The Mesmerizing World of The Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is more than just sand; it is a living testament to the intricate dance of time and geological processes. Formed over thousands of years, these dunes have a story to tell. Their unique pink hue, a product of iron oxide and other minerals, adds a touch of magic to the already surreal landscape.

The gradual breakdown of ancient sandstone forms into tiny grains. These grains, carried by wind and water, make their way through a complex journey before settling in this remarkable corner of the world. Here, they’re sculpted by the unrelenting wind, creating a symphony of colors and shapes that dance with the changing light.

The Coral Pink Sand Dune State Park.

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park – Location

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is 22 miles west of Kanab on Sand Dunes Road and 310 miles South of Salt Lake City. The park is open seven days a week during daylight hours, with no holiday closures. 

If you are looking for a place to start or end your day, the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a small but strikingly beautiful place to explore. As the sun rises and sets, the dunes undergo a mesmerizing transformation. The interplay of light and shadow on the pink sand creates a photographer’s dream, with the hues ranging from soft pastels to deeper, more vivid shades, depending on the time of day. This ever-changing canvas provides endless opportunities for capturing the dunes’ beauty in photographs.

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park – Things To Do

Ride off-highway Vehicles (OHVs)

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a top destination for OHV enthusiasts. With 1,200 acres of coral-pink sand to explore, visitors can enjoy hiking or using OHVs. While hiking is permitted throughout the park, 90% of it is shared with OHVs.

As I sat on top of the tallest dunes, the wind gusts relentlessly across the unbounded terrain while the discord of OHVs echoed throughout the park. Fleeting glances of vibrant orange whiptail flags flutter amidst the gentle breeze above the sand dunes, foretelling the imminent arrival of an OHV as it surmounts the ridge in a breathtaking exhibition of force and velocity.

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Camping 

Camping and spending the day driving OHVs through the dunes go hand-in-hand. At first glance, the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a campground almost exclusively for those with RVs and those looking to spend a few days driving through the dunes. 

The campground is impressively well-maintained, featuring a variety of amenities that are sure to make any camper’s stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. RV enthusiasts will be pleased to find paved areas perfect for parking and setting up camp, while those who prefer to dine al fresco will appreciate the abundance of picnic tables scattered throughout the grounds. The shower houses are clean and offer a refreshing respite after a long day of outdoor activities. Additionally, the campground boasts a gray water disposal area, making it easy for campers to dispose of their waste properly. 

Each campsite is strategically located on a loop, which contributes to a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. The picturesque surroundings are stunning, with shimmering sand streams providing a peaceful and serene backdrop. All in all, the campground is an excellent choice for anyone seeking a safe and serene outdoor experience.

The landscape in the sand dunes in Utah.

Sandboarding

When visiting the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, the main attraction is sandboarding or sand sledding. For a fee of $25, visitors can rent a sandboard that resembles a snowboard or a sand sled that looks like a sanded-down piece of plywood with sandpaper in the middle and two loops to assist with carrying it up the dunes.

For my dune adventure, I chose the sand sled. The park ranger gave me a sled and a cube of wax. I was told to apply wax to the middle of the sled every other time I went down the dune to achieve the highest speed possible.

Walking out to the dunes, I picture myself gliding down the soft, powdery slopes, the wind in my hair, and the rosy sand rushing beneath my board. However, I soon discovered it would be more strenuous than anticipated. The sand bombarded me from all sides, causing my bare legs to feel like they were getting a deep exfoliation, removing each layer of skin gradually. As I ascended, the top of the dune appeared to be moving further away.

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I had a successful experience sliding down a medium-sized dune for the first time. However, the effort put into climbing up the dune wasn’t as enjoyable as the thrill of sliding down. Despite the tall height of the dunes, I didn’t feel fearful or hesitant to approach the tallest dune for my second and final slide.

As I tried to navigate the sandy ridge of the dune, the sled acted like a sail, pushing me over with the force of the wind. After stopping to catch my breath, I took a moment to appreciate the moving scenery as small wisps of sand floated from the tops of the dunes. It took me about twenty minutes to reach the top, where I waxed my board and prepared to launch down the hill. I used my hands to steer the sled carefully, avoiding those resting on their way to the top. In less than 30 seconds, my sand sledding adventure was over. Exhausted from the sun and the hike through the sand, I sat and watched as others ran optimistically toward the dunes, unaware of how quickly the sand would drain their energy.

Women standing with a sand sled at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes – Sand in Every Crevice

After spending an unforgettable day at Coral Pink Sand Dunes, I left the place covered in a fine layer of sand. Even my pillow bore the shimmering flecks of pink sand, serving as a reminder of the adventure I had there. The experience (while exhausting) was truly remarkable, and I am grateful for the opportunity to witness the beauty of this unique part of the United States.

So, if you ever find yourself yearning for a unique and unforgettable adventure, consider a journey to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. Amidst the shifting sands and under the vast desert sky, you’ll discover a world of wonder that will stay with you long after you’ve left this enchanting corner of Utah’s desert.

At the top of the largest sand dune in the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
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Sand in small jars from around the world.

To fully explore all the activities available in Utah and the surrounding area, I highly recommend taking a look at the posts listed below. They offer valuable information and insights that can help you make the most of your time in the area. Don’t miss out on any of the amazing experiences the Western United States has to offer.

The information in this article was accurate when published but can change without notice. Please confirm rates and details when planning your trip by following the links in this article. If you find out-of-date or inaccurate information, Iā€™d love to hear about it to update the article. Use the comments section below. Thanks!

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3 thoughts on “The Mesmerizing World of The Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

  1. I love discovering new treasures. I had not heard of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes but have now put it on my must see, and climb, list. I’m two rides will be enough for me as well!

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