Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Twelve miles off U.S. Highway 89 near Kanab, lies the wide-sweeping expanse of Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. It is a wonderful place for riding off-highway vehicles, taking photographs or just playing in the sand. The park has a 22 unit pull-through campground, modern rest rooms, showers, waste disposal station and blacktop roads. It serves as an excellent base camp for exploring Utah's extraordinary scenery. Within a short drive are Cedar Breaks National Monument, Kodachrome Basin State Park, Lake Powell, Zion, Bryce Canyon and Grand Canyon.
The geology of the sand dunes is an intriguing subject. The sand comes from Navajo sandstone from the geologic period call Middle Jurassic. The same iron oxides and minerals that give us spectacular red rock country are responsible for this landscape of coral pink sand.
Sand dunes are created by three factors: Sand, high winds, and a unique influence upon the wind. The notch between the Moquith and Moccasin mountains causes this unique influence. The wind is funneled through the notch, thereby increasing wind velocity to a point where it can carry sand grains from the eroding Navajo sandstone.
This phenomenon is known as the Venturi Affect. Once the wind passes through the notch and into the open valley, the wind velocity decreases, causing the sand to be deposited. These dunes are estimated at 10,000 to 15,000 years old.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes support a diverse population of insects, including the Coral Pink tiger beetle that is found only here. Melting snow often creates small ponds on the dunes that support amphibians such as salamanders and toads.