Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point

Saturday, June 17th ~ Moab, Utah

Mesa Arch ~ Canyonlands National Park

It is sweltering hot and TV stations are issuing High Heat warnings. Signs are posted everywhere reminding people to stay well hydrated. Initially we thought about just taking a “day off” and doing nothing, or perhaps a bit of laundry. But, after a few minutes of vegging, we threw that idea out the window, grabbed our water bottles, backpack, sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, and sense of humor and headed out. 

Lunch in Moab was uneventful, and Tim guided our trusty car, Jethro, toward Canyonlands National Park.


Entrance to Canyonlands NP

You enter the park, driving along a mesa aptly named Island in the Sky. Along either side is a canyon – one created by the Green River and the other by the Colorado River. Each canyon is about half as wide and half as deep as the Grand Canyon and is still very impressive.

With temperatures in the high 90’s, we wanted to conserve our energy and carefully chose where we wanted to stop and where we were willing to do a bit of hiking.

First stop was a at the Green River Overlook. You could see for miles and miles and yes, the river is green.

Green River

Then on to Grand View Lookout:

From Grand View Lookout

Also from Grand View. Nice trail off to the right.

But the highlight for us, and where we were willing to hike a bit to see, was Mesa Arch. Only a short, easy 1/2 mile, but in the extreme heat, we still took our time.

Tim and Joanne at Mesa Arch

Gus got to enjoy the view as well

View from Mesa Arch

Tim can scramble over the rocks with ease

Last stop here was called The Neck.

Shooting down into The Neck

Tim got his long lens out to get more detail down below

We are discussing returning to spend more time on these backcountry dirt roads

Next stop was only a short four mile detour off of the road back toward Moab and well worth the time. In fact, in some ways we enjoyed the views from Dead Horse Point even more than those at Canyonlands.


Dead Horse Point State Park

There is a sad story about how the park got its name. Evidently cowboys of the late 1800’s, chased wild mustangs onto Dead Horse Point and using the narrow neck to block off the their exit, creating a natural corral. After selecting the best horses that they wanted to keep, they left the remaining horses in the corral. Eventually the remaining horses died from lack of water, while overlooking the Colorado River 2000 feet below.

I would like to think that this story is wrong, and that no one would intentionally be that heartless and cruel toward an animal, or perhaps it has been embellished over the years.

In spite of the name and story the vistas are amazing.

Dead Horse Point Overlook

Lone yellow flower high on the cliff

Scrappy tree amongst the rocks

Joanne and Tim overlooking the Colorado River

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful for the many rescue societies, groups and individuals who spend countless hours and funds, rescuing animals, getting them medical care, providing love, food and treatments needed, socializing them, and providing foster homes until their forever home can be found.

“We can judge the heart of a man, by his treatment of animals.” ~ Emmanual Kant

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
This entry was posted in National Parks, Photography, RV Life, United States, Utah and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point

  1. Gorgeous! I am lucky to have visited most of the places you are showing, but I have never been to Dead Horse Point. Despite its horrible history (I too hope that’s wrong), it is breathtakingly beautiful. I will definitely put it on our list for our next visit.


  2. joliesattic says:

    I didn’t tell you the story of Dead Horse Point, but I knew you’d find it and the views amazing. We camped out with my boys up there once and the stars were unbelievable, but then any time you get away from city lights, the skies can be amazing, but on this particular night it was almost white with the number of stars that could be seen. I don’t know how one state got so much gorgeous landscape. Just outside Moab, you can take River Road and see Fisher Towers and other notable landmarks but that back road is also locations for a good many films. I am so jealous, can’t you tell? LOL


  3. joylennick says:

    Reblogged this on Joy Lennick and commented:
    Wow.Clocking up the miles and sights. And what sights…Some outstanding models for photography. I bet you’re right out of adjectives! Safe travelling.


  4. V.J. Knutson says:

    Incredible scenery. I am excited for our upcoming journey this winter! Thanks for sharing!


  5. Lise D Brown says:

    We did the same trip in 2015 in a heat wave! Crazy hot like you guys. Did not make it to Crazy Horse, next time. You guys are sure on an amazing visual adventure. It is awesome that you BOTH love to take lots of pictures. Love em. It is crazy hot here in Sacramento Valley, this week, 110. Can I come with you on your next road trip!???? Hugs to you both.


  6. limitlessgalaxies says:

    Looks amazing, but do take the heat warnings seriously!! We’re sweltering here too!!


  7. Terry says:

    Very beautiful photos of a lovely landscape. I have to ask, did Tim burn his arms on the metal barrier while taking that photo? It had to have been very warm in the sun and heat.
    Happy Adventures.


  8. sheilsm says:

    Great photos and commentary as usual! My husband and I visited Canyonlands several years ago…saw that dirt road, but did not feel our vehicle could handle it. We have a new diesel the next time we visit, the dirt roads are ours to explore! Stay safe with those heat warnings.


  9. Val Boyko says:

    Such amazing photos Tim and Joanne!! Gus agrees – they are better than the guide books.


  10. tippysmom2 says:

    Another wonderful day! I’m glad you decided to get out and not just veg for the day. The views were breathtaking. You would think that the horses would have been able to break out of the coral before they died of thirst. So, I am hoping the story isn’t true, but has been embellished throughout the years.


  11. Maxxtrails says:

    Wow amazing pictures! I can’t wait to visit this area.


  12. Wow, gorgeous country, and wonderful photographs.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Anabel Marsh says:

    Love, love, love these photos! We didn’t get a good picture of Mesa Arch because we arrived at the same time as a large party of tourists who spent so long posing for group photos (some on top of the arch) that no-one else got a look in. ☹️


  14. Jill says:

    Amazing scenery. Love the photos and your gratitude moment!


  15. Brenda Thompson says:

    All your photos are spectacular. Loving the one
    with the “lone yellow flower high on the cliff.”


  16. Amy Pantone says:

    We went to Moab in July a few years ago. Wrong time of year as we were unable to hike much due to extreme heat. We would love to get back out at a cooler time of year. Loved DHP & Canyonlands. Wish we could have hiked at Arches but it was too hot. We managed to find a local waterfall and stream to cool off during the day.


  17. curvyroads says:

    Again your beautiful photos are a sweet reminder of our visits to Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point! I was shocked by the story of the name too and still hope that it isn’t true. 😦
    Your reports of the heat make me ever so glad we went earlier in the year. What a difference a month makes!


  18. Pingback: Month of June Travels in our National Parks ~ Highlight Moments in Pictures | A Note From Abroad

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