We recently visited Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park for the first time, and let me just say, it won't be the last! It was incredible. The dunes are located near Kanab, Utah which is about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City. It is easily accessible and simple to find with Google Maps.
We learned from online reading and signs in the park the dunes are formed from something called the Venturi Effect. The is the wind sweeping through the 2 mountains- Moquith and Moccasin. They are an estimated 10,000 years old! So cool, right?
Camping at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
We were able to camp out in the campground in Coral Pink Sand Dunes. I highly recommend reserving early and camping onsite. It is an expensive campsite, but it you like onsite water, bathrooms and showers, it is well worth the cost. It is a popular site for photographers and off roaders, so make sure and book early. Even if you aren't camping, you should still visit, it's only a $10 entrance fee.
Now, on to the dunes. We went in early May, which is a great time of year to go. We had highs during the day of about 80, but down to 50 degrees at night. We love these temps. Any later in the summer and you will be dealing with southern Utah heat. I imagine the fall would also be nice, but I can't vouch for that!
Sledding the Dunes
It was recommended to bring your sleds for the dunes. I am not sure where I read this, but your average snow sled is NOT going to work. I am not sure who recommended this but don't do it. They have sand sleds and boards for rent at the visitor's center. If you don't own your own, rent them there.
I had to add this series of photos to the post as they are just so funny! My son decided if he got a really good running start and jump, the sled would work. So, here he is mid-jump. You can see from his face he is feeling excited!
Second photo, he is starting to look a little worried- and rightly so.
I love his friend's face in this one. He knows what is coming. You can also see my son is starting to look a little worried too.
The sand isn't nearly as soft as it looks on impact.
And doesn't seem to be getting any better. In case you are worried, his tailbone survived. He had a little soreness but survived.
The kids were all so dirty when it was all over, but they really loved it!
The hubby and I enjoyed the dunes. We did not try and sled down. Also, as another side note, walking the dunes is great exercise. If I did this every day, I would be RIPPED!
My son had to try one more time with the board. Same results, only not as painful :).
Our little Cavapoo, Cookie loved the dunes!! He was running like crazy up and down and was so filthy when it was over.
Other activities at Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Now, if you want a little more action than hiking, sledding, and boarding the dunes, there is plenty of area for ATVS. Bring your own, and leave directly from the campsite and park. Don't have your own? There are plenty of rentals in the area and tours. My hubby loves this kind of stuff and we contemplated doing it but decided against it this time, but it will happen next time!
The photo below is of the dunes at sunset. This was the first time we really saw them as coral pink. During the day, they are definitely more orange, as shown in the photos above.
Here are our family Lego minifigs who make every trip with us. Well, this is our family, plus one for my son's friend who also came.
So, just to wrap it up, this area should make your list soon. It was beautiful. It is a trip we will make again. It is an area most people will enjoy. So get out there and enjoy this amazing area!