Utah has a plethora of state parks. And one of the best – and least visited – is Dead Horse State Park. This park offers a fantastic view of the high desert near Moab, of the Colorado River, and of Canyonlands National Park. Dead Horse State Park has impressive canyon walls that rise 2,000 feet from the canyon floor. We at the Lodge at Red River Ranch recommend that you check out Dead Horse State Park the next time you get the chance.
There are several stories about Dead Horse State Park; one of the most interesting is how it got its name. Some sources maintain that early pioneers saw what looked like a white horse on the canyon floor. This was probably part of a sandstone formation that is still visible today, which lends credibility to this story. Others claim that cowboys used the canyon as a natural corral for wild horses. When the cowboys abandoned the site they tried to drive the horses out, but the horses refused to leave the canyon, and consequently died.
Dead Horse State Park has a visitor center, several scenic overlook points, a developed camping site and ATV trails. While some of the overlook locations require a short hike, all of them are worth checking out. Additional hiking opportunities are available in the nearby area. Bike trails and off-road-vehicle trails are also to be found near Dead Horse State Park.
The park is open year round. The easiest way to get to Dead Horse is by traveling southeast from Moab. And since you’re so close to Moab, you might want to spend a day Jeeping on the world-famous slickrock.
For more information on this park go to the park site here.