Onaqui Mountains HMA

The Onaqui Herd Management Area (HMA) is located 40 miles southwest of Salt Lake City and encompasses 43,880 acres. The HMA extends from Johnsons Pass south to Look Out Pass.  Stock reservoirs and intermittent streams fed by winter snows and spring runoff provide adequate water fro the herd. Wild horses have occupied the Onaqui Mountains since the late 1800s. The vegetation on the upper elevations of the Onaqui Mountains is comprised of brush and scattered stands of conifers. The foothills area is vegetated by stands of juniper trees. The valley areas are covered with sagebrush and annual cheatgrass. Mares and stallions average around 800 to 1000 pounds. The dominant colors within the herd area are brown and bay. Other colors found include sorrel, roan, buckskin, black, palomino, and gray. The horses are in good condition and are frequently seen in the vicinity of the Pony Express Trail in Skull Valley. The management objective for the Onaqui Mountain HMA is to maintain a population of 121 to 210 wild horses; as of March 1, 2007, the population is estimated at 199.

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Viewing Opportunities: From Salt Lake City, take I-80 west to Exit 77, Dugway/Rowley. Travel south on Hwy 196 approx. 25 miles to Dugway, continue south on the dirt road between the LDS church and the Dugway fence. Wild horses from the Onaqui Herd can usually be viewed on either side of this road from Dugway south to the intersection with the Pony Express Road. Horses may also be seen along the Pony Express Road west to Simpson Springs.

Road conditions in this area are influenced by precipitation. They can become very slick and muddy after recent rain or snow; four-wheel drive is recommended when wet. Although generally passable to two-wheel drive vehicles when dry, roads can be very dusty. Watch the weather and proceed with caution.

When viewing wild horses, please do not chase or harass them in any way. Although the horses may appear tame, do not approach too closely. Wild horses are naturally wary and will spook and run when approached. They are best viewed or photographed from a distance. All motor vehicles are limited to existing roads in this area.


To report illegal harassment, injury, or destruction of wild horses, immediately contact the BLM Salt Lake Field Office at 801-977-4300.