Outdoor Adventure: Hiking, Biking, and More at Dead Horse Point near Moab

Outdoor Life: The Great American Southwest
One of my favorite spots in nature is Dead Horse Point outside Moab, Utah.  If you love the desert, the outdoors, and beautiful vistas that shatter your conceptions of beauty, Dead Horse Point is for you.  Located 25 minutes outside of Moab (which I consider to be one of the premier adventure hot spots in the country), Dead Horse Point State Park offers some of the most incredible scenic landscapes in the Southwest. 

Overlooking the drama of the winding Colorado River, many don’t realize that one of the best ways to see adjacent Canyonlands National Park is from this scenic overlook. The park—although relatively small—boasts miles of hiking trails, biking trails, and a 21 site campground for you to enjoy the millions of years of geologic theatrics on display. 

The Legend of Dead Horse Point

According to one legend (and the Utah Division of Natural Resources website) the rock outcropping—only 30 yards wide!--was once used as a corral for wild mustangs.  Apparently, cowboys would round up these wild animals, and herd them across the narrow neck of land onto the point.   Surrounded by cliffs on all sides but one, the cowboys stuck brush and branches across the point to keep the horses corralled.  Then the mustangs were culled through, and a few came back to civilization for farming and ranching.  One time, the horses were left up on the point for too long without water, and died within sight of the mighty Colorado two thousand feet below.  That’s the legend, and the name’s stuck now.

My wife and I took a weekend down last February to celebrate our anniversary, and had a blast.  We’re super passionate about the outdoors, and we’re always planning our next getaway, usually settling for some gorgeous locale in the great American West.  This time, Moab answered the call. 

When do I go?

Now’s a great time to hit Red Rock country, as it’s not scorching hot yet (park rangers recommend a gallon of water per person per day in the heat of the summer), and you can beat the summer crowds.  Kids aren’t out of school yet, but colleges are done ‘till August.  In fact, I just checked, it’s 55 degrees and raining today.  A rarity for sun-soaked Moab… Better head down!

What do I bring?

The Point is accessible by car most easily, then grab your hiking boots, a water bottle (made from sustainable materials of course)  and your favorite hat and shades!

 

So whether you’re a hard-core adventurer on their way down south for serious riding, climbing, and hiking, or a less-seasoned outdoor enthusiast, Dead Horse Point makes my to-do list for any Utah Red Rock trip.