It’s a bit lonely at the condo in Moab this week. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are closed due to snowfall and the Federal government shutdown. A couple of good sized snow storms rolled through in the past few weeks. This lead to Arches closing 1st and then Canyonlands (beyond the Visitor Center).
You can still get to Dead Horse Point State Park since you’re on a state highway all the way to the entrance. It features dramatic scenery similar to what you’d see in Canyonlands. There is a wonderful hike along the rim that takes you to both sides of “The Neck”.
While Dead Horse Point has a morbid history, the story is fascinating and the views of the red rock scenery are worth seeing. There are lots of nice spots to picnic along the way, although it can be a bit chilly this time of year.
The legend of Dead Horse Point is based on the story from around the end of the 19th century. This narrow neck of land was used as a corral for wild horses that would roam along the top of the mesa. Cowboys would herd the mustangs across the narrow neck of land and out to the point. This narrow neck of land was then blocked off with tree branches and brush. Unfortunately, in one instance (for reasons that will never be known), horses were unattended and blocked in at the point. Eventually, they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River 2,000 feet below.
We recommend that you allow at least 3 to 4 hours to walk along the rim trail and take in the incredible vistas. You can’t get lost, at any point in time you are no more than 1/4 mile from the paved park road.
There is not a lot of shade along the route since you are on a neck of land stretching out into the canyon. Make sure you bring at least 1 to 2 quarts of water per person and wear a hat and sunscreen. The wind can kick up at anytime so don’t lose your hat!
Our condo in Moab at Rim Vista Village makes a great jumping off point for visiting both the state and national parks. It’s located in a quiet spot close to the highway for easy access to all of the sights and activities in the Moab area.