After a bit of research, I found an answer to a question that was bugging me. Why is it that Dead Horse Point State Park and Canyonlands National Park are right next to each other and are not part of the same park? You can easily see from one park to the other. The answer? Dead Horse was established as a Utah State Park in 1959 while Canyonlands was not made a National Park until 5 years later, in 1964.
Dead Horse Point is the centerpiece of the state park. The point is a plateau standing 2000 feet above a gooseneck turn of the Colorado River. The name of the park is derived from a legend about cowboys herding wild mustangs onto the point. There is a narrow pass that leads to the point which the cowboys often used to drive the wild horses through so that they could corral them and take their pick of the best steeds. The legend holds that on one of these round-ups, for some reason they left the un-chosen horses out on the point where they died of hunger and thirst.
The State Park is a very nice place to visit with spectacular views at many overlooks. We combined the visit here with a drive over to Canyonlands which is only a few minutes away. There is actually only about 30 miles distance separating Arches, Dead Horse and Canyonlands. A paradise of canyons, mountains and high-desert nature!