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Sand Hollow State Park

If you can’t beat the heat you might as well embrace it.

Sand Hollow State Park is one of the best destinations in Southern Utah for beachgoers, boaters, bikers, and OHV riders, and campers. 

Sand Hollow State Park

Sand Hollow State Park Overview

Located in Hurricane Utah about 30 minutes outside of St. George Sand Hollow State Park a fairly new reservoir opened to the public as a state park in 2003. Red sandy beaches and vast dunes are a staple of this area.

How to Get to Sand Hollow State Park

From St. George 

  • Follow I-15 N to State Highway 9 E
  • Follow State Hwy to Sand Hollow Rd.
  • Follow Sand Hollow Rd. to the State Park Entrance 

Sand Hollow Fees

Entrance Fees

  • Non-Resident Day Use: $20.
  • Resident Day Use: $15 per vehicle up to 8 people
  • Non-Resident Annual Pass $150. 
  • Resident Annual Pass: $75 available for purchase at the entrance gate.
  • Senior Day Use:  $10 Seniors 62+ per vehicle up to 8 people.
  • Walk-In: $5 per person
  • Group Day Use (Cotton Tree Cove): $75 includes entrance for two vehicles only, day-use fees apply for additional vehicles.

Miscellaneous Fees

Drone Permit: $15 (5-day permit)  Permits are required to fly drones within the state park.  Violators are subject to citation.

Hours Open

  • Summer: April – September 6 am to 10 pm
  • Winter: October – March 7 am to 9 pm

Parking at Sand Hollow

There are two major parking lots found at Sand Hollow (See image below) However many people park along the road nearest to where they decide to hang out on the beach. You are allowed to park down on the beach but be VERY careful we saw many unprepared cars get stuck in the loose sand and had to get towed out by park rangers or people with 4×4 vehicles.

Sand Hollow Weather

January 55° / 29°
February 60° / 33°
March 68° / 40°
April 76° / 45°
May 85° / 52°
June 96° / 61°
July 101° / 68°
August 98° / 66°
September 91° / 59°
October 78° / 47°
November 64° / 35°
December 54° / 28°
 

Best Time of Year to Visit

Sand Hollow is a great place to visit year-round depending on the activity you are looking for. June-September is beautiful if you can handle the heat and want to enjoy the cool water. For the past few years, we always visit early July, and despite the high temperatures as long as you come prepared its easy to enjoy the area.

However, if you are looking to visit Sand Hollow for biking or off-roading I recommend the off-season October-May when temperatures are lower even in the dead of winter Southern Utah can be warm enough to enjoy being out in the sun.

Maximum Group Size

There is no limit for day use group sizes as the entrance fee is based per vehicle. 

Campground group sizes are based on the campground you choose. The Group campground at the Sandpit Campground can hold a maximum of 100 people and 16 vehicles. While the standard campgrounds at both the sandpit and westside only hold up to 8 people and two vehicles. 

What to Take to Sand Hollow

Canopy and umbrellas for shade are the #1 thing to pack for Sand Hollow. You will find very few spots on the beach that are naturally shaded by trees and those are often claimed very early in the morning by overnight campers or early birds. I also recommend bringing a well-insulated cooler as the Southern Utah heat will melt any ice you bring very quickly. 

Lawn chairs, floaties, beach towels, beach blankets, lots of sunscreen, and sun hats are all staples of a successful beach day at Sand Hollow. I also brought a lightweight UPF 50 hoodie to protect me from the sun while I’m hanging out on the beach, I managed to last 4 days of camping with no sunburn by wearing sunscreen and my hoodie while everyone around me slowly turned into a lobster from the sun.

I also recommend packing much more water then you think you will need. It is very easy to get dehydrated while you are hanging out in the water and it can be a recipe for disaster if you aren’t prepared for it.

Dog-Friendly

Sand Hollow is dog friendly but pets should remain on a leash at all times.

We saw MANY dogs enjoying the beach during the day and playing on the boats out on the water.

Kid-Friendly

Yes! In fact, during our time at Sand Hollow, it appeared that most of the visitors in the park were families with small children enjoying the beach.

Remember it is very hot at Sand Hollow during the summer so be sure to bring plenty of sun protection for your little one.

Restrooms at Sand Hollow

Sand Hollow has restrooms for day visitors as well as campers.

Day use bathrooms do not have showers however showers can be found near “THE BEACH” restaurant and rental building.

Campground restrooms have showers and toilets available to use for campers only.

Sand Hollow Restrooms

Cell Phone Service at Sand Hollow

Given Sand Hollows’ location, we had no problems with cell service with Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, or Verizon. If you have any of the major carriers you should be able to get cell service anywhere within the State Park.

Camping

Sandpit Campground:

  • No Hookup $28 Per Night 1 Vehicle Included
  • Partial Hook Up Sites (Water and Electric) $35 per night
  • Group Campground No Hookup $95 per night covers the first 4 vehicles. Limit 10 vehicles per site. Extra vehicle fee applies for vehicles 5 thru 10.
  • PRO TIP! If you are in a group that needs more than one tent, I recommend avoiding spots 2, 6, and 11 as they are very small spots.

Westside Campground:

  • Full Hookup $38 per night 

Primitive Camping Area: 

  • No facilities, $25 per vehicle. Access to pit toilets. (Temporarily Closed as of 4/27/2020)

Fishing

Sand Hollow is home to many types of fish including Black Crappie, Bluegill, Bullhead Catfish, Largemouth Bass, and Rainbow Trout. Fishing is plentiful at Sand Hollow especially for fishermen out on the water.

Off-Road

Off-Roading is one of the most popular activities at Sand Hollow. With sprawling trails and dunes, there are areas for all skill levels and types of vehicles. You will also see many vehicles driving along the beach and hanging out near the water so the passengers can cool off. But be cautious it is easy to get dug in, in the loose sand in the dunes and beach area.

Here are the rules you need to know before taking off on an Off-roading adventure:

  • D.O.T. approved helmets required for riders under age 18 and strongly recommended for all riders
  • Whip flags required on all OHVs and any registered vehicle driving off-road
  • All machines must be currently registered
  • Children under age eight may not operate an OHV on public land
  • Operators over age eight must have a driver’s license or OHV education certificate
  • Operators under age 16 must have adult supervision at all times

Bikes

Biking the loop around Sand Hollow is a great activity during the cooler months. You will also find many nice mountain biking trails in the area but be cautious of off-road vehicles. You can find a bicycle repair area and tire pump near the entrance to Sand Hollow.

Boat Info

Boating is a very popular activity at Sand Hollow. You will see boats year-round enjoying this 1,322-acre reservoir. There are docks on the south and west side of the reservoir and rentals are available at the Beach at Sand Hollow Food and Rental building. 

There are a few boating rules to follow at Sand Hollow 

  • Wakeless speed within 150’ of boats, shore, and swimmers
  • Observe ‘No Boat’ and ‘No Wake’ buoys
  • Personal watercraft (PWC) may operate between sunrise and sunset
  • Lifejackets required for children 12 and under
  • One lifejacket for each passenger on board
  • Lifejackets required for all PWC riders

Drones at Sand Hollow

You can fly your drone at Sand Hollow for a $15 permit that is good for 5 days. 

First Aid

Always come prepared for your camping, hiking, or a day at the beach Read Our First Aid Guide Here

Wildlife at Sand Hollow

Coyotes, Foxes, Rabbits, Kangaroo Rats, a variety of desert snakes, scorpions, and lizards are all found at Sand Hollow you will mostly see these animals out and about at night or dusk. Be sure to watch out for scorpions when you are taking down tents or moving coolers, they like to burrow in shaded areas and camping equipment makes a perfect hiding place.

Stargazing at Sand Hollow

Sand Hollow is a great place for stargazing. Far enough from any major city there is little to no light pollution which makes it a perfect destination to view some beautiful constellations.

Places to Eat at Sand Hollow

The Beach at Sand Hollow Restaurant and Rentals is a great place to grab a bite to eat if you are camping or spending the day at Sand Hollow. They have a full-service kitchen with some pretty delicious food options.

We recommend the Fish and Chips or the Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap they are a nice meal to enjoy on the beach. And on the warm days, there is nothing like a milkshake to cool yourself down we grabbed some on a 100+ day and it was one of the best things I had during our time there.

Sand Hollow Picnics

Sand Hollow is a great place to enjoy a picnic with friends and family. If you get down to the beach early to you can claim one of the tables on the beach and use it throughout the day. Or if you plan ahead you can reserve the Cotton Tree Grove day-use site for a slightly more private picnic as well as a private area on the beach.

Wheelchair Accessibility

Sand Hollow has something to offer for everyone including

  • Wheelchair Accessible Restrooms 
  • Wheelchair Accessible Visitor Center 
  • Wheelchair Accessible Vistas at Various Parking Lots around the park
  • 3 Wheelchair Accessible Campsites at Westside Campground 
  • Wheelchair Accessible Showers 
  • Wheelchair Accessible Picnic Tables by Westside Ramp 
  • Wheelchair Accessible Boat Ramp (South Dock) 

Prohibited Items at Sand Hollow State Park

  • Explosives, fireworks or firecrackers are prohibited from Sand Hollow State Park.
  • No glass bottles or containers are allowed on the beach

Volunteering

There are many volunteer opportunities for Utah State Parks. Here are a few of them you and your group can do to keep Utah beautiful.

  • Maintenance Workers contribute skills and labor.
  • Docents/Naturalists bring Utah’s past to life and interpret our natural surroundings.
  • Visitor Center Workers share their love of nature and history.
  • Trail Stewards assist with trail construction, maintenance, patrolling, and protection of natural resources.
  • Other Volunteers help with fee collections, general office work, and maintenance of grounds, equipment, and facilities.
  • Campground Hosts greet the public and keep an eye on campground activities.

Weapons at Sand Hollow

The use of firearms, traps, or other devices capable of launching a projectile that can immobilize, injure, or kill a person or animal, or damage property is prohibited. Contact a park ranger for more information.

Swimmers Itch at Sand Hollow

Swimmers itch is a well-known problem at Sand Hollow State Park and is sometimes misunderstood. Swimmers itch is an allergic reaction to a microscopic parasite (cercarial). While it is a well-known occurrence at Sand Hollow, I and many people I know have never had a problem with it over the years we have visited Sand Hollow. 

Symptoms include:

  • Tingling, burning or itching of the skin
  • Small reddish pimples
  • Small blisters

Swimmers itch is easily treatable with an anti-itch cream or cortisone cream. Swimmers itch is avoidable by making sure you shower and dry yourself off thoroughly after swimming in Sand Hollow.

Resources Used

Sand Hollow State Park

Additional Photos

 

Sand Hollow State Park