If you’re planning a trip to Utah, you are undoubtedly coming for the beauty the state has to offer – whether that be in the snow-capped mountains or the desert sandstone. So, it’s safe for us to assume that you are planning on visiting one or more national parks. And you definitely should. But if you’ve got the time, why not check out a few of the many state parks. They are often just as spectacular, but with fewer people.
Utah has plenty of state parks. And one our personal favorites is Dead Horse State Park. (If you follow this blog, you know that we’ve often raved about it.) This park offers a fantastic view of the Colorado River as it runs through Canyonlands National Park. Dead Horse is often likened to the Grand Canyon, because of the height and width of its canyon walls. The area is also full of history, to quote ourselves:
There are several stories about how Dead Horse State Park 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. And because of its proximity to Canyonlands, there are plenty of chances to explore that national park.
Dead Horse is open year round. The easiest way to get to the park 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.