Discover Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

Located in Utah’s red rock country near Moab, Dead Horse Point State Park is a must-visit destination renowned for its dramatic desert landscapes and panoramic views. Spanning over 5,300 acres, the park’s highlight is Dead Horse Point, an overlook that towers 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, offering sweeping canyons and the La Sal Mountains.

Named after its use as a natural corral by cowboys, the park provides a rich blend of history and natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy miles of hiking and biking trails, including the challenging Intrepid Trail System. Camping and yurt accommodations allow for an immersive experience, while wildlife enthusiasts can spot mule deer, red foxes, and diverse bird species.

With its stunning scenery and various activities, Dead Horse Point State Park is a breathtaking gem that promises an unforgettable adventure in Utah’s wilderness.

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Top 3 Facts about Dead Horse Point State Park

01

Historic Name

The park’s name originates from the 19th century when cowboys used the narrow mesa as a natural corral for wild mustangs. Unfortunately, some horses were left on the point and perished, leading to its evocative name.

02

Hollywood Backdrop

The park’s dramatic landscapes have been featured in several movies and TV shows, including the iconic final scene of “Thelma & Louise,” where the characters drive off a cliff.

03

Stunning Overlook

Dead Horse Point offers one of the most photographed panoramic views in the world. The overlook provides a breathtaking 2,000-foot drop to the Colorado River below.

Where to Sleep

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Mason Street Getaway

555 Mason St, Saugatuck, MI 49453, USA
Number of Guests 5
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 2
Sq Footage 1,165
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$475.00 / day
sparkles New

JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
sparkles New

Juniper Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$198.00 / day

Hemlock Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$194.14 / day

Greenash Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Dogwood Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Camping and transportation in Dead Horse Point State Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park is a gem near Moab, Utah, just a 40-minute drive away. To arrive by car, you’ll want to navigate to the Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway (U-313), which is your direct route from Highway 191. The drive itself is quite the treat, offering striking views that just get better as you go.

By Car:

  • Departure: Find your way to Highway 191 near Moab.
  • Scenic Byway: Take the turn off onto U-313, also known as Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway.
  • Journey: Revel in the sights as you cruise towards the park.

For those of you who will be flying, the nearest airport is Canyonlands Field Airport (CNY). From there, you can rent a car and follow the byway to your desert adventure.

Places to Stay Near Dead Horse Point State Park

Are you looking for a cozy yurt under the stars or a comfy hotel after a day of adventure? Dead Horse Point State Park offers accommodations for every preference and need.

Kayenta Campground and Wingate Campground are your on-site options for an immersive experience. They feature:

  • Electrical hookups for RVs
  • Tent sites for the traditional camping enthusiast
  • Yurts, equipped with comforts like a gas fireplace and furniture

Just a short drive away, in Moab:

  • Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn: Provides modern comforts like free Wi-Fi and a daily hot breakfast. It’s about 10 miles from the park, making a day trip easy.
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Public Bus

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Best Time to Go to Dead Horse Point State Park

Summer

Summer

Ready to bask in the warmth of the desert sun? Average summer temperatures soar to 80-100°F (27-38°C), perfect for adventure seekers. Just remember to bring lots of water! Here’s your summer must-do list:

  • Stargazing on clear nights – longer days give way to beautiful starry nights.
  • Morning Activities: Take advantage of the cool mornings for hiking or biking.
Winter

Winter

Did you know that even in winter, this park is accessible and majestic? Average temperatures can drop to 30-50°F (-1-10°C). For you winter wanderers, here’s what you can expect:

  • Winter Sports: Although limited, some areas may be suitable for cross-country skiing after a fresh snowfall.
  • Quiet Solitude: Fewer visitors mean more peaceful surroundings, perfect for reflection.
Spring

Spring

Have you experienced the desert in bloom? Spring at Dead Horse Point is a real treat, with average temperatures hovering around 50-70°F (10-21°C), providing a comfortable climate for outdoor fun. Here’s what you should consider:

  • Hiking and Photography: Cooler temperatures and blooming wildflowers create optimal conditions.
  • Wildlife Viewing: Animals are more active and visible after winter.
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Fall

Who doesn’t love fall colors against a backdrop of red rock? With average temperatures in the 60-80°F (15-27°C) range, fall brings a refreshing change and a palette of colors. This season offers:

  • Photography and Hiking: The contrasting fall colors against the park’s red rock formations are stunning.
  • Seasonal Events: Check for local events that celebrate the season.

Must-See Attractions

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Dead Horse Point Overlook

The park’s most iconic viewpoint offers stunning panoramic vistas of the Colorado River and the surrounding canyons. It’s particularly breathtaking at sunrise and sunset.

Intrepid Trail System

A network of mountain biking trails with varying levels of difficulty. These trails offer beautiful views and a fun way to explore the park’s rugged terrain.

Shafer Canyon Overlook

This is another spectacular viewpoint that gives you a unique perspective of the winding Shafer Trail and the vast expanse of the canyonlands.

Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Dead Horse Point State Park

Plan Ahead

Plan Ahead

Check the park’s official website for the latest information on hours, fees, and any seasonal closures or events.

Pack Appropriately

Dress Appropriately

Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes suitable for hiking. Dress in layers to adapt to temperature changes throughout the day.

Respect Wildlife

Respect Wildlife

Be patient and quiet to increase your chances of spotting wildlife such as mule deer and bighorn sheep. Maintain a safe distance and never feed wildlife.

Stay Informed

Hydration & Sun Protection

Bring plenty of water, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. The desert climate can be harsh, so staying hydrated and protected from the sun is crucial.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Dead Horse Point State Park

Camping at Dead Horse Point State Park is an experience like no other, with options that cater to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. You can set up your tent or park your RV at Kayenta Campground, which has restrooms and potable water. For the stargazers, there’s the Wingate Campground, which offers yurts, perfect for cozying up after a day of exploration.

Yes, there is a small price for the big views! The entrance fee for Dead Horse Point State Park is nominal, but it’s essential for park upkeep. Costs can vary, so it’s best to check the most recent fees on the park’s official website before you visit.

Don’t miss out on the remarkable vistas the park is famous for! Dead Horse Point Overlook is the show’s star with its dramatic panoramic views. Also worth your time are the Basin Overlook and the Meander Overlook – each offering unique perspectives of the park’s geology and the winding Colorado River far below.

Getting to Dead Horse Point Overlook by car is straightforward. Drive along the Dead Horse Mesa Scenic Byway (U-313) from Highway 191 near Moab. It’s a route with a view, and plenty of signs will guide you straight to the overlook’s parking area.

Visitors can enjoy hiking, mountain biking, photography, wildlife viewing, and camping. The park is also a designated Dark Sky Park, ideal for stargazing.

Early morning and late afternoon offer the best lighting for photography and more comfortable temperatures. Sunrise and sunset provide stunning views and are less crowded.

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