FAQ About the Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin

Yes, anyone can visit Sand Wash Basin. The horses live on public BLM land. The BLM does require that you keep your distance from the horses a minimum of 100 feet. When you enter the basin on CR 67, you will see an information kiosk on your left that the BLM maintains. We encourage all first time visitors to stop and review the guidelines.

No there is not. It's free for anyone to enter and visit.

Yes, you can camp in Sand Wash Basin.

  • Don't camp too close to the ponds. It interferes with the horses' movements to and from the ponds for water.
  • No established campsites in Sand Wash Basin. Only rough camping.
  • You must take out everything you bring in with you. There are no outhouses or facilities.

Yes there are. Since the roads are unimproved and unmaintained, the roads become very muddy and slick during the spring rains. Once the snow arrives in the winter, it can be impossible to drive into the basin due to drifting and deep snow. It's advisable to always check the weather before entering the basin. Summers are prone to flash floods during heavy rainstorms.

NO! Absolutely NOT! They are wild animals, and must be treated as such. If a horse approaches you - you must back up or shoo it away.

Several places in Craig and Maybell, Colorado have maps. The Craig Chamber of Commerce, Little Snake BLM office during business hours, Moffat County Tourism, Maybell Store, and brochure racks in various locations have free maps.

A real 4x4 (not AWD) with high ground clearance is recommended. The roads in the basin are rough and do not have culverts, so you will be driving down and up steep "washes." Even long wheelbased vehicles like trucks can have problems with the washes due to the steepness.

We have an amazing and diverse variety of wildlife that call Sand Wash Basin home.

  • Elk, Mule Deer and Pronghorn Antelope
  • Rattlesnakes, Bull Snakes and a variety of lizards
  • Foxes and Coyotes
  • Golden and Bald Eagles as well as many species of Hawks
  • Burrowing Owls, Sage Grouse and many smaller species of Birds
  • Cottontail and Jack Rabbits
  • Various species of Ground Squirrels and Prairie dogs
  • Mountain Lions, Bobcats and Black Bear on the higher perimeters of the basin

Cell service is spotty at best, except for AT&T which seems to work better than most in the basin.

Long pants and enclosed hiking shoes are recommended, to protect your legs and feet from the cacti and rattlesnakes.

No, you must bring all the water you will need. Plan on lots especially during the warm months, since Sand Wash Basin is a desert and arid.

Sand Wash Basin covers 250 square miles or about 166,000 acres.

Closest lodging is in Maybell, Colorado, the Victory Hotel and campground with amenities. Maybell is about 17 miles from the basin.
Craig, Colorado has the most choices in lodging, offering a variety of motels/hotels. Craig is about 47 miles from the basin.

The majority of the basin fenced, so to move from one area to another, there may be gates or cattle guards. If you should find any gate open around the perimeter of the basin, please close it and let us know via our Facebook page that you found open gates. Taking a photo is helpful. It's important to try and keep the wild horses in Sand Wash Basin. Once the horses leave the basin, they are not protected and subject to being removed.

Yes, but your dogs MUST always be leashed and under control. They cannot run loose and chase wild horses or any wildlife. Keep in mind that the basin has rattlesnakes as well.

Sand Wash Basin Wild Horses

Wild Horses of Sand Wash Basin

Wild horses enjoying a beautiful summer day. Click to enlarge.

Sand Wash Basin

Do not drive into the basin if the roads are muddy, or rain is in the forecast.

Typical Wash in the Basin

Typical Wash in the Basin

All roads in the basin have washes you drive through. Most are steep and fill with water during rainstorms.