Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a state park in Southern Utah located between Mount Carmel Junction and Kanab. It is open year round from dawn to dusk. The park requires a $10 day use entry fee per car or $5 for seniors. Camping is also available for a fee at the park’s two campgrounds, with reservations recommended in advance. Pets are allowed but must be kept on a 6-foot leash at all times. The majority of the park is fully exposed to the sun, reaching triple digits in the summertime. Spring and fall are ideal times of year to visit.
Coral Pink sits at 6000 feet elevation and spans across 3,730 acres. Sand dunes are created when sand is moved and deposited by the wind. At this park, the wind flows through the notch between Moquith and Moccasin mountains. The breeze is funneled through the notch, carrying sand from eroding Navajo sandstone. The wind velocity decreases as it leaves the notch and moves into the open valley, depositing the sand. The Coral Pink Sand Dunes are thought to be 10,000 to 15,000 years old.
The park is a popular place for four wheelers, with about 90% of it being open for ATV use. Other popular activities include hiking, sandboarding, or sledding. Boards and sleds are available for rent from the park. Area vegetation includes sage brush, juniper trees, pinion and ponderosa pines. The Coral Pink tiger beetle is a species of insect found only in the park.
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Recently the park erected a Bigfoot statue to be placed in hidden locations in the park boundaries. Hikers are instructed to take a selfie with the statue and post it to their social media accounts with the hashtags #CoralPinkSandDunes and #SandSquatch. Showing the post to the staff at the visitor’s center will score individuals a discount on a unique T-shirt. The statue is moved periodically to keep returning visitors on their toes and maintain the challenge.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes receives its name from the pink hue of the dunes. Surrounded by red sandstone cliffs, tall white peaks, and clear blue skies, the park makes for an excellent backdrop for photography. Many like to relax in the sunshine, play in the sand, and enjoy the gorgeous Southern Utah weather. The park is a unique place with a wide variety of activities for all ages and interests. It is a must see destination for travelers passing through the western desert.
Written by: Lauren Kehoe