After picking up Boomer from “dog care” where he appeared to be having way too much fun, we headed back to Zion National Park. I had planned on spending the night in Kanab Utah with a stop over at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes Utah State Park.
Traffic was heavy while leaving the Zion, however, well organized. Note that the Zion-Mount Carmel highway is peppered with many tunnels along with restrictions for going through the tunnels. If your vehicle is 11’4″ feet tall (3.47 meters) or taller or 7’10” feet (2.16 meters) wide or wider you will need to purchase a traffic control pass for $15 at the park entrance. This pass grants you park ranger traffic assistance as you pass through the tunnels with your large and in charge vehicle!
After we passed through the tunnels we stopped briefly to take in one last bit of Zion, saying goodbye to the beautiful park before we moved on to the sand dunes.
The sky began to darken and the weather moved in fast and furious. The water began to pool on the road as sheets of rain pelted my truck. It was again exciting to be me as I got to test my driving skills with my bald tires and lack of breaks!
The clouds broke apart briefly as we arrived to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. Because this is a state park Boomer was allowed to walk around with me on leash. We got out of the truck and in hindsight I wish I would have switched my shoes out from sneakers to sandals… you can probably guess why if you have ever walked on (make that in) sand… EVER!!
The sand is an impressive color of deep pink which comes from the Navajo sandstone that makes up most of the rocky mountains in southern Utah. Apparently Boomer thought the sand smelled nice too…
As we stood looking at the dunes I noticed OHV (off highway vehicles) tire tracks all over the dunes. Although I could hear the OHVs I never did see any of them. I had read while researching for this trip that the OHVs can be quite disruptive to visitors during the summer months. They can use about 90% of the park so there really is no way to avoid them… but you may be lucky like me and only hear them!
Boomer and I took a short nature trail that had interpretive signs about the flora of the park but our walk was cut short as the weather started to pick up again. The wind began to whip around creating some spin drifts off the top of the dunes. Unfortunately the wind became overwhelming as it started pelting us in the face.
To add to the “sand storm” it started to rain. Sigh. I was disappointed that our visit was cut short but I wasn’t about to roll the dice on which one of us was going to win, Mother Nature or us! She clearly had the upper hand during most of our visit to Utah.
If you would like to visit Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park the park is located off of Utah Highway 89. I never could find an actual address for the GPS but the turn off is well marked. There is a $6 state daily park fee per car with hours dawn to dusk. Lastly I recommend wearing sandals if you are going to walk around… tennis shoes and sand are never a good combo!