showers available in Dead Horse Point State Park. If you plan on camping out for a few days it’s a good idea to take along some extra water with you. The park is also in a sunny location and you’ll need to make sure you protect yourself from the sun’s strong rays, even in the winter.
The park is open all year round and is also quite popular with mountain bikers and photographers due to the terrain and beautiful scenery and the park’s excellent bike trail system. There are also ATV trails nearby as well as some short hiking trails and picnic spots.