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.
**Please read about Swimmer’s Itch at the bottom of our post. It is often very prevalent in the summer at Sand Hollow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Swimmer’s Itch is a big problem at Sand Hollow. It starts occurring once the water reaches a certain temperature. The best way to know if cases have been found is to follow Sand Hollow on Facebook or check their website. It is a very uncomfortable, itchy rash. Some people say that if you sunscreen all over and wash right after, this can help prevent it. But others say none of this helps. Do your research and be prepared.
- Ask about the Junior Desert Ranger program and visit another state park after spending time at Sand Hollow.
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Excellent place to come for vacation 🙂