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Ah, the desert.
My friend thinks I’m nuts, but I absolutely love the Utah desert. I love the red rocks, the amazingly hardy plants, and the quiet uniqueness of it all. There is just something about it that brings peace to my soul.
This past week was Spring Break for my kids, so we packed up the truck and headed south for a few days. The original plan was to camp in Capitol Reef, which is one of my happy places, but there was some really cold weather and we had a new baby girl coming with us. Instead of camping in the cold, we headed to Sand Hollow.
It is snowing outside as I write this post… welcome to Utah in the spring!
So, needless to say, I am sure missing the sand and sun.
Here’s the deets in case your fam is craving a little red dirt fun!
Sand Hollow is located in Hurricane, Utah, about 15 miles east of St. George.
It’s the newest State Park in Utah and is around 20,000 acres of sand, water, and rock. There are camping spots for all levels of campers from the big toy hauling 5th wheels to primitive tent dwellers. Prices range from $15 per night for primitive camping (no facilities) to $65 a night for group sites. Several campgrounds have full hookups, restrooms, and water.
We tent camped in the South Shore Primitive campsites. You just drive in and pick a spot to set up camp. We got lucky and got a nice sandy place in the trees that even had a picnic table. There are no facilities at this particular camp site, but you are right on the sandy beach.
There were some port-a-pottys outside the campground, next to the road.
Warning: they didn’t have TP half the time so plan to pack your own, oh and hand sanitizer because, yeah.
I totally just posted a pic of outhouses on my blog. I’m not really sure what to think of myself. Haha! I just want you to get a good idea of what to plan for, because I love y’all like that.
There is tons of beach to play on. If you are more of the hotel type, then maybe a day trip into the park and a picnic on the beach would be more your style. There are plenty of places near the water to lay out a blanket and idle away the time. I don’t have a photo of it, but there was a beautiful little picnic spot that had several trees, shade, and lots of picnic tables. If you can’t get that spot or want to be closer to the water, you may want a pop up canopy to give you a break from the sun.
The fun part about this park is that you can ride OHV (off highway vehicles) all over! You can ride on the beaches, up in the sand dunes, and even around your camp.
Just know the limitations of your vehicle because you can definitely get stuck!
We had to tow out some Pleasant Grove ball players after they partied all weekend, buried mommy’s Liberty to the axles, and tanked the 4 wheel drive. By the way, let’s teach our children to say please, yes ma’am, and thank you… the world is a much better place when you are kind and grateful. My sleep deprived sister almost went postal, but that’s a story for another day. ;) Don’t mess with a lady who has recently given birth and hasn’t slept in weeks, it ain’t pretty!
I pity that poor boy who had to take that car home to his folks. I have a feeling he learned his lesson. Cute kid, but might want to wade a little deeper into the friend pool. (Kid, if you ever read this, High School is hard! Trust me, I’ve been there, at your very school in fact. The thing is, sooner than you know it will be over. Don’t waste your time trying to impress the popular kids because once they hit the real world, they ain’t cool anymore, they’re just like everybody else. Make friends who are kind, smart, funny, respectful, and have your back. Those are the people that will stick by your side when the going gets tough and not stand watching you try to dig yourself out without lending a hand.)
And, I’m going off on a tangent, aren’t I?
Anyhoooooo, sand dunes…
Once you drive your ATVs, Razors, dirt bikes, or mommy’s Liberty through this tunnel you are free to play!
There are trails, rocks to climb, and tons of sand.
We found this awesome dune and ended up there two different times in 2 days because the kids loved it so much. It’s the softest sand! You can’t help but want to lose your shoes and play barefoot in it. So fun!
There was a family there that had a big blue exercise ball that they were bouncing down the sand dunes with. It was hilarious and looked like a blast. My son is determined to bring one next time we go.
One word of caution though, if you want to play in the dunes, make sure to go in the morning because the sand really heats up later in the day. Our second day of dunes wasn’t nearly as fun because our feet were on fire!
When my youngest got tired of climbing up the steep dunes, I took her over to climb around on these awesome rocks. It made me feel a little better about not being in Capitol Reef.
Isn’t the contrast between the red sandstone and the blue sky so amazing?
Utah is such a gorgeous place!
This happy girl thinks so, too.
When we had had our fill of sand, we headed back to camp and let the kids play on the beach.
The water is really shallow around the shore which helps a mama feel a lot safer about letting her munchkins explore.
Pack swimsuits and towels, even if you think you just want to ride OHVs.
Kids just gravitate to the water, they can’t help themselves.
Oh, and don’t forget sand pails and shovels!
This sand is perfect for making castles.
Just know that you will be finding sand in EVERYTHING for the next 3 months. My dryer has a sand dune growing in the lint trap. It’s seriously frightening.
The photo below gives you a good idea of where we camped in comparison with the water.
(And, let’s all just ignore that my watermark cut off the word water, mmmkay? I’m picking my battles.)
The kids were excited to find out that they had 2 different patches, for their adventure bags, in the gift shop. My son chose the one with the 4 wheelers and my girls picked the blue lake patch.
My new sister-in-law even caught the adventure bag bug and started collecting patches of her own.
Yay for 30 year old family traditions that carry on!
The sunset on the last evening we were there was stunning and so incredibly peaceful.
As we sat around the campfire, playing guitar, singing songs, and doing our best to keep my nephew from sticking somebody in the eye with a marshmallow roaster, I couldn’t help but feel such a love for my family, God’s creations, and my home state.
Proud to be homegrown.
If you haven’t been to Sand Hollow yet, it is a must!
Just don’t forget:
- Swimsuit & Towel
- Shade Canopy or Awning
- Flag for your OHV
- Toliet Paper (to take with you to the outhouse! Really my only complaint about the park.)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Sand Toys for the Kiddos
- Drinking Water
For more on our adventure, come back next Thursday and I’ll tell you all about our new favorite hike that is only a short drive up the road from Sand Hollow.
If you just had Spring Break, where did you go?
Share with me, I’m always looking for new adventures and fun!