November 2017 – Sand Hollow State Park is another jewel in southwestern Utah‘s stunningly beautiful crown of red rock scenery. Situated just 30 miles from Zion National Park, it is a newer state park that opened in 2003, and it boasts a beautiful blue reservoir, vivid orange beaches and a spectacular mountain backdrop.
The man-made lake is bordered at one end by a dam which captures the flow of the Virgin River. At the other end there’s an inviting collection of red rocks. The beaches surrounding the reservoir are filled with vivid orange sand. The overall effect of blue sky, blue water, red rocks and sand is very dramatic and makes for a fun time wandering around with a camera.
The reservoir at Sand Hollow State Park is beloved by people who like to play outside in nature. Out on the water in the distance, we saw some folks in a canoe making their way from shore to shore. The mountains rose behind them in awesome colors as the sun played hide and seek, casting shadows across the hilly contours.
We no longer have our inflatable Hobie kayak, but being here on the water’s edge watching kayakers out on the reservoir got our minds turning. It sure looked like fun out there!
Down at our feet, the water was extremely clear. Tiny wavelets lapped the shore, and we could see every detail of the rocks under the water.
There are several RV campgrounds and camping options within Sand Hollow State Park. Westside Campground has full hookups, paved loops, big sites and wonderful views.
What we loved, though, was being down by the water where the reeds grow thick and tall.
Wonderfully dark storm clouds hung over the mountains late one afternoon, but just as the sun started its final descent into the horizon behind us, it lit up the red rocks on the far shore as if pointing them out with a spot light.
At dawn pastel pinks filled the sky and water.
The orange sand beaches set aside for day use and picnics are endless. Deep soft sand dunes run down to the lake, and big groups of seagulls pierce the air with their haunting calls.
In one spot I caught a reflection of the distant mountains in a mirror-like pool in front of me.
We were blessed to have been able to live on the water in our sailboat for a few years, and I’ve been lucky enough to live on the water in other boats and in a beach house for a few years in previous lives before that.
There is something about a large expanse of water filling a landscape that makes it come alive. It is ever changing, going from placid to fierce, from white to dark blue, and at Sand Hollow it even turns shades of pink, red and orange by the shore.
Sand Hollow State Park has a second campground with paved loops, gravel campsites and hookup options ranging from dry camping to water/electric. There’s also a spiffy toilet and shower building. It’s called Sand Pit Campground, which is a little unfair, because it isn’t a pit and it isn’t any sandier than anywhere else in the park.
I mean, if you go to Sand Hollow, you go to play in the sand and on the beach, right?!
There is also open boondocking (“primitive camping”) too, but you’ve got to scout it out very carefully and evaluate whether your RV can make it down and back on the soft sand trails that lead there. We gave it a shot with our buggy and were glad we have our new truck with its limited slip differential and rock solid four wheel drive.
The view out our door was breathtaking. And what we loved was the way the view was constantly changing.
Claude Monet is famous for his series of impressionist paintings of haystacks. Each painting is unique, and the series shows how the light playing on the haystacks totally changed their look and feel, morning, noon and night.
For the same reasons, we became enraptured by the picnic table at our campsite.
Following Monet’s infinite simplicity in choosing the name “Haystacks,” we call our series of photos “Picnic Table.”
During our stay, not only did the sun and clouds chase each other around the sky, leaving a continuous trail of beautiful artwork behind, but the moon played her part too. During sunset one evening, we caught her silent ascent as she peeked between the clouds and winked at us over the mountains.
Never miss a post — it’s free!
More info about Sand Hollow State Park:
The beach and sand are wonderful to play in at Sand Hollow, but we did see notices posted about what to do if you go swimming and end up with “Swimmer’s Itch.” Read up a bit on this before you jump in for a dip!
- Sand Hollow State Park Official Website
- More about Sand Hollow State Park
- Camping at Sand Hollow – Reserve America
- Sand Hollow Side-by-Side Adventure Rally – We had a blast test driving Polaris and Can-Am side-by-sides!
- Location of Sand Hollow State Park – Interactive Google Maps
Other blog posts from Utah’s Red Rock Country:
- Bryce Canyon in Winter – Snow and Lace on the Red Rock Spires! 01/25/19
- Goblin Valley State Park Utah – One Gigantic Playground! 04/20/18
- Utah Scenic Byway 24 RV Trip – Capitol Reef National Park 04/16/18
- Arches National Park Utah – A Playground of Soaring Red Rock Bridges! 04/21/16
- Moab Utah – Red Rocks and Snowcapped Mountains 04/14/16
- Canyonlands National Park Utah – Hiking in the Needles District! 04/12/16
- Newspaper Rock Utah – Petroglyphs and Rock Art from the Ancients 04/06/16
- Valley of the Gods & Goosenecks State Park, Utah – Beautiful! 04/04/16
- Flaming Gorge Utah – Fiery canyons, a cool river, and nearly tame bighorn sheep 10/02/12
- Capitol Reef National Park Utah – Awe-inspiring! 06/25/12
- Natural Bridges National Monument & Utah’s Bicentennial Highway 06/15/12
- Red Canyon Utah is an Overlooked Treasure 09/02/11
- Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah – Better Than Bryce? 08/30/11
Our most recent posts:
- Black Hills Back Country Byway – Spring Flowers in Arizona! 04/12/19
- Mexican Hat, Utah – A Special Hoodoo in the Red Rocks 04/05/19
- Traces of Antiquity and the Not-So-Ancient in Utah! 03/29/19
- SE Utah – A Mars Colony, Wide-Angle Photography & Snowy Mountains! 03/22/19
- Monument Valley & Hite Scenic Overlook – Stone Towers from Below & Above! 03/15/19