Dead Horse Point is one of my two favorite places to camp in Utah. The elevation is 2000 feet and overlooks the goose neck of the Colorado River. It is a mere strip of land which is said to be one of the most photographed places in the country. The land was named for wild mustangs which were rounded up and fenced off at the narrow neck, and for reasons unknown no one came back for them. They all died of thirst as there is no water on the point.

The park overlooks Canyonlands National Park. Sheer unfenced cliffs drop off to the bottom. The views are panoramic. With millions of years of wind, rain, and water eating away at the edges of the great river, the layers of rock in such different and interesting colors define the ages passed away.

Here is my advice for enjoying adventure at the park:

BRING YOUR BIKE.  Although there are many hiking trails, there is now the Intrepid Trail created with funds donated by Intrepid Potash and Trail Mix and hundreds of hours of volunteer work.  The bike trail consists of three interconnecting circles, ranging from 1 mile to 9 miles. Each has a spectacular view and is for beginners to seasoned mountain bikers.

CAMPING IS LIMITED. Reservations are useful.  Besides tent and RV camping, they have several yurts which can be rented.  There is also a small café for drinks and sandwiches open some of the time. If you don’t reserve a space, Moab is 30 miles away with motels, stores and restaurants.

Now if the above doesn’t tempt you “Hi Ho Silver.”  Many movies have been filmed here including the latest “Lone Ranger.” “Thelma and Louise” drove their car off the point, and Tom Cruise parachuted off the cliff in “Mission Impossible II”….to name a few.

GET CAUGHT IN THE RAIN. Now comes my favorite part.  If you are lucky enough to get caught in the rain, when it stops, you can walk from the campground to pock marked rocks which have collected the water.  The water now contains many, tiny, little crab like creatures which apparently lie dormant until it rains. Then, they reproduce. I don’t understand it, and please don’t touch or hurt them.  They are obviously another one of natures’ miracles to be seen at this beautiful park.

Has anyone else fallen in love with this state park? What are your favorite places in red-rock country?

Joyce Olesen
is a grandmother, mother, and daughter of Scouters. She love kids, camping, country music and sport cars. Her Dad was a Scout leader in Chicago in the early 1920’s and having only daughters did not bolster his Scouting hopes. As his "Scout" she was tying regulation knots by the time she was 7.

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