The Legend of Dead Horse Point

The Legend of Dead Horse Point (HM1QSH)

Location: Moab, UT 84532 San Juan County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 28.42', W 109° 44.456'

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Dead Horse Point State Park

You are standing at "the neck," about to cross out onto the high promontory called "Dead Horse Point." Before you do though, take a few moments to ponder the horses. What happened here? How did such a beautiful place get such a grim name? As you look down at the precipitous cliffs surrounding you, you might have some idea of the fate that befell the horses. Your idea might not be too far off...
Around the turn of the last century, wild mustangs roamed the mesatop around Dead Horse Point. Cowboys were always looking for ways to catch these sturdy, fleet-footed equines. One of the best ways they found to capture the clever beasts was to herd them into a trap such as a box canyon.
Dead Horse Point was a custom-made horse trap, like a box canyon only in reverse. With sheer cliffs straight down on all sides and only a narrow strip of land for access, it made a perfect place to keep horses. All the cowboys had to do was herd the horses across the neck and out onto the "point." They would then build a fence of pinyon and juniper branches across the neck and they had a natural corral! Here the cowboys could sort through the horses, choose the ones they wanted, and let the culls or "boomtails" go free.
Legend tells that one time a band of broomtails was accidentally left corralled on the waterless point. There the horses died of thirst within a view of the Colorado River. The 2,000 feet to the river must have seemed like 2,000 miles.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, February 21st, 2016 at 9:01pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12S E 609829 N 4259122
Decimal Degrees38.47366667, -109.74093333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 28.42', W 109° 44.456'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 28' 25.2" N, 109° 44' 27.36" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)435
Closest Postal AddressAt or near UT-313, Moab UT 84532, US
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