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Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a 1,200 acre state park in Utah and there’s a lot to see and do! The state park is an access point for exploring these huge colorful dunes for both OHV enthusiasts and hikers. In this travel guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know in order to plan the perfect trip.
This guide covers:
- how to get there
- best time of year to visit
- things to see and do
- camping options
- other things to see and do nearby
Where is Coral Pink Sand Dunes?
Coral Pink Sand Dunes is in southwestern Utah, between Mount Carmel Junction and the town of Kanab.
From Salt Lake City, the drive is about 4.5 hours.
Best Time to Visit Coral Pink Sand Dunes
I think the best time to visit is in the Spring and Fall months, especially if you want to camp.
The Summer is incredibly hot, and there’s basically no shade when you’re out playing on the dunes. Thunderstorms are also more common in the Summer months.
The Winter months are cold and windy and the area does get occasional snowstorms.
Getting Around the Park
This state park really is more of a launchpad to activities on the dunes. The facilities, parking, and campground area are actually very small compared to the dunes.
In the park, you’ll find a campground, visitors center, day-use parking, and several OHV dune access points.
Fees and Hours
- Daylight hours, 7 days a week.
- Day use: $10 per vehicle; $5 for Utah seniors 65 and older
- A yearly Utah State Park pass is $100 for Utah residents
- Call or check here for the most current conditions and visitor center hours.
- Phone: 435-648-2800
Things to See and Do at Coral Pink Sand Dunes
One of the most popular activities in the park is of course sledding down the sand dunes!
You can bring your own sled, or rent them at the visitors center.
The rental fee is $25 per board for the day.
However, there is a limited quantity, so it’s best to try and rent one early in the morning.
- Keep your feet up and your weight back so you don’t catch that front edge of the board or take on too much sand!
- Depending on how steep the dune is, you can really get some speed, so choose wisely.
- Hiking back up the hill is a serious workout!
Sandboarding is another way to travel down the dunes.
Sandboards can be rented at the visitors center for $25/day.
I would say that I’m an average snowboarder, so I thought sandboarding would be similar and that it wouldn’t be too hard to learn. Turns out, it was very challenging for me to get the hang of. I took a lot of falls!
There’s plenty of video evidence below:
- Clearly, if you watched the video above, I’m no expert at this activity, but I would recommend starting small. You gain speed fast, so I wouldn’t pick a super steep dune for your first run.
- I did notice that I seemed to go faster without any wax on the board, so after the first run, I just stopped using it.
It seems that most people come to the park to ride their OHV’s on the dunes!
Coral Pink Sand Dunes state park has 1,200 acres of open riding area, making it the perfect way to see the dunes.
There were lots of people riding their ATVs up and around the dunes and it looked like so much fun! I don’t have an ATV, so I did not give this activity a try, but I would love to go back and try it someday.
There are 2 access points within the state park.
- All OHVs must be currently registered and have an orange whiptail flag.
- All operators must have a valid driver’s license or state-recognized certification.
- Riders 17 and under are required to wear a properly-sized helmet at all times.
- Adjacent to the park, there are hundreds of miles of additional trails on BLM land.
- If you don’t have your own ATV, you can book a tour instead.
Hiking on the Dunes
There are no defined trails within the park, however, you are free to wander and explore the dunes as you want.
I spent most of my time hiking out to the larger sand dunes to go sledding and sandboarding.
Hiking to the top of the dunes is a solid workout and the views from the top are amazing! From the day-use parking area, there’s a short paved walk to an overlook with seating.
This is a great option if you don’t want to hike through the sand.
Surrounding the official overlook platform, you’ll find a “nature trail” with lots of signs and interesting info to read as you walk through the sand.
I enjoyed walking along from sign to sign to learn more about the plants and animals that live on the dunes.
Camping in Coral Pink Sand Dunes
There are two campground loops in Coral Pink Sand Dunes.
The campground has restrooms, hot showers, a sewage disposal station, picnic tables, and fire pits.
Sites 1-22 (loop A) are more wooded and closer together.
Sites 23-34 (loop B) have water and electric hookups and are a little more spread out from one another, although there are fewer trees on this loop.
It’s easy to walk to the sand dunes from both campground loops.
I highly recommend that you make a campground reservation since the campground seems to fill up quickly.
Other Camping Options Nearby
Did you forget to make a reservation in advance? No problem.
Luckily, there are plenty of other camping options just outside of the state park on nearby BLM land.
The Ponderosa Grove Campground is a really nice easily accessible campground just outside of the park. The fee is only $5 and each campsite has a picnic table and fire pit.
For free dispersed camping, there are lots of options along Hwy 43 and Hancock Rd. (I saw more options along Hancock Rd.)
Things to See and Do Nearby
Coral Pink Sand Dunes is just one of the many places to see in the Kanab area.
Below are a few other nearby hikes and places to visit on your trip:
- Moqui Cave Museum (paid)
- Moqui Caverns (free 1.5-mile round-trip hike)
- Belly of the Dragon (free 0.5-mile round-trip hike)
- Zion National Park (Utah’s most popular national park!)
- Bryce Canyon National Park (a spectacular hoodoo amphitheater)
That wraps up my guide to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park!
It’s such a fun place to visit and play in the sand. I hope this guide is helpful in planning your own trip.
If you have any questions, just comment below!