Muddy Creek HMA

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 bay, brown and black with a few pintos, gray and roan in that order, the horses on the HMA are average in size ranging from 700 to 1000 pounds.

Location: The Muddy Creek Herd Management Area (HMA) is located 15 miles south of Emery, UT. It extends 5 miles north and 10 miles south of I-70 from the Dutchman Arch to Fremont Junction. Horses can be found throughout the San Rafael Swell.

Size: 208,810 acres

Topography/Vegetation: The vegetation on the HMA is dominated by pinyon-juniper/sagebrush/shadscale/bunchgrass communities.


AML:  75-125

Viewing Opportunities:  For viewing wild horses take I-70, 43 miles west of Green River to the Moore Road exit 116. Travel south on the graveled road for 1 mile to Justesen Flat. Horses are common in this area. To make a loop back to I-70, continue on the main road to Copper Globe Mine to Cat Canyon, then through Kimball Draw and continue north to 1-70. Or take I-70 to Fremont Junction exit 91 which is 11 miles southwest of Emery, UT. Travel southeast on a gravel road approximately 13 miles to the Mussentuchit Flat junction. Turn south at this junction and continue for 2 miles, then travel east towards Cedar Mountain. Horses may be seen in the Cedar Mountain area. Return to Mussentuchit Flat junction and take any of the three roads back to I-70.