Utah State Parks Water activities

Sand Hollow State Park

Sand Hollow State Park

Sand Hollow State Park is probably our favorite state park that is focused on water activities. You can boat, fish, or swim in the beautiful reservoir. But we enjoyed this park because it had so much more to offer.

 

First of all, there is a water aspect to this park. If you have a boat or are interested in fishing, it is hard to image a more beautiful setting than the red sandstone and the crystal clear water. We visited in April and the water was still freezing, but there were a few people out boating and the water looked clean and beautiful. In the summer, I’m sure it is a great place for swimming and wading, too.

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The water is very clear. You could see right through it to the red rocks below.

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The water was freezing, but we had to put our feet in just to try! It is very shallow at the edge of the beach which is perfect for little ones.

We drove to the north side of the park first. There is a campground over here, as well as a boat dock. We parked our car near a trailhead, but we walked along the shoreline along the slick rock  for about a quarter mile instead of following the trail up the hill. Our boys threw a ton of rocks into the water! There were tons of Moqui marbles right on the beach. We enjoyed learning about them. All along the way there were redrock crevices and ripples and plenty of flat rocks for skipping. We even saw a few mergansers and other ducks in the water.

Sand Hollow State Park

The water and the red sandstone are so picturesque.

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When you first walk down to the shore, look for the Moqui Marbles. We saw tons of them.

Sand Hollow State Park

We mostly stayed by the water’s edge, but you can walk up along the slick rock and find lots of fun places to climb or crawl into.

Sand Hollow State Park

It’s so beautiful! And so fun! It was the perfect adventure for our three boys who love to explore and throw rocks.

Sand Hollow State Park

In the background you can see the edge where we parked our car.

Sand Hollow State Park

Spring was a beautiful time to visit. The reservoir was full, flowers were blooming, it was still cool outside….

If you walk far enough along, you will come across a waterfall cascading down. We weren’t sure where it originated from, but it flowed down into the Sand Hollow Reservoir. We turned around at this point and slowly made our way back to our car. You can continue past the waterfall all the way out to the point.

Sand Hollow State Park

The water cascades all the way from the top of the hill.

Sand Hollow State Park

This is where it meets the reservoir.

We could have spent all day enjoying the beauty on this side of the State Park.

We could have spent all day enjoying the beauty on this side of the State Park.

After spending time walking the north shore, we drove around to the south shore, which is much different. It is a red sandy beach. There are picnic tables right down by the water, and the beach has a nice gentle slope and doesn’t get steep too fast. We played in the sand for a bit, and put our toes in the freezing water for as long as we could stand. The sand was very soft and we enjoyed walking along the shore.

Sand Hollow State Park

ATVs and people are allowed on this beach. Look at all that red sand!

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We ventured out onto a different beach, but it was just as beautiful.

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Can you see that table in the water? I think the reservoir was very full when we were there.

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We love the red sand!

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The beach was perfect for young kids. Lots of sand and super shallow water for quite a while.

There is also a huge area for ATVs where people were riding motorcycles, four-wheelers, and razors. We don’t have access to these vehicles, but you can rent them at the park. Many people were camping at the campground with their ATVs, and then they could go for a ride right out of the campground. They are even allowed on some of the beach areas.

The sand went on forever. And it was spilling on to the road, so be careful when you are driving your 2-wheel vehicles.

The sand went on forever. And it was spilling on to the road, so be careful when you are driving your 2-wheel vehicles.

We also found out about a really cool Junior Ranger program at this park. It is actually in addition to the JR program, and it is called the Junior Desert Ranger. If you complete the booklet, you get a really cool patch, but it isn’t easy. You must visit Zion NP, Snow Canyon SP, Sand Hollow SP, and Coral Pink Sand Dunes SP. Though we visited three of these parks, we didn’t find out about this patch until the last one, so ask for the booklet at the first one you visit.

 

The fee for Sand Hollow State Park is $10. You will find Sand Hollow south of Hurricane, and east of St. George. If you come from the I-15, take exit 16 and head east toward Hurricane. Turn south on Sand Hollow Rd, and it will take you down to Sand Hollow State Park. You will need to turn left toward the entrance to the park.

You can see all the way from the north side where we threw rocks to the south side beaches in this picture.

You can see all the way from the north side where we threw rocks to the south side beaches in this picture. Go visit Sand Hollow!

 

Tips for Families

  • Take sand toys. Your kids will definitely want to play in the red sandy beaches.
  • Spend time on both sides of the state park. We are so glad we visited the slick rock side and were able to climb around, as well as spending time on the beach side.
  • If you are there in warm weather, make sure to bring lots of sunscreen because it will get hot and sunny.
  • Ask about the Junior Desert Ranger program and visit another state park after spending time at Sand Hollow.