Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Coral Pink Sand Dunes – a Magically Unspoiled Sandbox
By Dixie Brunner
It’s easy to have fun in the magically unspoiled sandbox which is Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Hiking, sightseeing and four-wheel adventure can all be part of your Coral Pink experience. Grown-ups and kids alike can enjoy playing in the sand and wandering the seemingly endless dunes. The park gets its name from the coral-colored sand which has eroded from exposed Navajo sandstone. Pink sand formed into a dune system, as a result of wind deposits rising from the hot lower elevations. The pink sand, contrasted against the steep red cliffs and outcroppings of southern Utah, offers visitors a visual delight. In Kane County’s movie making days, a Hollywood production company thought Coral Pink Sand Dunes resembled Egypt, and it was selected as a location for filming The Greatest Story Ever Told. All film extras were locals, with the only imported actors being the camels! The sand dunes and wind-whipped trees of Coral Pink offer a feeling of being somewhere else. But before you think it’s a mirage, check the map – you’re in the heart of southern Utah! The park features a 24-unit campground, along with modern restrooms, hot showers and a sewage disposal station. Reservations for group and individual campsites may be made from three to 120 days in advance. All campsites have pull-through parking, a barbeque grill and picnic tables. Coral Pink Sand Dunes has almost 1,000 acres of play area for off-highway vehicle enthusiasts. Hundreds of miles of trails and several developed four-wheel roads are on BLM land adjacent to the park as well. While off-highway vehicles are permitted on the dunes, strict regulations apply. Riders should contact park personnel for laws and rules before venturing out on the dunes. There are no ‘developed’ hiking trails within the park, but several are easily accessible on adjacent lands. The South Fork Indian Canyon petroglyphs trailhead lies four miles northeast of the park. Harris Mountain is north of the park and offers views of the sand dunes and Zion National Park, while the Moquith Mountains form the east boundary of the park. From dune vantage points, you can see Kanab Canyon and the Grand Canyon North Rim.