Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah

I can imagine that after days of visiting Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, when people see signs for the nearby Dead Horse Point State Park, they’ll be tempted to give it a pass. By definition, a state park must be inferior to a national park, right? Wrong.

Dead Horse Point, despite its grizzly name, is one of the nicest state parks I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. Admittedly it is smaller than its national cousins, but it is well worth several hours of exploration.

The first view that treats your eyes is that of the turquoise blue potash mine 2000 feet below. I wish I could say my photos did it justice, but no. I highly recommend you check out the photos here. This vivid blue swath amongst the red rocks is quite startling. It’s the only mining operation I’ve ever seen that was actually pretty. (Potash is used for fertilizer, I’ve since learned.)

The view of the Colorado River is pretty darned impressive, too. And most of the rim walkways in the park are well-paved. I’d say this park is a lot more wheelchair accessible than either of the national parks, by a long shot.

And the visitor center/coffee shop/gallery/gift shop is stunning. Come the apocalypse, I’m confiscating this place as my house. It is fronted with a wall of glass that looks out over the breathtaking views, and has a delightful balcony to sit on when you want some hard-to-find shade, but still wish to enjoy the great outdoors.

In their educational exhibit, I finally took a picture of their picture of the elusive little White-Tailed Antelope Ground Squirrel. I’d been seeing these cute little critters scurrying everywhere and thinking they were fluffy-tailed chipmunks, for days. But they are just too quick to get a good photo. (I think we got spoiled by our trip to Yellowstone a few years ago, and therefore we were expecting to see large game, at least a bighorn sheep, during this trip, but we never did. Just squirrels, ravens, and the occasional lizard. Here in the high desert, most creatures are nocturnal.)

I’d talk about how this park got its name, but it’s too depressing. If you’re curious, you can read about it at the state park website. Now I’ll leave you with a few of my photos, and hope that you can go see for yourself someday.

 

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