Ponds of the potash mines.
Through the heat of Utah, the water evaporates and allows the recovery of potash. It is a high concentration of potassium who makes this wonderful blue color. The potash production is approximately 260,000 tons per year.
The main reason to visit this State Park is to enjoy the fabulous view over the canyonlands and the winding Colorado River below. It is 2000 feet down to the river's edge and from this viewpoint you can see the perfect gooseneck that the river forms.
There are also 10 miles of hiking paths here, including a paved nature trail. There is a campground and visitor center too. Keep an eye out for Hollywood celebrities....Tom Cruise was filmed here in the opening scene of Mission Impossible, as were Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis in the final scene of Thelma and Louise.
I honestly am not sure if you can hike in this park. We didn't have time, so we didn't check into that. You can't beat the incredible views, though.
This is a very basic shop offering a few sandwiches and wraps. They also offer smoothies that are pretty good.
One pleasant surprise is that there is a large cooler where you can purchase bags of ice.
There are a few tables on a deck off the visitor center. It overlooks the canyon and there are several hummingbird feeders with plenty of hummingbirds visiting.
Favorite Dish: The roast beef sandwich was pretty good and the bread was very fresh.
If you don't have a mountain bike on your visit, consider renting one to take with you. There is one loop trail that is intermediate in difficulty so you should have mountain bike experience. There are two escape routes if you feel it is over your head but there are only a few parts that are easily walked with the bike if you have to.
The longest loop is Big Chief Loop at about 9 miles. The other two shorter loops are Intrepid Loop at 1.1 miles and Great Pyramid Loop at 4.2 miles. These last two are all on the Big Chief loop with an escape route to make it shorter.
All the routes are done counter clockwise. After you turn back away from the rim and head back to the visitor center, It is extremely easy.
Equipment: Mountain Bike, helmet, water
There are several options to access trails for hiking in Dead Horse State Park. From the visitor center there is a paved nature trail that is very short put the park supplies a guide pamphlet to some signs and overlooks.
From here you can access the East Rim trail which is about one mile or so to the point. You continue on to the West Rim trail that will eventually lead you back to the visitor center. I prefer the west rim, it is longer (2.5 miles) with fewer people hiking it. All the views are great. Total loop in about 4 miles.
Equipment: Good hiking shoes and plenty of water. An extra shirt would be a good idea, especially if you are coming up from Moab. It is a much higher altitude and tends to be windy and cooler.