Coral Pink Sand Dunes: Snow’s melting, activity’s warming up

Coral Pink Sand Dunes with residual snow from two days before, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, Kane County, Utah, March 11, 2013 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

KANE COUNTY – Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is an attractive recreational getaway for a day trip or camping and this is the season it starts to get busy. The park is located southeast of Zion, near the town of Kanab off U.S. Highway 89, on the Arizona-Utah border. It is the only major sand dune field on the Colorado Plateau and serves the recreation community with its vast soft pink sand – 3,730 acres of it, approximately 2,000 included in the park – suited to off-highway vehicle riding, horseback riding, hiking and sandboarding. True to Utah statewide, the coral pink dunes love the lens and this park is a photographer’s delight.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes Utah photo

Coral Pink Sand Dunes

The park reported Sunday on its website that the campground is staying fairly busy, with Easter weekend pretty much booked up with reservations. Reservations are not required, but are recommended, especially if you have a specific site you would like.

Most of the snow on the dunes has melted (included photos were shot March 11), but there is a little snow left on the dunes so the park recommends care when riding, noting there are some sharp drop-offs on those slopes.

It’s still too early for wildflowers at Coral Pink, according to its website, and nothing green is showing on the dunes yet other than the trees.  Prospective visitors can check the website as the park said it will post when various wildflowers appear.

For those planning to camp at the dunes, there is no electricity in the regular campsites. The park does have potable water and a dump station available as well as hot showers in the campground restroom.

Park quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 9 a.m. Generators and OHV riding are not allowed during those hours.

Due to limited space and no overflow parking, campers are asked not to bring more vehicles than will fit into their campsite.

Story and resources continue after the photo gallery below.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery. 

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle

Isn’t there a beetle for every spot on earth? The dunes are home to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle, which the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife Service had proposed be listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The service proposed to designate approximately 2,276 acres of the coral pink sand dunes as critical habitat for the species. There is currently set apart a 265-acre conservation parcel for resource management of the beetle. In the fall of 2012, Utah legislators objected to a short time frame provided between the service making available resources related to its assessment and closing of the public comment period on the proposed listing. Their request for additional time to evaluate extensive data and make comment was to no avail and the public comment period closed Dec. 2, 2012. If the service’s proposed listing is achieved, recreational use of the park is likely to be significantly impacted and, by extension, the economy of Kane and possibly surrounding counties.


Contact:  Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, P.O. Box 95, Kanab, UT 84741-0095 | Telephone: 435-648-2800

Coral Pink Sand Dunes state park website

Reservations can be made online at Utah’s state parks website  or by calling 800-322-3770

Utah State Parks brochure on the park

TravelWest guide to Kana

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed rule document on the Coral Pink Sand Dunes Tiger Beetle – website

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Lee joins Utah legislators, requests extended comment period on Tiger Beetle conservation

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @JoyceKuzmanic

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.



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