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Coral Pink, Utah

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, UT
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, UT

Name: Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Location:

Southern Utah, near Kanab

Coral Pink State Park Vicinity Map

Google Maps

Description:

The dune complex is actually a valley in a deep notch between the Moquith Mountains to the east and the Moccasin Mountains to the north. Its location serves as a natural collection area for the fine sands blown off the surrounding mountains' steep red cliffs and outcroppings. The dunes are surrounded on three sides by roads and on the south side by the Moquith Mountains and the Moccasin Mountains.

The lower area is under the protection of the Utah State Parks Department; the larger, upper portion of the dunes and the surrounding land are under BLM control.

The park is a 3,730 acre recreation area with over 2,000 acres of sand open to OHVs. The area open to OHVs is about six miles long and approximately one mile wide. Sitting at an elevation of 6,000 feet the park enjoys mild winters and warm summers. The Coral Pink dunes have laid down several hundred feet of sand along the 200 mile long Sevier Fault. A "notch" between the Moquith and Moccasin mountains directs the windblown sand (the venturi effect) to this corner of Southern Utah . The reddish colored sand is supplied courtesy of ancient Navajo Sandstone that is carried from the Virgin River to the bottom of the Cane beds and the eroding Navajo Sandstone around the park.

The park is open year-round, but spring, early summer, and fall are the most ideal times. Memorial and Labor Day weekends are usually very crowded.

Due to its high elevation the dunes area receives relatively high precipitation and as a result, has surprisingly abundant plant life, such as Ponderosa pines, tall dune grasses and many wild flowers in the spring.

Elevation -   6000 ft.

Coral Pink State Park Map
Click to see larger map

Directions to Coral Pink:

  • From Kanab, Utah: Take Highway 89 north for 10 miles to Hancock Road, designated a Scenic Backway. Hancock Road is seven miles long and meets at a "T" with Yellowjacket Road. Turn left (south) onto Yellowjacket. The main park entrance is five miles up on the left.

  • From Zion or Bryce Canyon National Parks: Take Highway 89 south past Mount Carmel Junction. Six miles farther south, watch for Coral Pink State Park signs that lead you to Yellowjacket Road. Take Yellowjacket and follow the signs to the Coral Pink State Park headquarters and campground.

  • Driving Directions - Mapquest.com

GPS Coordinates:

  • Dry Lake Camp - N37°03.992', W112°42.315'

  • Park Entrance - N37°02.188', W112°43.997'

  • North Dune Overlook - N37°03.556', W112°42.007'

  • Hwy 89 and Hancock Rd. - N37°08.815', W112°34.142'

Coral Pink Camping Areas:

  • Main Camp - Utah State Parks
    The state park has a well-maintained campground in a wooded area. There are 22 pull-through RV Trailer Sites with picnic tables and a barbecue grill; open year round (though the water is shut off from November to May); 
    Reservations
    800-322-3770 (Monday-Friday); $20 per night regular site. $95 for group site.
    - Restrooms w/showers
    - RV Dump (available for $8 Day Use Fee for people camping at the Dry Lake)
    - Ice and firewood is available.
    - Quiet hours enforced 10pm - 9am (no night riding).
    - Hiking - boardwalk, overlook trails, and a nature trail.

    Coral Pink State Park Campgound Map   Coral Pink Camp - Dump Station   Coral Pink Camp - Water available near each site   Coral Pink Camp - Bathrooms with hot showers
    Coral Pink Camp - OHV Dune Access   Coral Pink State Campground   Coral Pink State Campground   Coral Pink State Campground
    Coral Pink State Campground - Camp Host   Coral Pink State Campground - Group Site
  • Dry Camp "Meadows" - BLM
    On the northern end of the park a large open area coined the dry lake bed sits on BLM land. From the intersection of Hancock Rd. and Yellow Jacket Rd. travel 1/2 mile towards the State Park on Yellow Jacket Rd. The Dry Lake area is on the left.  People are allowed to camp here for free, however, there are no facilities and no quiet hours. BLM is very sensitive about this area.  If you want to keep it open, please follow a few simple rules: 
    - Do Not Dump Gray Water.
    - Fires allowed in metal containers only. Do not dump coals.
    - No trash collection.  Pack it in. Pack it out.
    - Do not ride is areas closed to OHVs.

Coral Pink - BLM Dry Lake camping area   Coral Pink - BLM Dry Lake camping area - Fire Rules   Coral Pink Dry Lake - BLM Law Enforcement  Coral Pink Dry Lake - Dune Access
Coral Pink Dry Lake - area closed in 2005   Coral Pink Dry Lake - area closed in 2005   
The area by the tree in the Dry Lake bed was closed in 2005 to camping.  BLM will close more area if people do not follow the rules.

Coral Pink WSA Sign   Coral Pink WSA - Dune Access   Coral Pink WSA - Area Now Closed to OHVs   Coral Pink Moquith Mountain WSA
The Dry Lake is surrounded by a Wilderness Study Area.  Please do not ride in areas closed to OHVs.

  • Ponderosa Grove Campground - BLM
    Located on Hancock Rd. between Hwy 89 and Yellow Jacket Rd. OHV access is no longer allowed from this campground. No ATVs allowed on Hancock Rd. Access to the dunes is prohibited by an emergency closure along the south edge of the Hancock Road
    - Pit toilets.  
    -
    No water
    - 20 ft. max. RV length.

Area Managed By: Utah State Parks and Recreation

Coral Pink State Park - Visitor Center
Visitor Center: 
- Sand Collection from around the world
- Ice
- Firewood
- T-shirts & hats
- Maps

Nature Trail - Utah State Parks

Coral Pink Sand Dunes - Nature Trail Information   Coral Pink Sand Dunes - Nature Trail Walkway   Coral Pink Sand Dunes - Nature Trail

Fees (for Utah State Parks access only)

  • Camping: $20 per night regular site. $95 for group site. Camping fees include use of showers, dune access, dump station and water.
  • Day use is $8 per vehicle. Anyone staying at the Meadow will need to pay the full day use fee to dump trailers, trash or fill up water. Persons not camping in the campground wishing to shower will need to pay the day use fee plus $2 per shower. There is no time limit on the showers.

Rules:

  • Vehicles must remain on pavement within developed areas of the park.
  • Speed limit in the park is 15 mph; 5 mph in the campground; 30 mph on country roads.
  • Camping is allowed only in designated campsites.
  • It is unlawful to remove, destroy or molest all plants, animals and minerals in the park.
  • Fireworks are prohibited.
  • Fires can be built in specified locations only. Only in metal containers at the Dry Lake.
  • Pets must be on a 6-foot leash.
  • Firearms are prohibited.
  • Dumping waste water, except in specified sites, is prohibited.
  • Children under 8 years old cannot ride OHVs (Utah OHV rule)
  • Orange flags on whips are required on all vehicles. 
  • Helmets are also required on all OHV riders under the age of 18.

    Utah State Parks, OHV Rules and Laws

    Coral Pink State Park Rules

Coral Pink Sand Dunes - Why Here?

The sand found at Coral Pink Sand Dunes comes from eroding Navajo Sandstone cliffs found to the south.

Coral Pink - Gap between Moquith & Moccasin Mountains

The gap between the Moquith Mountains (left) and Moccasin Mountains (right) creates a funnel for the prevailing wind. This constricting notch increases wind velocity to a point where it can carry sand grains. Once the wind passes through the notch, the wind velocity decreases and the sand grains are deposited at Coral Pink Sand Dunes.

The Sevier Fault runs directly below and is responsible for the valley where the dunes are now found.

Sand Trails

  • "Sand Highway"  - One-way, narrow and windy marked trail in a small canyon along the edge of the dunes.
  • South Boundary Trail - Along the eastern side of the main dune area. One-way marked trail that is several miles long.

4x4 Trails

  • Elephant Butte Trail - starts 4 miles south of the park entrance and connects with the Barracks trail (after 8 miles), both paths boast of beautiful views.
  • Barracks Trail - starts about one quarter mile south of the junction of highways 9 & 89 at Mt. Carmel Junction. 5.2 miles long, will take you to some great views of Zion National Park and the White Cliffs.
  • Pass Patrol October 1998 Campfire Tales - 4x4 trails in the Moquith Mountain WSA
    - Sand Springs Route - Main access road into Moquith Mountain WSA. Access via Hancock Rd.
    - Indian Canyon Petroglyph Route - Located 4 miles northeast of the dunes. Take Sand Springs Route to first intersection.  Then a little less than 2 miles the trail ends and hiking trail to petroglyphs begins.

Access Issues:

Coral Pink Tiger Beetle - Closed Area   Coral Pink Tiger Beetle - Cicindela limbata albissima

Coral Pink WSA - Kane County vs. BLM   Coral Pink Hancock Rd. - Designated Scenic Backway   Coral Pink Trails. - RS 2477 Kane County

Kane County has done a fabulous job marking OHV trails in and around Coral Pink.  Unfortunately, the BLM is making it confusing for users by posting closed signs next to some of the Kane County trail markers.

The issue is protecting the area within the Moquith Mountain WSA.  This area has not been designated as Wilderness, but must be "protected" by the BLM until Congress does something to either designate or free it up.

What can you do to help keep Coral Pink open to OHV use?

Send a quick note to Congressman Jim Matheson asking him to sponsor a bill that would release Moquith Mountain WSA.

Main points for your letter:

  1. Moquith Mountain WSA was determined by the BLM to be not suitable for Wilderness Designation.

  2. BLM is severely limiting OHV and camping access at Coral Pink based on the need to protect the WSA.

  3. Releasing the WSA will make it easier for BLM to do their job.

Send your letter to:

Congressman Jim Matheson
1222 Longworth HOB
Washington , DC 20515
Phone - (202) 225-3011
Fax - (202) 225-5638
jim.matheson@mail.house.gov  

More info on Wilderness Study Area Release

Access Organizations:

Other Photos (click to enlarge):

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park   Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park   Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park   Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Coral Pink Dunes   Coral Pink   Coral Pink   Coral Pink

Coral Pink   Coral Pink   CoralPinkDunes-8.jpg (67573 bytes)   Coral Pink State Park Utah

Coral Pink Sand Dunes   Coral Pink Sand Dunes   CoralPinkDunes-14.jpg (38215 bytes)   CoralPinkDunes-15.jpg (46494 bytes)

Other Information:

  • Pay phone is available by the ranger station.

Weather:

Coral Pink Weather

Weather - Kanab UT

Links

Nearby Parks, Monuments & Things to Do

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes is central to the great National Parks and National Monuments of Southern Utah, Northern Arizona and Southern Nevada.

Movies Filmed at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

  • Arabian Nights - 1942
  • Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves - 1943
  • Timbuktu - 1959
  • MacKenna's Gold - 1969
  • One Little Indian - 1973

Services in Kanab:

  • ATV Rental

- Kanab ATV Rentals (Anasazi ATV Rental) 435-644-8799 or 877-837-4032

Other Utah Sand Dunes

Back to Sand Dune Guide


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