Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dead Horse Point State Park

Posted from Moab, UT  (Click on Pics to Enlarge)

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For additional pictures on this park,  click HERE.
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On Friday we decided to take a break from Arches National Park and branch out a bit to see other attractions in the area.  We had been referred to Dead Horse Point State Park by several blog readers, so off we went. This Utah state park is located off of Rt. 313, the same route you'd take to enter the northern  section of Canyonlands National Park.

Ok, before I get into today's blog and pictures, you're probably wondering how this park got its' name.  I know I was.  Let me just cite the Wikopedia origin of the name.  This is also the story put forth in the visitor's center at the park.

From Wikopedia:
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.

First, a trip to the visitor's center was in order to get an overview of the park and pick up a trail map.

We initially decided to just hike the East Rim Trail and return the same way to the visitor's center because it was only 1.5 miles each direction. By the time we got to the Point, we changed our minds and took the 2.5 mile West Rim Trail back.  I'm glad we did because of the different views. Here's Karen starting out on the trail.

The first views we had over the east rim were pretty impressive. The blue ponds in the distance are potash ponds.

As we neared the Point, a re-created brush line has been set in place to show how the cowboys closed off the area to enclose the wild horses.  Remember, the area is separated from the main plateau by an area only about 30 feet in width.

Rather than show multiple pictures looking off the edge of the Point I shot a short video to give everyone a better feeling for the depth and distance of this area.

           (Video best viewed in full screen and 1080p resolution.)


Of course, if not interested in hiking, you can drive all the way to the end of the Point.  There were a couple of tour buses which had just "unloaded" prior to our arrival.  There was a pretty neat looking restored RV in the lot.  Anyone have an idea who made this?  All of the identifying decals and maker marks had been removed.

Here's a shelter up near the observation point.  It was a nice shady place to eat lunch.

Soon it was time to begin the trek back to the visitor's center. We chose to take the West Rim Trail for the different views.

We encountered only one other couple along the entire hike back.  The views were excellent.

Here's a picture of Karen with the Colorado River far below in the rear.

The next two pictures were taken from the West Rim Overlook.  This was a HUGE solid piece of slickrock overlooking a great expanse.

This strange rock formation was positioned on the edge of the slickrock.  I'm not sure how it was formed, but interesting to look at nonetheless.


I'll end today's blog with a panorama view of Shafer Canyon.


Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

12 comments:

  1. loved our visit to that park... and I have no idea who lakes that cool little RV

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  2. A very cool place to visit, such amazing panoramic views! The West is so beautiful, sort of makes you wonder why you'd ever go back East again.

    Not sure, but that RV might be a Dodge, they made their own for a few years, but then I'm probably wrong. It's a nice restoration, though.

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    1. "...sort of makes you wonder why you'd ever go back East again."

      My thoughts exactly.

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  3. Thanks so much showing us the state park. Another thing we had to cut from our list. Your pictures are great. Looks like a terrific hike. Were you out in mid afternoon?? Lots of folks say to stay there instead of at Canyonlands. .

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    1. Now Sherry, you know that we were out there mid afternoon. LOL

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    2. Thanks for the info on the state park. We are getting closer to leaving S.D. and heading that way.

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  4. That is a Dodge Travco. Probably in the mid 1960's.

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    1. Thanks for the info. I googled the Travco and found several pics which look like the one in our blog.

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  5. LOVE that area!!! Thanks for the pictures.

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  6. A lovely park ... and another one we didn't get to when we lived in SLC ... fell in love with Arches and spent that one entire long-weekend vacation there instead.

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  7. Pretty country! We really like Arches and think Canyonlands is just as impressive as the Grand Canyon.

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    1. Carol it looks as though we're going to have to put the visit to Canyonlands on the "future visits" list. We just have run out of time on this visit.

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