Stunning Red Rock Cliffs and Vistas at Utah’s Dead Horse Point State Park

SR-313, Moab, Utah Toward the end of the last century, packs of wild mustangs roamed the mesas around what is

SR-313, Moab, Utah

Toward the end of the last century, packs of wild mustangs roamed the mesas around what is now called Dead Horse Point, a stone promontory surrounded by high cliffs overlooking the Colorado River, 2,000 feet below.

Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
From Dead Horse Point the view of the Colorado River winding through red rock mesas is as breathtaking as any in the West. Trails starting at the visitors center lead to five additional overlooks in this 5,200-acre park.

Cowboys fenced the narrow neck of land leading onto the promontory to use it as a natural corral for the mustangs. Once they had selected the best horses for personal use or sale, the gate was opened and the unwanted culls were allowed to find their way off the point and onto open range. One group never made it; according to legend, those broomtails died of thirst within distant view of the Colorado River.

Dead Horse Point is just one of the breathtaking overlooks in this 5,200-acre state park. Paved and primitive trails radiate outward from the visitors center to six points overlooking the river and the heavily eroded cliff walls, with their towering spires and steep bluffs.

The park offers self-guiding hikes and, in summer, rock climbers and hang gliders occasionally pursue their sports along the precipice.

Open year-round. Admission charged.

www.stateparks.utah.gov

(435) 259-2614; (800) 322-3770

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest