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King Top Herd Management Area

King Top Herd Management Area

King Top Herd Management Area

The King Top Mountains Herd Management Area (HMA) is located 70 miles west of Delta. The HMA is bounded by old Highway 50 & 6 on the north and the Crystal Peak Road on the south. Horses usually range along the foothills in the southwest portion of the HMA. The HMA contains 149,567 acres of federal and state lands.

The vegetation on the upper slopes of the HMA is dominated by pinyon and juniper communities. The lower slopes are covered by sagebrush, shadscale, and ricegrass.
                                                                                                                    Click map for larger view

The original source of the animals is unknown. However, this herd has be augmented through historic times with domestic horses from local ranches. The King Top horses tend to be a bit smaller than the Conger horses. The herd is dominated by black, bay, and brown colors. Light colors are uncommon.

The wild horses on this HMA average 13 to 14 hands tall and weigh 700 to 900 pounds.

The BLM management goal for this herd is to maintain a herd size between 40 and 60 head.

We Need Your Help

We invite you to view wild horses, however it is unlawful to chase and/or catch them. Foals, pregnant mares and older horses are easily hurt when pursued, so please allow them to live a free and unharassed life.

Help our wild horses by reporting illegal activity. Contact the BLM Fillmore Field Office at (435) 743-3100 or call BLM Law Enforcement at (801) 539-4286.

Best Opportunity for Viewing

Travel west from Delta on U.S. Highway 50 & 6 approximately 75 miles to mile post 16 at the Little Valley Road intersection. Turn south at the intersection and travel six miles to the intersection with the Ferguson Desert Road. Turn east on the Ferguson Desert Road and travel for 12 miles to the turnoff to Probst Pond (commonly known as the Snake Pass Road). Turn east on the Snake Pass Road. Horses may be encountered anywhere north or south of this road within the next 8 miles.

Another good area to view King top horses, particularly in the summer, early or late in the day, is in the vicinity of Eck's Knoll Reservoir. This reservoir is reached by continuing south from the Probst Pond sign on the Ferguson Desert Road another three miles. At the fork in the road take the left-hand fork and travel 1 1/2 miles to Eck's Knoll.

Wild horses are naturally wary. They are best viewed with binoculars at a distance. When approached, they will normally spook and run for cover.  We invite you to view wild horses, however it is unlawful to chase and/or catch them. Foals, pregnant mares and older horses are easily hurt when pursued, so please allow them to live a free and unharassed life.

Special Travel Conditions

The access roads to the recommended viewing areas are maintained gravel. When dry and driven with care, the roads are normally passable in passenger vehicles. Side roads off the Snake Pass Road require high clearance vehicles. Eck's Knoll Reservoir can be reached by low clearance vehicles when the road is dry. Many of the roads in the area become impassable during very wet weather. Snow can accumulate and cause considerable drifting in winter. Much of the area north of the Snake Pass Road is included in the King Top Wilderness Study Area. Access to this area is restricted to existing roads.

BLM Herd Management Areas

In 1971, Congress passed legislation to protect, manage, and control wild horses and burros on the public lands. The Wild Free-Roaming Horse and Burro Act declared these animals to be "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West."

Congress further declared that "wild free-roaming horses and burros shall be protected from capture, branding, harassment, or death..." and that they are "...an integral part of the natural system of the public lands." Furthermore, Bureau regulation requires that wild horses and burros be considered comparably with other resource values within the area.

The Bureau of Land Management maintains and manages wild horses or burros in "herd management areas" (HMAs).

In the ten states where BLM manages horses, there are 270 herd areas. In Utah, about 3,600 horses are found among 23 different herds scattered across the state. Two herds of burros containing about 100 animals are found on public lands in southeastern Utah.

Management Objectives

A management objective for the herd area is to ensure proper utilization of the area by wild horses at a level sufficient to guarantee their continued existence without exceeding the overall carrying capacity for all animals--livestock, wildlife and horses.

Another objective is to develop a recreation and viewing area for the public to observe wild horses in a natural setting.