Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Coral Pink Sand Dunes

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Ripples in the Sand at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes

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Shifting Sands of the
Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Sand dunes cover about 20-percent of the world's deserts, and the world's deserts occupy about one-third of the planets surface. That's a lot of dunes and they all have some things in common. One of those things is - ripples. You will see them all over the Coral Pink Sand Dunes - ripples in the sand.  They are of course made up of sand particles that have been blown to represent the most recent strong wind directions. Not just any wind can make a ripple, it needs to be moving about 24 miles-per-hour. It is harder for the wind to move, the coarser grains of sand accumulated at the crest of a ripple. The space and height between crests increases with increased wind speed unless the wind is particularly heavy, then the opposite occurs, the ripples tend to flatten.  

 

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Fragile and Complex Dune Ecosystem

Have you visited Zion National Park, located near the Coral Pink Sand Dunes?  At one time those amazing mountain were dunes of sand - several thousand feet tall dunes. It was long, long ago however, but one day they will again become piles of sand.  Imagine the power and time it would take to break down the Great White Throne in Zion, it will be slow, but it will happen. Forces of nature break down rock into grains of sand, so as you can see, sand is broken down rock particles. The Coral Pink Sand Dunes were named due to their color which comes from the type of rock that was broken down to form the dunes - Navajo sandstone. The Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a complex and magnificent structure that took a long time to form. The park is not a finished product however, the dunes are constantly changing as wind rearranges its structure. Water is important for animals and plants to be able to survive at the dunes. Rain and snow filter through the ground until it hits Navajo Sandstone, it then emerges from the dune in places like Sand Spring.  These types of ephemeral pools are found in the northern section of the dunes in the Wilderness Study Area. The pools usually dry up each year before July.

Moquith Mountain Wilderness

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes are governed by the Utah Division of Parks and Recreation and by the Bureau of Land Management. The Coral Pink Sand Dunes is an elongated and active dune field. It is the second highest dune field in the country. The dunes area is about 3,500 acres. The northern section of about 1,500 acres is part of the Moquith Mountain Wilderness. The southern section of about 2,000 acres is the state park. Moquith Mountain is a 7,000 ft. plateau of mountain , dunes and forested land.  The White Cliffs sit to the north.  The Wilderness Study area is 14,830 acres and is managed by the BLM.

Southern Utah Vacation: Canyon Country

Coral Pink Sand Dunes  Map

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is located southeast of Zion National Park between Mount Carmel Junction and Kanab. Red Canyon - Dixie National Forest Cedar Mountain - Dixie National Forest Zion National Park Coral Pink Sand Dunes North Rim of the Grand Canyon Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument East Zion Welcome Center Bryce Canyon National Park Cedar Breaks National Monument Scenic Byway 89 Scenic Byway 14 Scenic Byway 143 Scenic Byway 12 Scenic Byway 9 - Zion Mt. Carmel Hwy Zion National Park Lodging Zion National Park Lodging
Naturalist NotesNature Notes

The lack of water, the summer heat and the winter cold make it difficult for animals to survive at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, but they do survive by adapting. Some of the animals found include mule deer, ring-tailed cat, jack rabbit, coyote, fox, mountain lion, bobcat and the cottontail, striped whiptail, California king snake, Utah milk snake, Utah Mountain king snake and the sonoran lyre snake. and the protected Coral Pink Sand Dunes tiger beetle.

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