Gunlock State Park is best to visit in the spring when the reservoir overflows its banks causing and amazing series of waterfalls. In fact, Gunlock Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the state, but it can only be visited during Spring runoff, so check the state park website for conditions. This waterfall is so seasonal, that it doesn’t happen every year.
A word of caution: Twice this season (2023) Gunlock Falls has made the news, once for a drowning, and once for a serious enough fall that it put a young girl in the hospital. The reason for these tragedies is that people want to get too close. When we were there, we saw the overly daring jumping over large falls or wading through the swift water. We recommend that you make safety your priority, particularly if you have little ones. We don’t want to see you on the news, too!
Visiting Gunlock Falls is easy. There is a wide parking area with a QR code to help you pay the $10 fee. Be sure to pay, as our state parks rely on these fees to stay in operation. From the sign, walk steeply down the trail. The walk flattens out after just a few yards and crosses over toward the falls. Then the trail starts to climb again. It’s only a hundred yards each way, but the trail is rocky and steep as you near the top of the falls. This short walk is through the sand and over the slick rock, so we recommend wearing good shoes. You can walk to your left at several openings to see the falls, or you can hike all the way to the top to see the reservoir.
Gunlock Falls is gorgeous because of the red rocks and because it is quite large with so many different waterfalls all happening at once. It is also a fun spot, since this falls only shows up some years. It makes you feel as if you were luckily enough to see something rare.
We found that those staying on the near side of the falls, and looking at the chutes coming down were safe, particularly if they stayed back from the edge. Those who have to cross to the middle for photos are the ones placing themselves in danger, so please be safe!
Unless you plan to use the reservoir above, there is not much else to see at Gunlock State Park. Still, it is well worth the fee to see the amazing Gunlock Falls waterfall, which makes it quite popular.
Gunlock State Park is about 13 miles northwest of St. George, Utah. We used Google Maps to put Gunlock State Park into our phone. Just before you get to the entrance for the Gunlock Reservoir, there is a large parking lot on the side of the road and you can see the falls. Park here, pay the fee, and hike over to the falls.