Tuesday, May 31, 2016

West Rim-East Rim Loop...Dead Horse Point SP

Portal RV Resort
Moab, UT
May 24, 2016

Almost three years ago Joe and I hiked the Great Pyramid Loop (part of the 16.7 mile Intrepid Bike Trail) in Dead Horse Point State Park.  I am not sure why we let so many years go by without visiting this beautiful state park again.  

This past week, we took care of that and ventured out to do the West Rim-East Rim Loop.  

This loop begins and ends at the Visitor Center.  It can be anywhere from 4 to 8 miles depending on how many spur trails you want to do. 

At the start of West Rim we were engulfed in greens, creamy yellows, piƱon pines and junipers, and the most glorious fragrance from the Cliff Roses.

 We had read in a brochure that the park only receives about 10 inches of precipitation a year and how vegetation has adapted to live.  Plants have reduced the size of their leaves because smaller leaves loose less water through evaporation.  I had not paid attention to how tiny the leaves are on the Cliff Rose are until the other day.  

Some of these plants have already seeded.  A mature seed has a long-tailed hair that attaches to it.  These hairs act like a "tiny parachute" and aid the wind in dispersing the seeds.  The fascinating part to this is that the hairs help "drill" the seeds into the ground.  Once the seeds land in the soil, the wind blows the curved hair rotating it to push the seed into the soil...amazing!

The birds were busy all around us and their chatter filled the quiet morning air.  Finding them was quite a challenge.  We were on trail by 8:15.  Of the two trials, West Rim is less used. It was just us and the birds.

According to DHPSP information, West Rim is the longest and most primitive hiking trail in the park.  Cairns mark the route over the sandstone and slick rock.

We eventually followed the cliffs that form the western boundary of the park.

 Dead Horse Point is the "main attraction" at this park.  The West Rim and East Rim join at the point with a paved walk and rock wall around the overlook.  There is a parking lot at the point.  A covered pavilion to enjoy the view,  covered picnic tables scattered among the trees, along with a vault toilet are provided.

It's easy to visualize the layers described in the sign in the picture below.  But not easy to comprehend 300 million years ago.

The last scene in the movie Thelma and Louise was filmed here. 

From the point, looking right...
...looking straight ahead and...
 ...and looking right.

A look back at the point as we continued on East Rim.

East Rim looked different from the West.  It was much more open with lots of blooming cacti and our view was focused on the snow-caped LaSals. 

Joe and I enjoyed this easy to moderate hike...a very pleasant morning.  Afterwards, we decided to take Long Canyon (top to bottom) 4-wheel drive trail back to Potash Road (Hwy 289).  Pucker Pass is always a thrill...
...passing under the huge boulder is fun...
 ...and it's just so dang beautiful!
 At the end of the trail just before we turned onto Potash Road, we saw Jug Handle Arch.

 Until next time, happy days and...



  1. Love the scenery and all the great trails you are taking us on, thanks for the wonderful pictures.

    1. It's definitely been a beautiful spring in Moab George. Glad you enjoy the trails and aren't getting tired of them!

  2. I have to agree with you in that it is beautiful. Your pictures are beautiful too.

    1. Thanks Jeri. It turned out to be a great early morning hike.

  3. Your pictures really do show how gorgeous the scenery is!

  4. Great hike and photos! We've used camped there as a 'base camp', but obviously we missed what was there! Again stunning photos from the 'trail less hiked'!

  5. This is such a great hike...not too difficult and spectacular scenery. Looks like you had a wonderful day. How nice to be alone with the birds:) How was the top part of Long Canyon as you come into Pucker Pass? Where there still the two ledges or did they finally fix them?

    How is the tan clan doing? We could use a photo:)

    1. Hey Pam...yep, Long Canyon is still ledge at the top just before Pucker Pass. It's a well traveled trail so maybe they will fill it in. Still fun and beautiful though.

      The pups have all had their dental cleanings and check-ups. Sally faired the best...her thyroid is great and no change in meds. Dover is good except the doctor says she has severe arthritis in her hip which explains why she has been limping some after she lays on it for awhile. Jack is back to normal after having had 5 teeth pulled. We were devastated! All those pretty white teeth in the front are gone due to bacteria...common for doxies. It hasn't slowed down his playing ball thank goodness! Will post pictures soon. They miss their daily treats from you!

  6. Replies
    1. Everybody needs to visit Utah at least once Gayle...its at the top of our list for favorites.

  7. I never get tired of the spectacular views from Dead Horse Point State Park. And you have shown me the reverse of Long Canyon, very nice.

    1. Awesome! Joe and I will not wait so long to visit DHPSP again...it is beautiful MonaLiza.