DEAD HORSE POINT STATE PARK
Take in the beauty of Dead Horse Point State Park and the stories that tell of the Parks past. Stories of ancient settlers to cowboys of the 1800’s will give you a glimpse of what life was like in the park hundreds of years ago.
The spectacular views from Dead Horse Point State Park are a result of millions of years of geological activity. Deposits of sediment by ancient oceans, freshwater lakes, streams, and windblown sand dunes created the canyon rock formations in the Utah High Desert. In the distance, you will find the beautiful La Sal Mountains. A wonderful place to go to cool down from the high desert heat. There you will find several lakes and many trails for hiking and biking.
Dead Horse Point Overlook
2000 Ft. Above the scenic gooseneck of the Colorado River you will find the Dead Horse Point Overlook. The main viewing area in the Park.
As you view the beauty below you’ll find an ever-changing landscape unfolding before your eyes. With immense vertical cliffs meeting canyons carved by ice, water, and wind creating a visual masterpiece. Enjoy the park’s beauty from the viewpoint or take a hike on a trail of your choice.
The History of Dead Horse Point State Park tells the stories of ancient hunters settling the area, resting along the cliff tops, preparing for their hunts. Decades later stories of cowboys running horses in the 1800’s. The Legend of Dead Horse Point tells the story of how this area got its name.
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 broom-tails 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. This is how this area got its name, Dead Horse Point.
Native Plants and Wildlife
You will see beautiful plants and wildlife throughout the Park. Both, which have learned to adapt to the extreme high desert conditions. The desert is home to wildlife such as Coyotes, Antilope, and Mountain Goats. You will also find an abundance of snakes, lizards and small creatures living in the desert of Utah. The desert is also home to many different wildflowers and cactus that grow wild in the area. Enjoy nature at its finest.
With the many things to do in the park, such as hiking, camping, jeeping, exploring and learning the history of the park, as well as its geological makeup, you’ll never run out of things to do. At the Information Center, you will find everything you need to enjoy your stay in the Park. You will find information, restrooms, dump station, parking lot and concessions.
Just a couple of things to mention
- The Park was open to the public in 1959
- The Park elevation is 5900 Ft.
There are two campgrounds in the park.
The Kayenta campground, nestled in the Juniper trees will give you a place to cool off from the desert heat.
The campground has 21 sites, 4 non-reservable and 1 ADA accessible.
Nightly rate $ 40.00.
Extra vehicle fee is $15.00 per night.
The Wingate Campground. New in 2018, the campground sits atop the Mesa with far reaching views of the mountain ranges in the distance and the deep canyons of Dead Horse Point State Park.
The campground has 31 sites, 20 have electrical hookups that support RV or Tent campers. There are 11 walk-in tent only sites and 2 ADA accessible sites. Available with reservations are 4 Yurts. Check on Reserve America for availability.
Nightly rate $40.00.
Extra vehicle fee is $15.00 per night
Hike in tent only is $35.00 per night
The campgrounds are often reserved months in advance, so make your reservations early.
The campground does have 4 non-reservable sites that are on a first come, first served basis.
They have a wait list at the visitor center if you are interested or you may call the Park Visitor Center at (435)259-2614.
The Yurts at Dead Horse Point State Park
The Yurts at Dead Horse Point State Park provide the most luxurious accommodations. A perfect place to enjoy the sun rise and set.
They provide sleeping space for up to six people, a propane grill is provided, as well as heat, air conditioning, and electrical outlets.
Modern restroom facilities are located within walking distance.
Nightly rate: $140.00
Extra vehicle fee: $15.00 nightly
Check-in 3 PM. Check out 12.00 PM.
Nightly rate: $140.00
Extra vehicle fee: $15.00 nightly
Check-in 3 PM. Check-out 12:00 PM
Note: No pets are allowed in the Yurts or in vehicles outside the Yurts. If you would like to spend the night with your pet consider staying at the Kayenta campground.
Day use fees are not charged to overnight campers.
Day use fees:
$20.00 per vehicle up to 15 passengers, valid 3 days
$15.00 for Seniors 62 and older
$10.00 for motorcycles
$4.00 for pedestrian or cyclist
$2.00 per person for commercial day use
Directions to Dead Horse Point State Park
Directions to the park if traveling from Moab.
You will travel nine miles northwest on US 191 and then 23 miles southwest on Utah 313 until the end of the highway.
You will find the Visitor Center, with restrooms, information and the Pony Express Coffee Shop.
The Coffee Shop is located just outside the visitor center. It’s a great place to get a warm beverage, lunch to take on the trail, or just a quick pick-me-up.
The menu includes hot and cold beverages, sandwiches and wraps, as well as candy, nuts, baked goods, and ice cream.
They also sell bags of ice. A necessity in the Utah High Desert.
Always remember to dress appropriately and bring enough water. There is No water in the Park. Please bring enough for everyone in your group. The recommended amount is 1 gal per day per person.
I hope you found this information helpful and that you have a wonderful stay in this awe-inspiring country.
If you enjoyed this post and would like to know more about the surrounding area you may like my post about Arches National Park.
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