Dead Horse Point State Park towers 2,000 feet above the meandering Colorado River and offers a jawdropping, panoramic view of towering red rock formations and jagged high-desert landscape. The park is situated atop a sandstone peninsula and is a popular Utah destination because of its proximity to both Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. The city of Moab is just 32 miles away and offers visitors some of the modern conveniences they will leave behind once they enter the park.
With a mild climate and few rainy days during the year, Dead Horse Point State Park is a year-round haven for RVers, campers, hikers, mountain bikers, and stargazers. Even though visitors will find the comforts of home inside of their RVs, the beauty of the park encourages visitors to venture outside, both during the day and at night, to witness nature’s impressive landscape.
The juxtaposition of the blue Colorado river and the vibrant red earth makes for breathtaking views, especially at the famous scenic overlook, Dead Horse Point, which gives the park its name. The view from Dead Horse Point makes the park one of the most photographed locations in the world. The views don't stop once the sun sets either. In 2016, the International Dark Sky Association recognized this area as one of the most accessible stargazing regions near Moab, making Dead Horse Point State Park the perfect place to really take in the full beauty of the night sky.
Dead Horse Point State Park is located approximately 248 miles southeast of Salt Lake City in Utah’s high desert. Moab is the closest city to the park, just 33 miles away. The park is accessible by major highways and local roads that are paved. Drivers should be cautious, though, as the route winds through the Utah desert and some turns are very sharp. Additionally, many of the campsites also have paved driveways, making parking an RV much easier.
Although the park operates year-round for day use, please be aware that winter may impact operations within the park. If the entrance station isn’t staffed, visitors should pay fees with the self-serve drop box located at the entrance station.
Most importantly, travelers to Dead Horse Point State Park should make sure they fill up water containers and holding tanks in the nearby city of Moab before entering the park. Because of the low water table, water is extremely limited. Additionally, people who wish to use firewood during their stay should purchase the wood at the visitor’s center during operating hours because the collection of firewood within the park is prohibited.
Wingate Campground operates year-round and has a total of 31 sites available: 20 spaces for RV, 11 spaces for tent-only/hike-in camping. The Wingate Campground sits atop a mesa and has expansive views of the canyons and surrounding mountains. Wingate is also a pet-friendly campground, but pets must be kept on a leash at all times and can never be left unattended.
Wingate Campground accommodates RVs up to 56 feet. There is no water available within the park, so campers will need to be sure to fill their RV tanks before arriving. Each paved space has 20-, 30-, or 50-amp electrical service, as well as a fire pit, sheltered picnic tables, and a charcoal grill. There is a dump station located within the campground and also restrooms with flushing toilets and a dish-washing sink. Please note that due to the scarcity of water, there are no showers within the park.
Park staff encourage campers to keep food in hard-sided containers to prevent wildlife from getting into it. Campers are also asked to compact their trash as much as possible or take it with them to deposit in the next town. The park does not close their gates at night, but quiet hours are enforced from 10 PM to 6 AM, and the maximum length of stay is limited to 14 days. Campers must reserve these spaces ahead of time, but if a site is not reserved, they can be purchased same-day on a first-come, first-served basis.
Kayenta Campground is a seasonally-operated, remote campground with 21 RV spaces, one of which is ADA-accessible. The Kayenta Campground sits among juniper trees that offer visitors shade and protection from the desert sun. Each paved space has 20-, 30-, or 50-amp electrical service as well as a fire pit, sheltered picnic tables, charcoal grills, and a tent pad. Space sizes vary from 40 to 55 feet in length. This campground has a dump station near the entrance to the campground and also restrooms with flushing toilets and a dishwashing sink. Please note that there are no showers.
Pets are allowed but must be kept on a leash at all times. Park staff request that all food be kept in hard-sided containers and that campers compact all trash as much as possible. Though the park does not close its gates every night, there are quiet hours from 10 PM to 6 AM, and the maximum length of stay is limited to 14 days.
This campground is especially popular among hikers because there are numerous trails that connect to it directly. These sites are available by reservation only. There is no water available within the park, so campers will need to be sure that their tanks are full before arriving.
There are several yurts within the park that are available by reservation only. Five of the yurts are located in the Moenkopi Yurt Area, and four additional yurts are near the Wingate Campground. Up to six people can stay in a yurt at a time, and bedding is not provided. Each yurt comes equipped with a grill for on-site cooking, a table, heating and air conditioning, as well as electrical outlets. Restrooms are within walking distance but campers should note that there are no showers. Each yurt is allowed one vehicle, no RVs or long trailers, and will be required to pay an additional charge for each extra vehicle. Pets are not allowed within the yurts unless they are ADA-certified service animals.
If a site is not reserved at the Wingate Campground, it can be purchased same-day on a first-come, first-served basis.
Photographers will love the ever-changing, colorful desert landscape. The scenery at Dead Horse Point takes on a unique hue with every sunrise and sunset, every passing cloud, and every dusting of snow. As soon as the sun goes down, photographers will want to capture the heavens because the darkest skies create the most vivid stars. Dead Horse Point State Park has been certified as an International Dark-Sky Park by the International Dark-Sky Association. The surrounding mountain ranges form a barrier that blocks out the nearby city lights and gives visitors a spectacular view of over 5,000 stars.
Clear and moonless nights are the best nights for stargazing. Stargazing is a year-round activity as long as gazers come prepared with the proper gear and clothing suitable for current temperatures. There are many locations where visitors can view the stars at Dead Horse Point. The park is recognized as one of the best places in the country to look at the stars. Gazers can look to the sky alone or join night sky rangers when they offer events like moonlight hiking, telescope viewing, and other night sky educational programs. Since the programs are always changing, check with the park for the latest information on stargazing.
Campers interested in a fun game where they can use a handheld GPS device to locate caches or containers will love Dead Horse Point because there are two official geocaches located within the park. All of the locations are found along trails and day-use areas, and no rock scrambling is required. Please follow park rules, stay on the trails, and leave nothing behind. The park does not offer GPS units for rent, so visitors will need to be sure to bring their own.
Another great thing to do at Dead Horse State Park is to have a picnic while enjoying the breathtaking views from one of the park's eight different scenic overlooks including the Rim Overlook, the Shafer Canyon Overlook, the Meander Overlook, and the famous Dead Horse Point Overlook. Visitors to the park will need to take one of the many hiking trails in order to reach them, but the awe-inspiring views are worth the effort. Guests can sit down, relax, and ponder the natural beauty and peaceful stillness of the landscape for as long as they like. Be sure to bring plenty of water as there is none available at the park.
The Intrepid Mountain Biking Trail is a popular activity for bikers all over the country. Trails vary in length and difficulty and offer a fun experience for riders of all abilities. All of the trails have markers at the trailheads and trail junctions that inform riders of the mileage and difficulty of the trail ahead. The primary trail access starts at the Visitor Center parking lot. Riders can find a secondary trailhead located near the Moenkopi Yurts. Several bike shops are available in the nearby town of Moab for those who want to try mountain biking for the first time or weren't able to bring their bike with them.
Dead Horse Point State Park has approximately seven miles of hiking trails that lead to eight different overlooks. The trails range in difficulty from very easy to moderate, so there is a trail to accommodate different skill levels. All of the hikes offer stunning overlooks and scenic views. While hiking, visitors are sure to encounter a variety of desert plants, trees, and wildlife. Hiking is not just a seasonal activity, and hikers can enjoy the trails year-round. Always wear proper footwear because the rocks can become slick when they are wet. Pets are welcome on all hiking trails but must be kept on a leash at all times.