This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy for more information.
If you’re checking out the national parks near Moab, Utah, be sure to make some time for Dead Horse Point State Park. Luckily, if you’re heading to the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park, you’ll be near the entrance to this beautiful state park. To access these parks, you’ll need to make the drive up towards the entrances to both parks, and this could take about half an hour. The drive itself is gorgeous, and the beauty at the top is worth it. We were glad to make a slight detour and check out the view.
Since it’s a state park, there is a fee for visiting separate from the national park fee. Also, there are some campgrounds in Dead Horse Point State Park, and some have yurts, so if you want to be close to Canyonlands National Park, these campgrounds are a great option. Plus, I’d love to do some stargazing in this area. Click here to see the links for camping information.
Why is it called Dead Horse Point State Park?
According to the story, the flat area of the point was used as a corral for mustangs in the 1800s. The wild horses could be driven across a narrow place to the point and shut in to herd them. Once, as the story goes, the cowboys doing the herding forgot they had corralled horses there, and the poor horses died of thirst, ironically, overlooking the Colorado River. The name for the point stuck, and the rest is history.
The Visitor Center at Dead Horse Point State Park
The visitor center is a great place to plan your visit, shop the gift shop, and grab a refreshment with an amazing view.
Dead Horse Point Overlook
Though there are a lot of hiking trails in the area, most people probably first experience the state park by checking out Dead Horse Point Overlook. We only made time for the overlook, but you could definitely spend more time checking out the park. Even though our time was limited, it was totally worth it to see this:
Though this is the view that people come here to see, the whole area is breathtaking. It’s always difficult to put into words the way I feel when I experience such natural beauty. I love how small I feel. I’m in awe as I experience the silence, the peacefulness–the only sound is the wind blowing past my ears.
At this park and Island in the Sky, you could look towards the horizon and feel like you were looking at land that stretched out forever.
This is not a difficult area to explore for most families. You certainly want to keep an eye on the kids, though.
There is a nice viewing area to get a great view of the point.
The Interesting Terrain of Dead Horse Point State Park
This Missouri girl often felt like she was on another planet! I’ve only seen things like this in old Westerns.
Jeff liked this tree. We certainly don’t see trees like this one very often.
This is such a great state park, and it’s really easy to add it to your Canyonlands National Park: Island in the Sky day since they are so close to each other. This gooseneck of the Colorado River is definitely worth viewing, and the whole viewing point area is beautiful. Be sure to make Dead Horse Point State Park part of your Utah trip!
Read more about our Utah adventures!