Dead Horse State Park
Its views are impressive but its story is sad.
Dead Horse State Park is fairly small, especially compared to its neighbors, Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
Our first stop was at the Welcome Center and Gift Shop where we read about the tragedy that occurred over 100 years ago. We'll get to that in a bit.
We walked a loop trail around the sight and noticed some interesting colored ponds in the distance.
I'll let you read about them.
We were surrounded by red rocks and red dirt, and that's about it.
I believe the mountains we can see way off in the distance are the La Sal mountains.
La Sal mountains are in eastern Utah and are the same mountains we could see from Arches NP. Their peaks are over 12,000 feet.
After a short drive from the Welcome Center, we entered Dead Horse Point. It's elevation is just under 6000 feet.
It's quite stunning!
Somewhere out in that vastness is where a famous scene from the movie Thelma & Louise was shot. I have not seen the movie.
We only had time to visit Thelma & Louise or Dead Horse, so the ladies lost out to the horses.
That is the dirt road we attempted to drive down from Canyonlands.
This is one impressive scene!
OK, same rock. Sit on the other side.
Now stand, so I can take it with my phone. Oh, the fun we have:)
Oh! The newspaper again. How many times can you read that same paper?
I'll let you know at the end of this trip.
A closer look to what's below.
So Dead Horse Point is a large plateau that overlooks the Colorado River to the south and east and Canyonlands to the south and west.
It is undeniably a stunning view, but reading about the tragedy that was allowed to happen here was so very sad.
There are several versions of this story, but this one is written on the wall in the museum at the Welcome Center. In the late 1800s some cowboys wanted to trap the wild horses (Mustangs) in this area and use them for work or sell them. They trapped them at the end of this plateau creating a natural corral blocked by only a gate that they built from tree branches, and when they were finished with their 'business' they abandoned this area leaving behind the horses they didn't need or couldn't sell, still corralled. The horses could sense that water was near. Unfortunately the Colorado River was within sight of the horses but 2000 feet below their corral. They all died of thirst.
And that story will stick with us forever.