Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
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Dead Horse State Park, Utah


Photo by Alfredo De Simone

A trip to Dead Horse Point State Park is a must for families visiting the northern reaches of Canyonlands. Here, 300 million years of geological history are revealed. Yet you need not be a geology buff to enjoy this small corner of paradise. Dead Horse Point boasts the best views of the Colorado River from the rim. And the panorama is even more spectacular than the images on the movie screen be it Thelma and Louise or Mission Impossible II. Be sure to pack a picnic dinner. Sunsets at this Utah state park are extraordinaire.
History & Culture
The cultural history of Utah precedes the Mormons by several thousand years. Hunter-gatherers, known as Paleo-Indians, are believed to have ventured into the area we know as Utah at the end of the Ice Age roughly 10,000 years ago. The Archaic culture likely inhabited the area for several months each year collecting wild plants and hunting native animals for several thousand years thereafter. The Fremont and Ancestral Puebloans, known as the Anasazi, arrived sometime between AD 1 and AD 450 and they were the first people to stay all year. When the Freemont and Anasazi moved on in roughly 1250, the Shoshone, Gosiutes, Ute and Paiute Indians moved in. The Navajo and Apache made their way here in the early 1500s yet for another hundred years life went on more or less the same. It wasn't until the arrival of the early Spanish explorers around 1630 that life changed dramatically. The horse created mobility and was instrumental in changing the way the Native Americans lived. And when the Mormon pioneers arrived in 1847 Utah was under the control of Mexico for another year. The U.S. Congress rejected the proposal of great State of Deseret in 1850 creating Utah territory instead. For nearly 50 years the Mormons toiled on and in 1896 Utah became the 45th U.S. state. Copper mining began in 1906, the state capital was complete in 1915 and in 1919 Utah's first National Park was created.
Online maps are a great travel planning resource and a great way to get the kids involved in a family vacation. Plot your route to Dead Horse Point State Park and find your way when you arrive.
Books are a great way to introduce younger children to a new adventure and get teens and tweens ready for a family trip. Find recommended reading lists for adults and kids, learn more about the U.S. state of Utah through guidebooks, novels and historical fiction and embark on a different kind of family journey.
Music & Sound
Music is a great way to introduce children to a local culture and embark on a journey through sound. Listen to Native American music from hip-hop to pow wow and storytelling.
Read Utah newspapers online and brush up on Utah current events from politics to economics and sports to entertainment before you depart on a trip with kids. Get Utah news and discover what the locals are reading. Find out what's happening from Salt Lake City to Moab.
Kids' Stuff
Online resources make learning about Dead Horse State Park lots of fun. Find out how erosion, the movement of rock and soil from one place to another, can change the shape of the land. Discover how water gives erosion a helping hand.
Recommended Reads for Family Travel to Utah
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Travel Trivia
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