Friday, October 2, 2015

Dead Horse Point State Park, 9/23/2015

This state park, located in southwest Utah, is well known for overlooks that provide panoramic views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park. At an altitude of 5,900', the park is approximately 5,360 acres of high desert.  

Our first stop, as always, was the Visitor Center. There are interesting exhibits about the park here as well as a small gift shop. This is where we paid the entrance fee of $10/vehicle and picked up a map of the park. 

When we visited there was also an exhibit of works by wilderness photographer, Chad Dutson

Below is a map of the park obtained at the visitor center. 

The main attraction here is the rim trail round a large mesa that was used as natural corral by cowboys in the 1800s. Sheer cliff walls surround the mesa that is 2,000' above a gooseneck of the Colorado River. 

The blue water seen in the distance are solar evaporation ponds for a mine owned by Intrepid Potash, Inc. Information regarding the process to obtain salt used to create a fertilizer is explained in the photo below.

Below is the gooseneck of the Colorado River where we could see boats of various sizes cruising on the water. 

Sadie (our doggy) enjoyed the opportunity to walk along the trail rim with us, but she always looks for shade when it's hot! Here are more awesome views you will find here.

This area is called the "neck" where access to the mesa is only about 30 years wide. 

Legend has it that cowboys corralled wild mustangs here and blocked their escape by placing brush and wood across the neck. The cowboys selected the best ones for their own use. For reasons still unknown, they left the rest here with no way out. When others found the skeletons of the horses that died of thirst here, 2,000' above the river, they named it Dead Horse Point. What a terrible fate.

There are additional hiking trails providing additional amazing views of the areas. After visiting Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, this was a nice day of easy hiking. Also, dogs are permitted on the trails which is always a bonus for us.  

For additional information about the park, please see their website.

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