Thursday, April 17, 2008

Dead Horse Point Trails

Dead Horse Point is a Utah State Park across from the Shafer Canyon Overlook in the Island of the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park.

The park has about 10 miles of trails along the rim of the point giving views to the east and west.
I walked a segment from the Visitor Center to Basin View about a 1.5 mile round trip. From here there are views of the Colorado River downstream of Moab and upstream of the confluence with the Green River.

An odd site along this segment is the series of blue lagoons down in the canyon. The Visitor Center interpretive information describes the lagoons as drying beds for potash, a component of fertilizer.
They inject Colorado River water into the deep salt beds, saturating the water with salt, and then the desert sun evaporates the water. Wilderness and industry side by side.

Further south is Dead Horse Point. The same trail allows views to the south, down the canyon and shows the White Rim Road that comes down from Canyonlands.

Slightly to the west is a gooseneck of the Colorado. This can't be seen from the overlooks in Canyonlands. Looking over to the west, you can see the cars at the Shafer Canyon Overlook.

The hike around the point is only 1.0 miles and gives some of the most spectacular views anywhere. Dead Horse Point State Park also has the Intrepid Trails and the Big Cheif Loop that visit the north half of the park.

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