Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah offers the opportunity to view epic views over the Colorado River winding through canyons 2,000 feet below. The park is an International Dark Sky Park, has an amazing hiking and biking trail system, and two campgrounds on site.
Dead Horse Point State Park
According to one legend, Dead Horse Point was used as a corral for wild mustangs. Cowboys would round up the Mustangs and herd them across the narrow neck of land to the point.
The neck is only 30 yards wide and was fenced off with branches and brush to keep the horses contained in a natural corral. The legend says the cowboys would choose the horses they wanted and unfortunately leave the rest of the horses corralled without water so they died from thirst.
I know this is a depressing legend but thankfully during a visit now you don't have to worry about the legend. You only have to enjoy the epic views of the Colorado River.
Where is Dead Horse Point?
Dead Horse Point is located near Moab, Utah just down the road from Canyonlands National Park.
It is an easy drive to the park and so worth visiting!
The park is located nine miles north of Moab on US 191 and 23 miles south on SR 313 at the end of the highway.
The visitor center is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. They are closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Just outside of the visitor center is the visitor center nature trail. This ⅛ mile round trip trail is very easy and provides great exhibits highlighting common trees and plants.
Be prepared for the parking lot to the visitor center to be BUSY!!!! When we arrived there were cars lined up waiting to get a spot.
There are 7 miles of trails that navigate the rimrock and desert landscape in Dead Horse Point SP.
The trails connect eight different overlooks providing epic views of the Colorado River and desert landscape.
Dead Horse Point Overlook
Distance - 200 feet each way.
This overlook is the main attraction of the park! If you have seen a photo from Dead Horse Point my guess is it was from this overlook.
The overlook provides amazing views of the Colorado River and the canyons some 2,000 feet below.
The walkway to the overlook is paved and an easy walk. There is a slight elevation gain but the trail is even and easy to walk on.
Once you reach the end of the walkway you can check out multiple viewpoints of the river. There is an ADA-accessible viewing platform or you can walk down some rock stairs to peer over the edge.
The views from Dead Horse Point Overlook are not to be missed!
The Colorado River Overlook
Distance - 1-mile round trip
The Colorado River overlook winds north from the visitor center along the east rim of the Colorado River.
The overlook has seasonal potholes that fill with water and a Juniper-Pinyon forest making it a great opportunity to look for wildlife.
You can also see how river erosion works with the view of a massive S curve in the river.
Intrepid Mountain Biking Trail
If you would like to explore the park by bike there is a bike rental location within the park near the Moenkopi Yurts. They can tell you all about the mountain biking trails and where to head to in the park.
Bighorn Mountain Biking offers mountain bike rentals right from the intrepid trailhead! Use the link to learn more, https://www.bighornmountainbiking.com/
There are 16.6 miles of non-motorized singletrack trails within the park. These trails wind through juniper and pinyon trees, travel over slick rock, and provide epic views of the canyon below.
The trails range from moderate to intermediate and are great for families and expert riders. The main trailhead is located near the Visitor Center Parking Lot. The Intrepid Trail System is really well marked in the park.
International Dark Sky Park
The park was recognized as an International Dark Sky Park in 2016. The park has one of the best night sky views near Moab, Utah. You can enjoy epic views without having to worry about very much light pollution.
There are two campgrounds in Dead Horse Point SP the Kayenta Campground and Wingate Campground.
Both offer campsites for RV's and walk-in tent sites. The campsites have tent pads, a picnic shade shelter, a fire ring, and easy access to restrooms.
There are two sets of Yurts in the park. These glamping yurts offer an upgraded experience from general camping.
Each yurt has a bunk bed with a queen bed on the lower section and a full-size bunk on top. There is also a pullout futon couch.
The yurts have heating and air conditioning making them comfortable year-round. They have electrical outlets along with tables available both indoors and outside of the yurt.
Restrooms are nearby within walking distance. One thing to know is bedding is not provided.
Rates - $140.00 ($120.00 for off-peak dates November-February).
Door Code - Make sure to print your email confirmation or save it to your phone so you have the door code for your yurt.
Things to know when visiting Dead Horse Point
Entrance Fee: Standard day-use fees are valid at Dead Horse Point State Park for two consecutive days starting on the date of purchase.
- Regular: $20.00 (up to eight people)
- Utah Senior (Utah residents 65 or older): $15.00
- Motorcycles: $10.00 per motorcycle
Bike-In and Walk-In Fees: $4.00 per person
- Parking outside the park is limited and the road is very narrow into the park
Annual Permits: Click here to buy annual permits online!
- $100.00 for Utah residents under the age of 65
- $50.00 for Utah residents age 65 or older
- $150.00 for all out-of-state customers
Hours: 6 am to 10 pm
Wifi: There is no WiFi Available
Cell Service: There is spotty cell service available at the visitor center.
Opened to the public as a state park in 1959.
Park Elevation: 5,900 feet
Official Website: https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/dead-horse/
Great Park Sites near Dead Horse Point
Island in the Sky Campground - Canyonlands
Top things to do in Canyonlands
Check out all of the Utah State Parks
Check out all of the National Parks in Utah along with neighboring Colorado National Parks, Idaho National Parks, Wyoming National Parks, Nevada National Parks, Arizona National Parks, and New Mexico National Parks.
Make sure to check out all of the things to do in Moab! This is a park lovers paradise!
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