The Sinbad Herd
The Sinbad Herd Management Area (HMA) encompasses 234,050 acres of Federal and State lands which is located 30 miles west of Green River, UT. It extends up to 19 miles on both sides of I-70 from the San Rafael Reef to Eagle Canyon. Horses can be found south of I-70 from exit 131 to the Hidden Splendor Mine. Burros are seen along I-70 from the San Rafael Reef to the Dutchman Arch.
The vegetation on the HMA is dominated by pinyon-juniper/sagebrush/shadscale/bunchgrass communities.
Wild horses and burros have occupied the San Rafael Swell area since the beginning of the Old Spanish Trail in the early 1800s. Early travelers would lose animals or have them run off by Indians or rustlers. Many of these animals were headed for California to be traded and sold and were of good stock. The herd was also augmented through the release of domestic horses from local ranches. By the early 1900s, wild horse and burro numbers had soared and were being captured and sold by local “mustangers.” This continued until the passage of the Wild Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971. Since the passage of this act, the horses and burros have been managed under federal law and Bureau regulation.
The dominant colors of the horses within the herd area are black, buckskin, grulla, and bay in that order. The dominant colors of the burros within the herd area are black and gray.
The horses on the HMA are average in size ranging from 700 to 1000 pounds.
The BLM management goal is to manage the horse herd at near 50 head and the burros at near 75 head. In order to achieve this goal, some of the horses and burros must be rounded up every 2 to 5 years. Excess animals are then offered for adoption through the BLM’s wild horse and burro adoption program. For more information on adoption of animals from this herd, contact the Price Field Office.
For viewing wild horses take I-70, 29 miles west of Green River to ranch exit 131. Travel south on the graveled road following BLM signs to the Reds Canyon/ McKay Flat junction. Turn south for 4 miles to McKay Flat. Watch for horses along the way.
For burro viewing, head northeast for approximately 4 miles on a graveled road from I-70 exit 131 to the BLM Sagebrush Flat sign. Continue east ½ mile to a narrow freeway underpass. Go through the underpass and continue east on any of the several dirt roads. Burros may be seen from any one of the roads in this area. Also, watch along I-70 from the Spotted Wolf rest stop (exit 143) 17 miles west of Green River to exit 131. Burros are commonly spotted from the freeway.
Special Travel Conditions
For wild horse viewing, the main road to McKay Flat is a maintained gravel road, traversable in dry weather with care, by passenger cars. The loop around Reds Canyon and all other roads used to view horses and burros require high clearance vehicles. Summer storms and flash floods tend to damage even the well maintained roads so it is suggested that only 4 wheel drive/ high clearance vehicles travel through the HMA. When wet, the roads in this area are very slick and muddy, and very dusty during extended dry periods. Due to these conditions, the roads remain rough and should be traveled with care. Wilderness Study Areas occur within this HMA and at the end of many access roads. These Wilderness Study Areas are marked and have special travel restrictions not allowing motorized vehicles. Hiking and horse backing in these areas are allowed.