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Dead Horse Point State Park

The view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world.

  • Experience thousands of square miles of ruggedly spectacular canyon country from the main overlook at Dead Horse Point.
  • Bike the Intrepid Trail System and enjoy three loops ranging from one to nine miles with varying degrees of difficulty.
  • Dead Horse Point's combination of breathtaking scenery and easy accessibility has made it a must-see for visitors to the Moab area.
  • Ten miles of pet friendly hiking trails in the park include two joining loops around the rim and several spurs to beautiful viewpoints.
  • The visitor center is open year-round, has facilities for the disabled, an information area, exhibits, rest rooms, water, publications and souvenirs.
  • Dead Horse Point is only 32 miles from downtown Moab.
  • Sunrise at Dead Horse Point is an unforgettable experience.
  • The Intrepid Trail is the perfect ride for families and offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park.

Distance from Moab 32 miles (51.5 km)
Directions from Moab Drive 9 miles (14.5 km) northwest of Moab on US 191 and then 23 miles (37 km) southwest on Utah 313.  Driving time to the visitor center from Moab is roughly 45 minutes.
Park Hours
Park open year-round, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. - Visitor Center hours vary by season.
Entrance Fee $10/vehicle with up to 8 passengers - (Subject to change)
Visitor Center & Hours The visitor center is open year-round, has facilities for the disabled, an information area, exhibits, rest rooms, water, publications and souvenirs.  The visitor center hours vary by season. (435) 259-2614

32 miles (51.5 km) from Moab, Dead Horse Point State Park is one of Utah's most spectacular state parks.  The view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world.  Towering 2,000 feet above the Colorado River, the overlook provides a breathtaking panorama of Canyonlands' sculpted pinnacles and buttes.  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 from the desert below.

The legend of Dead Horse Point states that around the turn of the century the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa top.  Cowboys herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point.  The neck was then fenced off with branches and brush.  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. 

There are miles of pet-friendly developed hiking trails in the park, including a paved trail which provides easy access to some of the most scenic views.   Mountain Bikers will love the new Intrepid Trail System at Dead Horse Point.  With slickrock sections, looping singletrack, sandy washes, and incredible scenery, the Intrepid Trail System provides a great taste of what Moab mountain biking is all about.  This is the perfect ride for families and offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park. 

Suggested Activities

AVAILABLE TIME SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES
1-2 hours Drive the Scenic Drive and walk out to the main overlook.
1/2 - 1 day Drive the Scenic Drive, hike some of the trails in the park, and have a picnic.  Alternately, if you enjoy mountain biking, ride the Intrepid Trail System.  (Bring your own mountain bike or rent one in Moab.)

Location

Drive 9 miles (14.5 km) northwest of Moab on US 191 and then 23 (37 km) miles southwest on Utah 313 to the end of the highway.  Driving time to the visitor center from Moab is roughly 45 minutes.


Camping

The 21 site Kayenta Campground features electrical hookups, tent pads, sheltered tables and charcoal grills at each site. Reservations can be made by calling 800-322-3770.

Geology

Sunrise at Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point is situated atop a high plateau at an elevation of about 6,000 feet above sea level. From the point, a "layer cake" of geologic time may be viewed, revealing 300 million years of the earth's geologic history. While standing on the canyon rim, 8,000 feet of geologic strata is visible looking from the peaks of the 12.000 foot high La Sal Mountains to the river below. These rock layers were deposited over the eons by oceans, fresh water and wind as well as isolated igneous events.

Sediments at the 4,000-foot river level were deposited during the Pennsylvanian period, 300 million years ago. The La Sal Mountains are composed of igneous rocks from an ancient laccolith that formed during the Tertiary period about 25 million years ago. Also during the Tertiary period, uplifting caused by continental drift elevated the entire Colorado Plateau by more than a mile. The Colorado River was born during this regional uplift, and has been carving down through the sediments ever since. Erosion continues today as the river winds from the Continental Divide high in the Colorado Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean at the Sea of Cortez (a distance of 1,400 miles) sculpting ancient rock layers into the spectacular panorama seen from Dead Horse Point.

Mountain Biking the Intrepid Trail

Trailhead
Dead Horse Point State Park, 32 miles west of Moab

Difficulty
Easy to Moderate

Length
Big Chief: 3.6 miles
Crossroads: 1.7 miles
Great Pyramid: 2.2 miles
Intrepid: .5 miles
Prickly Pair: 3.0 miles
Raven Roll: 1.7 miles
Twisted Tree: 1.5 miles
Whiptail: 2.6 miles

Elevation @ Trailhead
5900’

Season
Ideal in spring, fall and winter; midday heat in July and August

Directions
Nine miles northwest of Moab on US 191 and then 23 miles southwest on Utah 313 to the end of the highway.

Description

With slickrock sections, looping singletrack, sandy washes, and incredible scenery, the Intrepid Trail System provides a great taste of what Moab mountain biking is all about. This is the perfect ride for families and offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park.

The Intrepid Trail System has three hiking and biking loops ranging from one to nine miles with varying degrees of difficulty. The easiest and shortest loop is Intrepid, followed by Great Pyramid, with Big Chief as the most challenging. The nested loop trails will offer opportunities for visitors of all ages and abilities, and provide breathtaking views.

The Intrepid Trail was made possible through great public/private partnerships. Intrepid Potash, Inc., for which the trail is named, gave $20,000 for construction of a new single-track, non-motorized trail system. The trail was built by Trail Mix, a local volunteer organization, and volunteers from the Utah Conservation Corps, American Conservation Experience and Moab Trails Alliance. The National Park Service and Utah State Parks also worked on the project. Dead Horse Point State Park is located approximately 30 miles from Moab. The park also offers camping and day-use facilities, visitor center, and naturalist programs. For more information call (435) 259-2614.

Park Publications

The following publications are identical to the ones that you will receive at the entrance station to the park.

Arches Visitor Guide
Park Overview Intrepid Trail Map

Park Highlights

Pet Friendly Hiking Trails

Balanced Rock
Ten miles of pet friendly hiking trails in the park include two joining loops around the rim and several spurs to beautiful viewpoints. 

Mountain Biking

Intrepid Trail
The Intrepid Trail System has three hiking and biking loops ranging from one to nine miles with varying degrees of difficulty.

Experience Dead Horse Point

Yoga at Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point's combination of breathtaking scenery and easy accessibility has made it a must-see for visitors to the Moab area.

Park Contact Info

Mailing Address

Dead Horse Point State Park
PO Box 609
Moab. UT 84532-0609

Website

stateparks.utah.gov/park/dead-horse-point-state-park

Telephone

  • Visitor Center
    (435) 259-2614
  • Camping Reservations
    (800) 322-3770

Pony Expresso Coffee Shop

FoodThe new Pony Expresso Coffee Shop is open at Dead Horse Point State Park. Enjoy coffee, espresso drinks, hot chocolate, tea, freshly made sandwiches and wraps, and all natural fresh fruit smoothies. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., through October.

Where to Stay

No lodging is available within the park. The closest lodging is located within the town of Moab, just 5 miles south of the entrance to the park.

Moab has hotels & motels, bed & breakfasts, resorts and a large variety of guest houses and condos. Several property management companies can even take the hassle out of finding the right accommodations. Click here for a complete list of all the lodging options available in the Moab area.

Nearby Campgrounds

In addition to the campground located within the park, there is a great selection of additional campgrounds in the surrounding area. Moab has many commercial campgrounds with RV hookups in addition to a huge assortment of BLM public campgrounds in extremely scenic locations. Click here for a complete list of all the camping options available in the Moab area.

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