Tips For Visiting Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

If you are looking for fun outdoor activities like hiking, off-roading, and sand boarding then visiting Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park located in Kanab, Utah is the place to visit.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes is on our bucket list of Utah State Parks where you’ll find dunes of coral pink sand. Boasting over 2000 acres of sand in this 3730 acre state park means lot’s of options for OHV fun.

visiting Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah

Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a short 30 minute drive from the east entrance of Zion National Park. It’s also only 30 minutes away from the fun town of Kanab, Utah!

We have lived in and traveled around Utah for over 20 years. The number one tip we have for visiting Utah is to have the right clothing and gear for the weather conditions for location you’ll visit. Use our Utah Packing Lists to see what we recommend for visiting any time of year. Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

Utah packing lists for spring summer fall and winter
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Visiting Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Located in southern Utah near the town of Kanab, Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a unique geological formation that attracts thousands of visitors every year. These stunning sand dunes stretch over 3,000 acres and are known for their vibrant pink hue. The dunes were formed from Navajo sandstone that has been eroded over time, creating this one-of-a-kind landscape.

Why is The Sand Red?

Sand is usually brown, unless you are at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, then it’s a unique reddish color. This color is a result from oxidized iron that has been through a chemical reaction due to exposure to the air or oxygenated water.

Years of erosion of the pink Navajo Sandstone helps give this sand a beautiful color, which makes the Coral Pink Sand Dunes very unique and a must-see on your list of places to visit in Utah.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park Utah
Coral Pink Sand dunes in the winter

Directions to Coral Pink Sand Dunes

From Kanab drive north on US 89 for 7.5 miles then turn left on Hancock Rd (signed). After 9.5 miles, turn left on Coral Pink Sand Dune Road. Travel 2.5 miles to the park entrance.

From Zion’s East Entrance drive 13 miles east on Route 9 to US 89. Turn right on US 89, driving south for 3.5 miles. Turn right on County Road 43 (signed) and continue south for 11 miles to the entrance station

Coral Pink Sand Dunes Operating Hours and Best Time to Visit

Coral Pink Sand Dunes is on our list of things to do near Zion National Park. As you’re planning your trip to Zion, be sure to add a half-day or full-day excursion to this state park.

The park is open year round during daylight hours. Outdoor activities like hiking, sand boarding and ATVing can be done any time of year. Keep in mind that summer temperatures are hot, near 100 degrees F! If you visit in the summer, we suggest visiting in the morning or late afternoon when the temperatures aren’t so hot.

At any time of year, you’ll want to:

Are Dogs Allowed at Coral Pink Sand Dunes?

Yes, your 4-legged friends are always welcome as long as they are on a 6-foot leash and you clean up after them when they do their business.

Dogs love to play in the sand just as much as us humans do! Never leave your dog in your vehicle while you explore the park.

ATV tracks at Coral Pink Sand Dunes
ATV tracks atCoral Pink Sand Dunes

Things To Do At Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Check out this map of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes so you can get a feel for the area before heading there. It will also help you plan what to do. Here are a couple fun things to try.

Sand Boarding and Sand Sledding at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

You can rent sand boards (stand-up) and sand sleds (sit-down) at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes Visitor Center. They are rented on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is a fee to rent sand boards and sand sleds at Coral Pink Sand Dunes. Be sure you know the current Visitor Center hours for the time you’ll visit.

Boarding and sledding down the dunes is a fun activity! Climbing the hills is a bit of a chore, but well worth it!

ATV riding at Coral Pink Sand Dunes
ATV at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Coral Pink Sand Dunes ATV Riding

About 90% of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park are open for ATVs. It’s a blast zipping around the sand dunes in an OHV (off-highway vehicle). You can rent ATVs or book a tour with Coral Pink ATV Tours.

There are OHV safety tips and rules you’ll need to know:

  • WHIPTAIL FLAG: All riders must have an orange whiptail flag on their off-highway vehicles.
  • HELMET: Utah law requires that all riders under 18 must wear a properly sized and fastened helmet. It’s strongly recommended that ALL riders wear a helmet.
  • ZERO TOLERANCE: DUI laws apply to OHVs. If you’re going to drink, don’t drive and don’t ride.
  • EDUCATION: Youth must be certified to legally operate an OHV on public lands.
  • CARRYING PASSENGERS: Just DON’T do it! Obey the recommendations on the machine. Carrying passengers changes the balance, weight, and handling.
  • ADULT SUPERVISION: Required for anyone if under 18; no valid driver’s license or using a learners permit requires; operating an OHV on a public highway open to motor vehicles and not exclusively reserved for OHV use.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes hiking
Coral Pink Sand Dunes hiking

Hiking at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Hiking is the perfect way to spend time in the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. The Nature Trail is the only official hike hike in the park. It’s a short, half-mile walk.

But the dunes are open for you to explore! We recommend starting at the viewpoint overlook to decide where you want to go.

There are a few large dunes that become the favorite spots for people to climb. Remember that walking in sand is pretty good exercise, and the landscape is bigger than it looks!

You may not enjoy the sand dunes on a windy day when the sand pelts your face, gets in your eyes, and plays havoc with your camera!

wildflowers at Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Wildflowers at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Photographing Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Sand dunes are fun locations to take landscape photos. Look for lines, shapes, patterns and contrast of light and shadow. Use basic photography techniques to fill the frame to create abstract images.

There are a few things to keep in mind regarding your camera gear:

  • Use weatherproof camera equipment
  • Don’t change lenses if it’s windy
  • A clear filter can be used to protect your lens
  • Pack a lightweight travel tripod that you can clean
Coral Pink Sand Dunes at sunset
Golden hour sunset at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Watching the Sunset at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

The golden hour light at Coral Pink Sand Dunes is stunning! The sandy landscape glows with vibrant pink/orange tones.

There’s nothing like sitting atop the dunes to watch the sun set. And photographers are blown away by the pictures they can take.

If you can time your visit to be there in the late afternoon to watch sunset, you’re in for a treat!

Utah Travel Guides & Maps

Utah guides and maps

Where to Stay Near Coral Pink Sand Dunes

There is a 34 site campground open year-round for tent and RV camping – reservations for camping at Coral Pink Sand Dunes are recommended. The campground offers flush toilets, showers, drinking water, picnic tables, and a dump station.

The Ponderosa Grove Campground is available for camping on BLM land near the state park.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes are close to both Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks with many lodging options between the two parks:

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