As I looked out over a golden valley at sunset, filled with over 100 wild horses peacefully grazing together, I wondered if this might be what heaven itself will look like. This wasn’t heaven, but it was close. I was standing in the Onaqui Mountain Herd Management Area 90 minutes southwest of Salt Lake City near Dugway, Utah.
This herd management area (HMA) covers over 200,000 acres and is currently home to around 450 wild horses. The Onaqui Mountain wild horse herd has been roaming this land since the late 1800s and is a favorite destination for photographers and horse lovers wanting to witness the beauty and excitement of wild horses.
Because water sources in the area are limited, smaller bands of horses come together to form several large herds with over 100 horses each. The Onaqui HMA is one of the only places where you can see this many horses traveling together and living in relative harmony.
The Onaqui Mountain wild horses are not as shy as most wild horse herds and you can get relatively close to them, which makes for exceptional photography opportunities.
This article about the Onaqui Mountain Wild Horses originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Horse Illustrated magazine. Click here to subscribe!