Planned an anniversary trip here with my wife, hoping to catch a glimpse of some wild horses at the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horse Area (WHA) along Hwy 318 west of Maybell, Colorado. We based out of a hotel in Craig, Colorado.
Was it ever a success! We must have seen sixty wild horses at various places in the management area. In some cases we were able to sidle as close as 20 yards.
The most spectacular event involved a cross-country trek of about two miles to get within a 1/4 mile of two herds. We'd seen dust in the distance and using our binocs we located the two herds and began our hike to see if we could get some nice closer-up photos. As we got within range, we were fascinated to watch a younger stallion with four mares in his harem, trying to pick off a mare or two from an older, dominant stallion with a herd of about 20 mares. As the old stud tried to lead his harem away, the young upstart would cut a mare off the tail end of his herd, and drive her back to his group. The dominant stallion would then charge back to retrieve his girl, and a rearing, kicking fight would ensue. It was like something out of National Geographic! We watched this routine play out four times over a half hour, until the oldster got his group across a small canyon and away from that rebel. What a trip . . . what an awesome experience!
Bring binoculars and a good map. Bring plenty of water, food and sun protection. You won't be near any amenities. A high clearance, four wheel drive vehicle will help ensure you don't get stuck, but careful driving of a regular street car would have sufficed in most of the areas we went. We drove a Subaru Outback and had absolutely no problems. BTW, there is no charge to get into the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horse Area. But you'll leave enriched.
Hope you have as great a time as we did! The horses were absolutely amazing.
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