Camping in Sand Hollow State Park, Utah

Sand Hollow State Park is a red sand paradise surrounding a brilliantly blue reservoir near St. George, Utah. Recreation possibilities include, but are not limited to, swimming, cliff-jumping, paddleboarding, and dirtbiking. Add to this sunset watching, stargazing, bonfire-ing, and s’mores eating and you have a recipe for a perfect weekend! 

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Camping in Sand Hollow is the first camping trip that I have ever taken without my husband! I was throwing my best friend a bachelorette girl’s getaway to celebrate her engagement so this was also the first all girls camping trip I have ever been on. Yes, I was nervous. Kenon is my camping better half and we have gotten into a pretty good rhythm; it was kind of like I was camping with a broken arm. 

Even so, Sand Hollow State Park proved to be the PERFECT place for a girl’s getaway and the group of ladies I was with totally kicked camping butt – and still managed to relax like champs! 

We drove down to Sand Hollow State Park to get some paddleboarding time in. The bride-to-be loves paddling and I had just gotten a brand-new ISLE Explorer so it was perfect timing! 

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My ISLE Explorer inflatable paddle board is incredible! Sand Hollow Reservoir was pretty choppy when I tested out the Explorer. It just ripped right across the waves with surprising stability and speed. Since our group was big, we rented two more paddle boards from Cedar Sports Shop. It’s only $20 for a 24-hour inflatable paddle board rental, which is a screaming deal! The shop owner is also very knowledgeable about local recreation and very willing to share his insights.

I asked around on social media to find out the perfect camping spot. Sand Hollow State Park boasts a lot of camping options, both RV and tent. Check out their options and prices here. I decided that I wanted to camp as close to the shore, and as far away from the other campers, as possible. 

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We drove along the road that follows the southern shore as far as possible, then turned left onto the sand, taking a little 4×4 road toward the beach. I was driving a Suburban and feeling pretty good on the packed sand until we hit a deep patch and STOPPED MOVING! My heart dropped into my guts. Thankfully, with a little help from my friends, I remembered that Suburbans have 4-wheel drive (duh!). I switched gears and was able to move that big Burb’s butt down the beach. I was there in early October so it was easy to find a spot right on the shore, far away from every one else. In busier seasons I’m guessing it is a little more difficult to find a quiet spot. However, it is so fun and beautiful at Sand Hollow that it is probably still worth it in the busy season. 

Our campsite was equipped with a fire pit, a picnic table, and a nice rock hidden in the bushes that served as a bathroom. Campsites closer to civilization have a port-a-potty nearby and other campgrounds have modern bathrooms with hot showers.

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We had some unexpected company as we were curled up around the fire. Raccoons started creeping up on our picnic table, brazen as can be, trying to steal our s’more goodies. When we chased them off and started putting everything away we discovered extra-large spiders spinning webs all over our cooking gear and food! I am terrified of spiders and totally freaked out but the other girls took care of them and I am SO GRATEFUL to them! 

All in all, our time in Sand Hollow was a huge success and we are already planning other girls’ weekends and group camping trips for the future! 

Make sure to visit the main parking lot and explore that shore as well. You can hike along the rocks, cliff jump, and swim in a lagoon-like setting. Check it out:

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Tips: 

  1. Sand Hollow is sandy. Plan on sand getting into everything. It’s part of the territory. 
  2. Be wary of raccoons. Raccoons started creeping up on our food table as we were sitting mere feet away, enjoying s’mores around a roaring fire. They are fearless. 
  3. Spiders also took over our food table as we were chilling around the fire. They came out after dark, climbed on everything, and began spinning webs between our water bottles and s’mores fixings. I HATE spiders and this totally creeped me out! The other girls had to pick up the food, dust off all the spiders, and get it put away for me. These ladies are my spiderwomen heroes! 
  4. Sand Hollow Reservoir is known for its swimmer’s itch. Not everyone gets the itch, but a lot do, so this is something to be prepared for. 
  5. There are 4×4’s and dirt bikes all over the place – it can get very noisy! Again, you just gotta know that’s part of what you are getting into. If you get up early, you can actually get a little solitude before all the mayhem from the motor sports starts. 
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