Many people know about the spectacular Salt Lake in Utah, but only locals really know about our two little state parks Sand Hollow and Quail Creek. These man-made state parks are great to have in the desert because you can use them to go boating, swimming, kayaking, and to just cool off in the summer heat. Sand Hollow was constructed in 2002 and opened to the public in 2003. It is considered a reservoir and has a maximum depth of 95 feet. Sand Hollow and Quail Creek on a small scale are testaments to the power that humans have to change the landscape around them. It took a lot of large scale machinery to complete such huge projects, but people enjoy having them and they provide a positive impact on our community.Sand Hollow
Located outside Hurricane, Sand Hollow is a mix of sand dunes, large sandstone cliffs, beachy areas and lots of fresh water. Even though it gets less attention than the bigger bodies of water up north, there are still people that come from all over to visit the state park. Even some big celebrities like Channing Tatum have spent their birthday driving around the sand dunes. Diving has become very popular in Sand Hollow because of all sunken objects in the bottom of the lake. A crashed plane, a sunken bus, a VW Bug, a toilet and a fake bomb all reside on the bottom of the lake for divers to explore. There is even an obstacle course! Since it is a reservoir in the middle of the desert, there is very little vegetation and animal life in Sand Hollow, but it does have one thing: swimmers itch! This a rash that breaks out on the skin from a parasite that burrows into people’s skin and causes them to have an allergic reaction. It’s painful and itchy, but it’s not deadly. It is located in shallow parts of water and can infect anyone. It might last a week, but cold baths and over-the-counter anti-itch cream with help with the itching. Thousands of people visit the lake every year, and only a small percentage actually get swimmer’s itch, but it is just good to be aware of it. Sand Hollow is a great place to take your family for the summer to beat the heat, and there are a ton of activities that you can do, including renting gear to spend a day on the lake.
In the same vicinity of Sand Hollow is Quail Creek State Park, another man-made reservoir. Smaller and often less crowded, Quail Creek is perfect for a more relaxing day out on the lake. You can do all the things that you would do at Sand Hollow, with but half of the people. It was completed in 1985 for irrigation purposes, but it became a state park in 1986. Much deeper than Sand Hollow, it has the capacity to hold fish including rainbow trout and catfish. Right now, all lakes are on high alert to avoid the Quagga Mussel that attaches itself to boats and then infest other waters, so if you are going to go boating in Quail Creek make sure to take your boat to get cleaned before entering the water. Quail Creek isn’t known for having swimmers itch, so if you really want to avoid it then Quail Creek is the better option.
Both of these state parks are hidden gems in a vast desert wasteland. They are easily accessible and fun for the whole family. While all the tourists are heading over to Zion for the day, maybe head over to the water to enjoy a fun soak and to cool off!