Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Play in the Sand at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

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By Dixie Brunner

Linger longer at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park – there’s so much to do! Hiking, sightseeing and four-wheel adventure can all be part of your park experience. Grown-ups and kids alike can enjoy playing in the sand and wandering the seemingly endless dunes.

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Coral Pink Sand Dunes at dusk. Photo by Taylor Pratt.

The park gets its name from the coral-colored sand that has eroded from exposed Navajo sandstone surrounding the park. The 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 State Park resembled Egypt, and it was selected as 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 22-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 table. If day use is your plan, the park is open from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes has over 3,700 acres of play area for off-highway enthusiasts. Hundreds of miles of trails and several developed four-wheel roads are on BLM land adjacent to the park as well.

While OHV’s are permitted on the dunes, strict regulations apply. Riders should contact park personnel for rules and maps 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. Nearby is a dinosaur track sight, but you must have four wheel drive to visit!

For more information on Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, call 435-648-2800.

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