If you have ever driven near East Zion and Kanab, Utah, you have probably seen the signs and turn-offs for Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
But what is it? And is it worth a visit? We all know that debate, should we take the detour, or keep driving? And our answer is emphatic:
YES! Take the exit. Coral Pink Sand Dunes are well worth a visit, even if you are short on time!
Keep reading to learn how to get there, must-dos, fees, rentals, sandboarding, and more!
What is Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park?
So first of all, what is it? Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a state park near East Zion and Kanab, Utah that features a series of sand dunes that are coral pink in color!
The state park website says it best:
“Venture onto a shifting sea of red sand. Changed by winds, these mountains and hills of sand can move as much as 50 feet per year. With areas for off-highway vehicle enthusiasts and those with non-motorized pursuits, the dunes offer adventures for all.”
How Do You Get to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park?
Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a great destination for adventurers young and old. With endless sand to play in, you can ride ATVs, sandboard, sled, hike, and camp.
The Dunes are located 5 hours south of Salt Lake City, near Kanab and East Zion.
Kanab is 27 minutes (20 miles) from the dunes, and East Zion is 25 minutes (20 miles) from the dunes.
To reach Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park you need to take Highway 89. There are two turn-offs, one closer to East Zion and one closer to Kanab. Once you have made the turn-off, you will drive 12 miles to the state park fee station. From there it is a short drive to park and begin your walk to the dunes.
- Learn Can You Drive In Zion? (What You Need To Know).
- Visiting Zion and need a game plan? Check out our itinerary.
The state park does require a fee to visit! Day-use fees are ~$10 per vehicle or ~$5 for Utah seniors.
You can purchase a Utah State Parks Pass which will give you free entry into every Utah State Park for one annual year for ~$125. It expires on December 31st of the year you purchase it.
Things to Do at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park?
There are so many awesome things to do in Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, listed below are some of our FAVORITES:
One of the best things to do at the dunes is to rent (or bring your own) a sandboard or sand sled!
You can grab these from the visitor center/fee booth for ~$25 a board, which includes a wax stick to keep the board sliding down the dunes smoothly.
We had tons of fun going up and down the dunes and enjoyed watching other groups do the same. As the dunes slope upwards, it is easy to pick a spot that would be good for young kids, older kids, and even adults to go down.
Play in the Sand
The dunes are basically a massive sandbox. If you have kids, bring along sand toys!
Our kids played happily for hours in the sand here both times we visited.
Be sure to bring sunscreen, plenty of water, and snacks as it is a little bit of a trek from where you park to the dunes. You won’t want to go back and forth to fetch things from your car!
One of the major draws to visiting Coral Pink Sand Dunes is all the exciting off-roading! Imagine racing through coral sand dunes on an ATV with endless hills before you and clear blue skies above you.
The state park offers ATV tours that you can book directly from their website, or you can tow in your own off-roading vehicles.
- Enjoy another off-roading adventure at Red Canyon Slot (Peek-a-boo).
- Find more fun things to do in the area in 9 Things We Love To Do NEAR Zion National Park.
All Ways Adventure Rappelling Tours
If you are a thrill seeker, this tour is for you!
All Ways Adventure Rappelling Tours describes the tour as:
“Rappelling adventure at Coral Pink Sand Dunes Park. It’s an exciting 1.5-2 hour long tour where our guests experience the thrill of hanging over a cliff edge with sweeping views of the sand dunes behind them.”
These tours can be booked directly from the State Park Website.
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Hiking is another of the many activities you can do at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
Walk 0.8 miles to the observation deck and view the dunes from a distance.
Or walk out onto the dunes and explore. Walk as far as you choose. This would include walking through deep sand which can be very tiring. However, it is very interesting to see the dunes up close and walk them.
- Learn some great tips for hiking in the desert.
- Discover Wire Pass; another great hike in the area.
- Check out our recommended gear for hiking.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park has many campsites available for tents and RVs.
- The Old Campground (no hookups) is $25/ single site, $50/ double site.
- New Campground (water & electric available) $40/ site.
- Group campsites are also available.
The amenities the campground has to offer are:
- Comfort Station
- Drinking Water
- Dump Station
- Hiking Trail
- Hot Showers
- Interpretive/ Nature Programs
- Modern Restrooms
- Off-Highway Vehicle Area
- Picnic Tables
- Sewage Disposal Station
- Visitor Center
- Drinking Water
When is the Best Time of Year to Visit?
The best times to visit Coral Pink Sand Dunes are the spring and fall when temperatures are mild.
The sand on the dunes can get quite hot or cold depending on the weather and with full sun and no shade, the hot summer heat can be intense.
In winter, there can be cold temperatures and snow in the area.
The walk to and from the dunes can be tiring and even worse when compounded with the heat, so please take that into account before visiting!
If you go during the summer, be sure to visit early in the day or after the sun begins to go down so that the weather is easier to handle.
Don’t forget to wear sunscreen during your visit any time of the year and bring plenty of water!
Where to Eat
There are no restaurants inside the state park or close to any of the entrances. The closest restaurants are in Orderville or Mt. Carmel area and Kanab. Each of these is a good 20-30 minute drive from the park.
For this reason, we suggest packing food and bringing it into the park.
If you would like to eat out, here are some restaurants we suggest nearby.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this retro spot serves up classic American favorites, homemade pies, fresh-baked bread, and more!
Archie’s Food to Die For
This burger joint has rave reviews and classic burgers, fries, Philly steak sandwiches, and chicken fingers. It is the perfect quick bite for the whole family.
Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen
If you are looking for a great pizza spot and vegetarian dishes, don’t pass over Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen. This is one of our favorite places to eat in Kanab.
Rocking V Cafe
One of the most loved restaurants in Kanab, Rocking V is right in the heart of town and features everything from burgers and chicken to bison tenderloin and vegetarian options.
This up-scale social style restaurant has incredible dishes such as prime rib, duck lo mein, scallops, pork belly with watermelon, and many other amazing choices.
- Looking for somewhere to eat near Zion? Read all about The Best Dining Spots In Zion & Springdale.
What is There to Do Near Coral Pink Sand Dunes?
Coral Pink Sand Dunes is nearby many other great outdoor adventures and popular destinations. Listed below are links to nearby adventures to visit while you are on your way to or from Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
- Zion National Park East Entrance is only 20-30 minutes from Coral Pink Sand Dunes and is an easy way to access Zion National Park from a much less busy entrance.
- Kanab is one of our favorite little cities in Utah that packs a BIG adventure! From slot canyons to hoodoos, Kanab has many hidden gems.
- Page, Arizona home of Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon. Page is an adventurer’s paradise.
What Else Do I Need to Know?
Zion National Park is crowded!
But that’s not all! Our itinerary includes a free audio guide to listen to while driving with over 2-hours of stories about the park!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO ZION
ZION TRIP PLANNER: To read or watch all of our content about Zion National Park, check out our Zion Homepage
WHERE TO EAT: Check out the best places to eat in and near Zion National Park.
WATCH: Enjoy videos of gorgeous Zion National Park while learning our best tips for visiting by watching our Zion YouTube Playlist