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“Anniversary trip beyond expectations!!!”
Review of Sand Wash Basin

Sand Wash Basin
Reviewed 12 March 2016

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.

10  Thank R S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 28 October 2015

Sand Wash Basin is magical. To come around a curve and to see a band of wild horses, is unbelievable, beautiful and will be fill your heart with joy. The colors of the SWB wild horses varies from pure black, to paints and palominos. It is a trip of a lifetime. Personally I visit the basin several times a year. For more information find the Facebook page of the Sand Wash Advocate Team.

5  Thank Stormybear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2015

We drove from Phoenix, Arizona to photograph the wild horses of Sand Wash Basin. There is such a gorgeous assortment of colorful horses and bands to watch and photograph!!! One of the most incredible experiences of my life! I am a wildlife and sports photographer. There are little to no trees to obstruct your views. There is a wild horse loop that you can drive around. (This a quite a HUGE area.) We have a 2 wheel drive vehicle that let us get to most of the places we had wanted to. There were some bands off of 2 tracks roads that if we had a 4 wheel could have accessed. Locals warned not driving on the roads during a storm due to the roads being impassable. Some roads appear they are clay. We did have a light rain and it did build up on our tires quickly, however the roads dried quickly. Make sure to get gas before you go in. You can get gas in Maybell. Our first day in we had taken a wrong turn to get out and had almost ran out of gas. Learned to check our gas gage the remaining days.

I HIGHLY recommend going to Sand Wash Basin if you love photography, wild horses, wildlife and nature!! We found a new baby foal and were blessed to name her. We watched stallions fighting for their bands, young stallions play fighting, the dynamics of wild mustang families!! The wind was blowing their thick manes whether they were running or standing still. It was such a beautiful experience watching the Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses running wild and free!!

We stayed in Craig, Colorado which is about a one hour drive each way. We stayed at the Clarion Inn & Suites. Great prices, food and staff!

We received a map from the Craig Chamber of Commerce, that was very helpful in navigating through the area. Also contact the Sand Wash Advocate Team for more helpful tips on Facebook.

We will definitely return to Sand Wash Basin for more photography opportunities!

4  Thank Lori W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2014

The sand wash basin mustang herd lives free on 160000 acres of BLM land 20 minutes north of Maybell Colorado. The herd is about 400 strong. There are several roads crossing the area that you can drive looking for the horses. The best way is to find the many waterholes and wait for them to come to you. There always seems to be locals there who know all their names and which band it is. There are babies, all colors to suit any photo need. Lots of action as they interact to win a mare, protect their herd and to maintain dominance. They are generally fairly tame and will tolerate getting pretty close. I,ve had one baby come up and let me touch it. Fights are common so pretty violent again great action photo material. The scenery is super and so are the horses. This is a must see herd as a horse lover and photographer.

7  Thank michael c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 October 2014

The Sand Wash Basin HMA has approximately 500 wild mustangs that live on the horse management area. It is incredible to watch these horses living free and observing their interactions with each other. What I don't like is that the BLM is planning on removing a large number of these horses next May - depriving them of their freedom (and in some instances, their very lives).

5  Thank akphotolife
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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