Coral Pink Sand Dunes


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The Ultimate Southwest Vacation includes Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park!

Stay in Mt. Carmel Jct., the heart of the parks, and visit the treasures of the Southwest.

Grand Staircase 9 miles
Sand Dunes 11 miles
Zion Park 12 miles
Dixie Forest 22 miles
Cedar Breaks 45 miles
Red Canyon 47 miles
Coyote Butte 57 miles
Bryce Canyon 60 miles
South Canyon 75 miles
North Rim 85 miles
Toroweap 90 miles

Plan your Coral Pink Sand Dunes Vacation with our Utah Maps and Information

In these pages you will find insiders information on Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. This detailed guide includes road maps, park maps, pictures, trail beta, backpacking, history, fees, geology, flora, fauna, campgrounds and things for kids to do.

Making summer memories in the Utah national parks, state parks and Utah national monuments.



Zion National Park Map

Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map
Southern Utah Map

Coral Pink Sand Dunes
From Zion National Park. Exit Zion Park through the east entrance and drive 12 miles to the junction U-9 & US-89. This is Mount Carmel Junction. Turn south on US-89. Turn-off to the sand dunes 3 miles from Mt. Carmel Junction. Follow Yellow Jacket road for 8 miles to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

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Coral Pink Sand Dunes
The Coral Pink Sand Dunes is surrounded by divergent landscape with undulating humps of layered desert sand. Take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the desert.

I walked barefoot - the only way to walk on a muddy road.

-- Laurie Gough




Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Among Southern Utah's profusion of mountains, forming some of the best national parks in the world, is the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. As the only major dunes on the Colorado Plateau, the Coral Pink Sand Dunes draw numerous visitors. Southeast of Zion National Park and twelve miles from Mount Carmel Junction, the giant sand box is set in vacation paradise. Rosy buttes of sand contrast with remarkable dark colored cliffs, serving as the ideal backdrop for this Utah state park. Sweeping hills of sand greet visitors to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes long before the official entrance to the state park. During the scenic drive to the entrance, pinions and ponderosa pine line the skyline. Just out your car window, delicate white and pumpkin colored flowers flitter in the subtle breeze.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Established as a Utah state park in 1963, the Coral Pink Sand Dunes offers an alternative to the towering monoliths and delicate hoodoos of the national parks and monuments of the area.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes Location

A scenic 8 mile paved road, off US-89, 3 miles from Mount Carmel Junction, travels to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. The road continues past the sand dunes entrance, becoming a graded dirt road, and runs through the Arizona Cane Beds. Driving down the paved road to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, tall pine trees decorate the mountains on both sides. Among those forested lands are 2000 acres of sand for off-road thrill seekers and visitors on foot.

Eroded Coral Pink Sandstone

The Utah state park is a 3730 acre recreation area with over 2000 acres of sand to play in. Sitting at an elevation of 6000', the dunes enjoy mild winters and warm summers. Several hundred feet of sand have laid down along the 200 mile long Sevier Fault. A "notch" between the Moquith and Moccasin Mountains direct the windblown sand (the venturi effect) to the southwest corner of Southern Utah. The reddish colored sand was supplied courtesy of ancient Navajo sandstone carried from the Virgin River to the bottom of the Cane Beds.

Where Stars Shine Bright

Sun rays bounce off undulating humps of sand all day, but nights have another story. As the sun fades, the darkened playground grows silent. Quiet, peaceful and warm. Clear skies grow dark, then slowly light up again. First a scattering of bright stars, then suddenly millions of brilliant lights twinkle in the black dome above. This is a wonder for city dwellers, use to city skies, masked by light pollution. The radiance of a full moon drenches the land, burning in the ebony sky. Naked toes will delight in a moonlit walk, digging into grainy, tepid sand. A walk on the dunes at night is magical.


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Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Some plants readily take on the forms and habits of society, but generally speaking soon return to primitive simplicity and too like a weed of cultivation feel a constant tendency to return to primitive wildness.

-- John Muir

Photo: Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Photography by Tanya

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