(Information and graphics courtesy of BLM, Colorado
The White River area is full of history. As early as 1882, settlers
crossing this region recorded seeing bands of wild horses. With the
depression of the 1930s, herds were increased by the release or escape of
domestic horses from abandoned homesteads and small ranches. Today, these
wild descendants share this basin with large oil and gas exploration
activities and livestock grazing.
Recreational activities in the area include seasonal big game hunting,
primitive camping, jeeping, horseback riding and hiking. (Sturdy shoes are
needed and long pants are recommended.)
Water can be a precious commodity for people and animals.
Make sure you bring enough water on your viewing trips. Use a "good neighbor policy" when through this herd management area. Leave the gates as you find them. Please do not trespass on private lands. Private lands are marked on maps available for purchase at the BLM office in Meeker.
Main and county roads are well traveled, but BLM roads are isolated and
bumpy. Dirt roads are passable for passenger cars only in good weather.
Go 19 miles north on Highway 13 from Rifle. Turn west on Piceance Creek
Road (CR-5) to Ryan Gulch Road (#24). For additional maps or further
information about this area, contact the White River Resource Area
Note: The airstrip on 84 Mesa is private.
Bands of Color
The herd runs from 90 to 145 head. Bays, blacks, sorrels and browns are
dominant. Mixtures of grays, buckskins, palominos, paints and chestnuts can
also be seen.
The horses are typically 14 to 15 hands high; weight 800 to 900 pounds
This wild horse area encompasses 148,000 acres of gently to moderately
sloping pinon-juniper woodlands throughout; mostly mountain shrub, sagebrush
with pockets of Douglas Fir and Aspen. Elevations vary from 5,600 to 8,700
Antelope. elk, mule deer, sage grouse, eagles, hawks, buzzards, prairie
dogs, coyotes, horned lizards and rattlesnakes can be found in Piceance
In the spring, view horses at 84 Mesa and along Yellow Creek. In the summer, herds will migrate to higher elevations.
Herds will concentrate on the windswept ridges and southern-exposed
Best Chance for Viewing
Look for horse trails along the face of Cathedral Bluffs.
Four-wheel drive vehicles and hiking trails are recommended. Snow and
summer thunderstorms can cause the clay roads to be difficult and impassable
This is not a BLM operated or BLM sponsored site. It
is run by private wild horse and burro enthusiasts. We are thankful to the
BLM for providing the information which is presented here.