Where dead horses once roamed…


Is it just me, or does the title of this post read funny? It probably should have read “Where horses once roamed…” but that didn’t let me weave in the “dead ” part 🙂

This is the third in my little mini-series of posts about the southwest. It shows not a national park this time but a state park, although there is no shortage of beauty in this particular vista. The desert southwest of the United States is a vast area, though the three locations I have recently shared photographs of – Arches, Canyonlands, and now Deadhorse State Park – are surprisingly all within about 45-50 minutes of each other.

On the edge of Canyonlands National Park, Deadhorse State Park is a huge mesa overlooking the Colorado River as it snakes its way 2,000 feet below toward the Grand Canyon and beyond. Mustangs used to run wild on the mesa, and cowboys would drive the horses out onto what was a natural corral. Legend has it that a herd of not particularly market-worthy horses were left behind to find their way back onto the open range, but for some reason they chose to stay on the mesa where they unfortunately died of thirst… hence the name of the park.

Finding this photograph immediately brought back memories of dreams I had while on this trip in which I was always falling… considering the incredible vistas and the potential precipitous drops I encountered, not really all that surprising, eh?

18 thoughts on “Where dead horses once roamed…

  1. This is another fabulous picture from your series. All remind me of Zane Gray’s stories and your admirer, hennacornoelidays, experienced a great lightning storm whilst in this State park. The best description of a lightning storm I’ve read was in Zane Gray’s The Trail Driver, but that description was from Texas and Oklahoma, not this far west. All still fascinating to someone from the south west of Ireland.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks for the compliment. I can’t imagine being in a tent on this mesa during a big storm. It is one big piece of land, but must still have been unsettling. And from someone born and raised in the north east of Ireland, I appreciate your comment 🙂

  2. These and your Death Valley photos are absolutely beautiful. thank you for sharing them and we really look forward to seeing more of your work. And yes, the title does read a little funny but not until after you mentioned it but I still like it 🙂

  3. I thought this post was sad though enlightening about the horses and how they were herded out of the area and some left behind. I feel bad for the ones that died. I am a horse lover and always look for the savior of the animal. But this if life and we have no control over the destiny of what happens. Please if you have a chance go to my site. It is very interesting in the care of horses. Thank you.

Leave a Reply to pandamoniumcat Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s