Sunday, May 31, 2015

A Hike at Dead Horse Point State Park

Dead Horse Point State Park got its name because cowboys used a high finger of land to keep wild horses after a roundup, by driving them to the point and then blocking the neck off with rough piles of wood. The rims of the finger are too high and steep to allow horses to escape. After one roundup, they left the horses penned up and they died there.

We took a hike along the rim of the point that started and ended at the visitor center. It was about four miles long. The day was perfect, bright and sunny but not very hot. The trail was great in my eyes, because it was quite easy without a lot of climbing up and down.

The view along the East Rim included a couple of large potash evaporation pools in the valley below. These are commercial pools and they are tinted bright blue to speed up evaporation. 

At the Point we had a good view of the Colorado River. It carries a lot of silt as it meanders along. Dead Horse Point is quite a few miles north of Lake Powell, but seeing the river reminded us of the Grand Canyon.

A few benches along the rim would be nice, but Craig found this seat in a dead tree. There were many of them, and this was probably the kind of tree the cowboys had used to block off the neck of the point.

As we returned by way of the West Rim part of the trail, there were some rough rock scrambles, but none of them was very hard. In fact they were fun. I would rather do an easy rock climb that be on a paved path any day.

Overall, the trail was very well marked by many cairns along the way. We have been on some trails where we went astray, but this was not one of them. Thank you to whoever maintains and builds these big and little rock piles.

It may not look like it, but as I sat down for my last rest, I really felt pretty good after this four mile loop. I wish I weighed a lot less, and wish I had never smoked, but I am glad I can still do this.

Speaking of smoking, for me the biggest cost is in lung capacity. I often wish I could carry a small canister of oxygen instead of a bottle of water.  

If you still smoke, quit now!


  1. Beautiful! I quit smoking 35 years ago, thank goodness! I would think if you guys keep hiking like this you'll build more muscle, trim down and find hiking much easier. I'm glad you enjoy it so much. :)

  2. Beautiful photos! I think Barbara's right... the more you get out and hike the better your lungs (and muscles) will be. I quit smoking when I met Bill (a non-smoker) and am grateful for his good influence.

  3. Gorgeous pictures in this, and all of your posts. It's good to be able to get to these places. If our wretched RV ever cooperates we're heading for Moab. Dead Horse is on my list of things to see. We'll have to be up and out early!

  4. Good for both of you for just doing it anyway. It's tough to get out there and hike, walk, anything, knowing how you do through it all. I remember when you had the treadmill and your mantra was 'I'm going to hike all the National Parks!'.

  5. Beautiful pictures. You're doing great! I know you are already out hiking folks even younger than you! Congrats!

  6. I second what Debbie McCormack says! You ARE out-hiking many people. Your endurance will increase with time - think back to when you first started out, 4 miles would have been a really big thing back then.


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