Coral Pink Sand Dunes floraCoral Pink Sand Dunes Vegetation - Flora

Although the sand dunes are set at a 6000' elevation, the winters are mild. They get snow just a few times each year. Summers are dry, until September, when the rains begin. Although moisture is scarce, a variety of plants, trees and flowers exist. These hardy plants include the ponderosa pine, pinyon pine, Welsh's milkweed, escarpment milk vetch, annual paintbrush, Rocky Mountain bee plant, coral root, Brandegee's sand plant, golden bush, flax flower, sweet clover, Palmer's penstemon, buttercup, globe mallow, serviceberry, Mormon tea, cliffrose, gambel oak and dune grasses that reach up to 6' tall.

Unusual Eco-Zone
There are two distinct vegetation zones within the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The elevation where most spend time is 6000'. It is where wildflowers, grass, pinyon pines, Utah junipers and yucca cactus thrive and work to stabilize the dunes. Above 6000', the towering ponderosa pines are evident. These Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pines are the predominant pine of the area.

Ponderosa Pine
The ponderosa pine has a unique butterscotch odor and commonly grows at the higher elevations, ranging 6000' to 9000', in Southern Utah. This tree does well in the arid climate of the Southwest. It is able to live on very little moisture. The needles are long and grouped into bundles of three. Notice how branches are absent in the first section of the tree. Seedlings as well as trees at various mature stages. The few vernal (ephemeral) pools existing at the dunes are often associated with stands of ponderosa pine.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Bryce Canyon National Park Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona - North Rim Map Red Canyon, Dixie National Forest, Utah Lodging: Zion National Park Zion National Park Cedar Breks National Monument, Utah Dixie National Forest: Cedar Mountain Zion National Park Map Coral Pink Sand Dunes Map Zion National Park Lodging Cedar Breaks and Dixie National Forest Map Bryce Canyon and Red Canyon Map Grand Staircase-Escalante Map Zion Book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National ParkFlowers on
the Dunes
Few flowers live on the undulating sands of the dunes. The muted pinks and yellows give color to the miles of pink sands. A fewdelicate wild flowers actually thrive in the harsh environment including the dune sunflower and dune evening primrose.

Desert Globe Mallow - Seen in the banner for this page, the desert globe mallow blooms summer to fall. Native Americans chewed the plant and used it as a burn poultice.

Dune Evening Primrose - Also seen in the banner, the fragrant and delicate primrose opens its petals at sunset and keeps them open until the heat of the day causes them to wilt.

Dune Sunflower - This flower is related to the common sunflower but it has adapted to its sandy environment. This flower blooms in the spring and sometimes again in the fall.

Directions to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Plan your Coral Pink Sand Dunes Vacation with our
Utah Maps and Information

Coral Pink Sand Dunes from Zion National Park
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. Lodging for Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Coral Pink Sand Dunes from
Utah Highway 59 & Arizona 389

From Hurricane, Utah take Utah 59 to Arizona 389 just past Colorado City look for the road leading to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. It will come out 3 miles from Mt. Carmel Junction, Utah. Do not travel through the dunes when it's been raining or the roads are wet from snow.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes through Fredonia, Arizona
From Hurricane, Utah take Utah 59 to Arizona 389 and travel to Fredonia, Arizona, then to Kanab, Utah. Drive on US Highway toward Mt. Carmel Junction, turning at the signed entranced to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.


Coral Pink Sand Dunes flora

Hardy flora thrive at the Sand Dunes


Lodging Zion National Park
Lodging Zion National ParkLodging and services are available on the gorgeous east side of Zion National Park, where guests are close to Zion National Park (12 miles), Bryce Canyon National Park (60 miles), Cedar Breaks National Monument (45 miles), Coral Pink Sand Dunes (12 miles), and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon (85 miles). It's where city traffic is absent and the skies are bright and clean.




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Written by the authors of the book: Favorite Hikes in and around Zion National Park

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Map: Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Moquith Mountain US Highway 89 Southern Utah Backways Southern Utah Scenic Byways