Coral Pink Sand DunesCoral Pink Sand Dunes Geology

Dunes to Mountains to Dunes Again
Millions of years ago the Coral Pink Sand Dunes were dunes of sand, then they changed into Navajo Sandstone, only to once again breakdown and return to piles of sand. This cycle will repeat itself over and over again. Even the towering monoliths of Zion National Park will one day break down into piles of sand.

Throwing Sand Around
The Coral Pink Sand Dunes are a feature of the Colorado Plateau and the Vermilion Cliffs. The dunes are an accumulation of loose sand thought to be ten to fifteen-thousand years old. For a sand dune to form, certain conditions need to exist. High velocity wind (at least 10 mph) must blow in a single direction across an empty desert environment. In addition, there must be a unique influence upon the wind, allowing the suspension and deposit of sand.

Venturi Effect
A notch between the Moquith and Moccasin Mountains funnel the prevailing wind of the Arizona Strip between the two mountains. Fine grains of sand toss and turn in turmoil, wielded by wind. Sand grains are carried through the air and deposited when and where the wind calms; in this case into the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, building a unique desertscape of uninterrupted dunes. This effect is known as the Venturi effect. Wind continues to organize and create hills and flat areas along the dunes. Today a beautiful landscape of sand exists set against a dark backdrop of Vermillion Cliffs.

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 ParkSitting High - There are several hundred feet and two-thousand acres of sand piled along the Sevier Fault and the park is growing. A dune of sand usually accumulates to its mass another fifty to one-hundred fifty feet each year. Sitting at over 6000', the Coral Pink Sand Dunes is the second highest dune in North America, 150' lower than the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado.

Are the Dunes in Arizona or Utah?
The Coral Pink Sand Dunes lie just north of the Utah-Arizona state-line in Utah. The closest town is Mount Carmel Junction, 11 miles away in Utah. Past the state park entrance, the road continues. It becomes a dirt road, that may be impassible when wet, and continues through the Arizona Cane Beds to Highway 389.

Are the Dunes really Coral Pink? This is a matter of opinion. Visitors have suggested they are and they are not. Some say the sands are pink in color and others say they are orange or brown. The pink tint is apparent late and early in the day. The sand is formed from Navajo Sandstone, colored from iron oxide, so it only makes sense that the color of the sand, is in-deed, coral pink or reddish.

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 State Park, Utah

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park


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