Dead Horse Point State Park

The view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world.

Introduction

32 miles (51.5 km) from Moab, Dead Horse Point State Park is one of Utah’s most spectacular state parks. The view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. Towering 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the overlook provides a breathtaking panorama of Canyonlands’ sculpted pinnacles and buttes. Millions of years of geologic activity created the spectacular views from Dead Horse Point State Park. Deposition of sediments by ancient oceans, freshwater lakes, streams and wind blown sand dunes created the rock layers of canyon country. Igneous activity formed the high mountains that rise like cool blue islands from the desert below.

The legend of Dead Horse Point states that around the turn of the century the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa top. Cowboys herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point. The neck was then fenced off with branches and brush. 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.

There are miles of pet-friendly developed hiking trails in the park, including a paved trail which provides easy access to some of the most scenic views. Mountain Bikers will love the new Intrepid Trail System at Dead Horse Point. With slickrock sections, looping singletrack, sandy washes, and incredible scenery, the Intrepid Trail System provides a great taste of what Moab mountain biking is all about. This is the perfect ride for families and offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park.

Distance from Moab
32 Miles (51.5 km)
Directions from Moab
Drive 9 miles (14.5 km) northwest of Moab on US 191 and then 23 miles (37 km) southwest on Utah 313. Driving time to the visitor center from Moab is roughly 45 minutes.
Park Hours
Park open year-round, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. – Visitor Center open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year round, closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years Day.
Fees
Day Use:
  • $15 per vehicle up to eight passengers, valid for 3 days
  • $10 for seniors 62 and older
  • $10 per motorcycle
  • $2 pedestrian or cyclist (biking into park)
  • Commercial day-use fee: $2 per person
Camping:
  • Kayenta and Windgate campgrounds are $35 per night. They offer electrical hookups and accommodations from tent campers to RV’s up to 56 feet, maximum of 8 people per site.
  • Yurts: $120 per night year round, maximum of 6 people per site
  • Camping and yurt fees accommodate one vehicle. Extra vehicles are charged a $13 fee.
  • Day use fees are not charged for those camping.
  • Reservations can be made four months in advance by calling 1-800-322-3770 or online at reserveamerica.com. First-come, first-served openings may be available at the park.
Visitors Center and Hours
The visitor center is open year-round, has facilities for the disabled, an information area, exhibits, rest rooms, water, publications and souvenirs. The visitor center hours open from 9am-5pm year round, closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Years Day.(435) 259-2614

Yurts

The nine yurts at Dead Horse Point State Park provide the most luxurious accommodations that can be found atop the mesa. A perfect location for experiencing sunrise and sunset, the yurts enjoy sweeping views of both the canyons to the south and the La Sal mountains to the east. Each yurt contains sleeping space for up to six people. Heat, air conditioning, and electrical outlets are available, to provide for a relaxing environment in any weather condition. Modern restroom facilities are located within easy walking distance.

Please note that pets are not allowed in the yurts, or in vehicles outside of the yurts. If you would like to spend the night in the park with your furry friend, consider the Kayenta Campground.

To make a camping reservation contact Reserve America at 1-800-322-3770, or visit reserveamerica.com.

Geology

Dead Horse Point is situated atop a high plateau at an elevation of about 6,000 feet above sea level. From the point, a “layer cake” of geologic time may be viewed, revealing 300 million years of the earth’s geologic history. While standing on the canyon rim, 8,000 feet of geologic strata is visible looking from the peaks of the 12.000 foot high La Sal Mountains to the river below. These rock layers were deposited over the eons by oceans, fresh water and wind as well as isolated igneous events.

Sediments at the 4,000-foot river level were deposited during the Pennsylvanian period, 300 million years ago. The La Sal Mountains are composed of igneous rocks from an ancient laccolith that formed during the Tertiary period about 25 million years ago. Also during the Tertiary period, uplifting caused by continental drift elevated the entire Colorado Plateau by more than a mile. The Colorado River was born during this regional uplift, and has been carving down through the sediments ever since. Erosion continues today as the river winds from the Continental Divide high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean at the Sea of Cortez (a distance of 1,400 miles) sculpting ancient rock layers into the spectacular panorama seen from Dead Horse Point.

Kayenta and Windgate Campgrounds

Nestled within a grove of juniper, the Kayenta Campground at Dead Horse Point State Park offers a peaceful, shaded respite from the surrounding desert. All twenty-one sites offer lighted shade structures, picnic tables, fire rings, and tent pads. All sites are also equipped with RV electrical hookups. Modern restroom facilities are available, and trails lead directly from the campground to various points of interest within the park. 21 sites/4 nonreserveable/1 ADA accessible.

New in 2018, the Wingate Campground sits atop the mesa with far reaching views to the area’s mountain ranges and deep canyons. This campground contains thirty-one (31) campsites, twenty (20) of which have electrical hookups that support RV or tent campers while eleven (11) are walk-in, tent only sites. All sites have fire-pits, picnic tables under shade shelters, and access to bathrooms with running water and dish washing sinks. RV sites will accommodate vehicles up to 56′ and there is a dump station at the entrance to the campground. To make a camping reservation contact Reserve America at 1-800-322-3770, or visit reserveamerica.com.

Park Highlights

Pet Friendly Hiking Trails

Pet Friendly Hiking Trails

Eight miles of pet friendly hiking trails in the park include two joining loops around the rim and several spurs to beautiful viewpoints.

Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

The Intrepid Trail System has three hiking and biking loops ranging from one to nine miles with varying degrees of difficulty.

Yurts

Yurts

Nine yurts are available for overnight use and are available by reservation. Open year-round.

Experience Dead Horse Point

Experience Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point’s combination of breathtaking scenery and easy accessibility has made it a must-see for visitors to the Moab area.

Mountain Biking the Intrepid Trail

Trail Description

With slickrock sections, looping singletrack, sandy washes, and incredible scenery, the Intrepid Trail System provides a great taste of what Moab mountain biking is all about. This is the perfect ride for families and offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park.

The Intrepid Trail System has 8 segments totaling just over 16 miles of trail for mountain bikers and hikers to enjoy varying through degrees of intermediate difficulty. The eastern section of the trail is easier and often recommended for beginning riders in the Moab area, while the western loop is more challenging. The entirety of the system will offer opportunities for visitors of all ages and abilities, and provide breathtaking views. Unlike the hiking trails, pets are not welcome on the Intrepid Trail System for human, animal and environmental safety.

The Intrepid Trail was made possible through great public/private partnerships. Intrepid Potash, Inc., for which the trail is named, gave $20,000 for construction of a new single-track, non-motorized trail system. The trail was built by Trail Mix, a local volunteer organization, and volunteers from the Utah Conservation Corps, American Conservation Experience and Moab Trails Alliance. The National Park Service and Utah State Parks also worked on the project. Dead Horse Point State Park is located approximately 30 miles from Moab. The park also offers camping and day-use facilities, visitor center, and naturalist programs. For more information call (435) 259-2614.





Overview
Deadhorse Point State Park, 32 miles west of Moab

Difficulty
Easy to Moderate

Length
Big Chief: 3.6 miles
Crossroads: 1.7 miles
Great Pyramid: 2.2 miles
Intrepid: 0.5 miles
Prickly Pair: 3.0 miles
Raven Roll: 1.7 miles
Twisted Tree: 1.5 miles
Whiptail: 2.6 miles

Elevation @ Trailhead
5900’

Season
Ideal in spring, fall and winter; midday heat in July and August

Directions
Nine miles northwest of Moab on US 191 and then 23 miles southwest on Utah 313 to the end of the highway.

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