Dead Horse Point
-- Canyonlands National Park, Utah
According to one legend, this high point was once used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa. Cowboys rounded up these horses, herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point. The neck, which is only 30 yards wide, was then fenced off with branches and brush, creating a natural corral surrounded by precipitous cliffs. Cowboys then chose the horses they wanted and for reasons unknown, left the other horses corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River, 2,000 feet below.
I'm thinking that if this legend is true, then it's too damn bad that someone didn't round up the cowboys and do the same thing to them...
Anyway, in spite of the gruesome legend that supposedly gave this point its name, the area itself is one of the most beautiful places on Earth, in my opinion. Dead Horse Point is situated atop a high plateau at an elevation of about 6,000 feet above sea level, and overlooks a "gooseneck" bend in the Colorado River. I took this photo just as the sun was rising over the LaSal Mountains (out of frame to the left) in October. The point itself is located in Dead Horse State Park, but the bulk of the surrounding vistas and canyons are part of Canyonlands National Park.
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