Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands
Jun 17, 2009
|The phrase "God's Country" comes to mind...Today we visited Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park. The owner of Canyon Rim RV Park, Sue, recommended that we visit Dead Horse Point. We weren't crazy about the idea as the story behind the name is pretty grizzly. Wow! Sue made a great recommendation...if you ever come this way, don't miss this park!
The entrance road to both Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands is the same for the first 22 miles. After just a short ride down this road we stopped at a view point to see Merrimac and Monitor Rocks.
During the Civil War, the Union vessel Merrimac (on the left in the picture)and Confederate vessel Monitor (on the right) were sworn adversaries. While they are long at the bottom of the ocean, the rocks that bear their names also bear a STRIKING resemblance to the original vessels!
We arrived at Dead Horse Point State Park after a long ride that offered pretty flat scenery on both sides of the road. We were not prepared for the sight in front of us. We were suddenly on the edge of a huge canyon!
The views were spectacular! It's hard to tell from the pictures how far down the bottom actually is...but let me tell you, it's far! Len was pretty nervous, especially when I asked him to stand at the edge for a photo op!
The "Dead Horse" story is this: The canyon extends for miles and miles, but there is one particular point that was perfect for cowboys rounding up wild horses.
They would herd them onto the point and then make temporary fencing to block their exit. I'm sure this was done hundreds of times successfully. The cowboys would cull the healthy, desired horses from the rest and let the others go.
The name comes from one incident where a group of horses was left corralled (for some unknown reason)on the point where they died of thirst in view of the Colorado River below. You can see from the picture that shows the view of the point and down to the river how awful this must have been for those horses.
After reading this story we were reluctant to visit the sight, but the views were so amazing that it more than made up for the awful history...besides I'm sure those cowboys got what was coming to them!
From Dead Horse Point Park you can see all the way down into Canyonlands...the roads-that look like they have mini cars on them, the river-which winds back upon itself, and the massive walls of the canyons-filled with the most beautiful color!
As you can see, we loved our trip to Utah! Tomorrow we begin heading towards Spokane to visit family. We plan to arrive Saturday.