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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Moab in Grand County, Utah — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Legend of Dead Horse Point

Dead Horse Point State Park

 
 
The Legend of Dead Horse Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2007
1. The Legend of Dead Horse Point Marker
Inscription. 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
Dead Horse Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2007
2. Dead Horse Point Marker
This marker is located across the highway from the southern end of the cut-out.
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.
 
Location. 38° 28.42′ N, 109° 44.456′ W. Marker is in Moab, Utah, in Grand County. Marker is on Utah Route 313. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Moab UT 84532, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Neck (approx. 4.5 miles away); Tracks in the Canyon (approx. 10.9 miles away); Scott M. Matheson (approx. 11.5 miles away); Moab Utah UMTRA Project (approx. 11.7 miles away); Star Hall (approx. 12.5 miles away); The Old Log Cabin (approx. 12.6 miles away); Moab L.D.S. Church (approx. 12.6 miles away); Early L.D.S. Church (approx. 12.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Moab.
 
Categories. Animals
 
View from Dead Horse Point image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2007
3. View from Dead Horse Point
View from Dead Horse Point image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2007
4. View from Dead Horse Point
View from Dead Horse Point image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2007
5. View from Dead Horse Point
Sign at the entrance to the Dead Horse Point State Park image. Click for full size.
By Don Morfe, September 14, 2007
6. Sign at the entrance to the Dead Horse Point State Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 11, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. This page has been viewed 269 times since then and 35 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 11, 2016, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Md 21234. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
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