Dead Horse Point, Utah (Explored!)
Dead Horse Point State Park is a state park of Utah, USA, featuring a dramatic overlook of the Colorado River and Canyonlands National Park. The park is so named because of its use as a natural corral by cowboys in the 19th century. The "dead horse" part of the name is that the corral was abandoned, but the horses did not leave the corral, even after the gate was left open, and died there. The park covers 5,362 acres (21.70 km2) of high desert at an altitude of 5,900 feet (1,800 m).
The plateau is surrounded by sheer cliffs 2,000 feet (610 m) high with only a narrow neck of land 30 yards (27 m) wide connecting the mesa to the main plateau. Thus it was easy for cowboys to simply fence off this narrow neck, and keep rounded up wild horses from running away. Legend has it that one group of horses was inadvertently left fenced in and eventually died of thirst. The area was also used in the final scene of the 1991 film Thelma & Louise.
The park has several overlooks, a visitor center, a 21-site campground and a group campsite, one picnic area, and a 9-mile (14 km) loop hiking trail with two cutovers to allow shorter trips. Safety concerns include the relative isolation of the park (gas, food and medical care are over 30 miles (48 km) away in Moab), lightning danger and unfenced scenic overlooks. While nearby Moab is a noted center for mountain biking, bike in the park are only allowed on paved roads. Hunting is not allowed in the park.