Dead Horse Point State Park, just north of Moab, Utah, sits on a mesa about 2000 feet above the canyon floor where the Colorado River has carved a deep channel that snakes through the valley. Dead Horse Point derives its name from a legend, so says the literature handed out at the park entrance, about cowboys having used the 30-foot wide neck leading to the point of the mesa as a place to herd and corral wild mustangs in order to choose the ones they wanted to keep, apparently leaving the remaining horses behind to die. Thankfully, there is no visible evidence of that sad affair today, and the views from the mesa are spectacular.
We arrived mid-morning with sturdy shoes, lots of water, and plenty of sunscreen. The day was slightly overcast with a lovely cool breeze. Our hikes from the visitors’ center northward to Desert View Overlook and back, and from the visitors’ center southward along the East Rim Trail to Dead Horse Point Overlook and back, covered about seven miles. The view of the canyon and the surrounding mountains was fantastic from every vantage point. The hiking was fairly easy, with only slight elevations and a few places where the step ups and step downs over significant.
Having been isolated at home for over a year as we have all struggled to protect our family and friends from the pandemic, we are beyond grateful to all the people who contributed to find a cure, help the sick, provide essential services, care for their family and neighbors, and do their part, no matter how seemingly small, to protect others and themselves. We are also grateful to be fully vaccinated and able to travel again. So, this first full day of our vacation in Utah was quite wonderful!