dead horse point state park
About Dead Horse State Park
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 out of the hot, dry desert.
The plants and animals of Dead Horse Point have adapted to a land of scare water and extreme temperatures. Plants grow very slowly here. Trees 15 feet tall may be hundreds of years old. Leaves of most plants are small and some have a waxy coating to reduce evaporation. Most desert animals are nocturnal, active only during cooler evenings and mornings. Some have large ears to dissipate heat, while others metabolize water from food.
The Legend of Dead Horse Point
Dead Horse Point is a peninsula of rock atop sheer sandstone cliffs. The peninsula is connected to the mesa by a narrow strip of land called the neck. There are many stories about how this high promontory of land received its name.
According to one legend, around the turn of the century the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa top. Cowboys rounded up these horses, herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point. The neck, which is only 30-yards-wide, was then fenced off with branches and brush. This created a natural corral surrounded by precipitous cliffs straight down on all sides, affording no escape. Cowboys then chose the horses they wanted and let the culls or broomtails go free. 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.
Opened to the public as a state park in 1959.
Park Elevation: 5,900 feet
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Hours and Fees
Park hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Visitor Center Hours:
Summer (Mar 15 to Mid-Oct) - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Winter (Mid-Oct to Mar 14) - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Holiday Closures: Visitor Center closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day (park remains open)
Day-use fee: $10 per vehicle up to eight passengers; $5 for Utah seniors 62 and older.
Commercial day-use fee: $2 per person
Camping fees: Kayenta $25
Become a Junior Ranger at Dead Horse Point State Park!
Our Junior Rangers are usually ages six to 12, but everyone is welcome. Download our Junior Ranger Manual before you arrive or check in with a park ranger at the park. Junior Rangers earn a badge and certificate!
Filming, Weddings and Events
All commercial filming, weddings and events require a Special Use Permit.
For information and an application, please contact Megan Blackwelder, Park Manager at (435) 259-2614 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer & Service
Current Hosting Needs
Hosts: 3 Hosts/0 Available in 2014
Months Needed: March - October
Adopt a Park
- Trail Maintenance
- Invasive Species Removal