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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