Continental US, USA

Utah 2018 Day 3 – Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Toadstool Hoodoos

Before the crack of dawn, we left Monument Valley to get back to Kanab by 8:45 AM to enter the lottery again. We passed through Page, Arizona on the way just before sunrise so we decided to make a short stop at the Horseshoe Bend. It was already a lot of people there early in the morning and this time it was different that they built some rails on the edge, probably due to deadly accidents. The rails blocked some of the unobstructed views so you need to climb higher on the rocks to see the whole horseshoe like this:

We took a few quick snaps and run back to our car to continue our way to Kanab.

Our 4th lottery entry: we were assigned #17 out of a total 43 applications of 96 people (compared to yesterday’s 123 people, it was slightly over 10% chance). There was a total of 4 draws and one of the number called was guess what??? #2 that was our number the day before. It was the 2nd consecutive day that the number from our previous day was call instead…OMG SUPER SAD!

With another failed try, our backup plan for the day was the nearby Coral Sand Dunes and some short hiking trails around Kanab area. Coral Sand Dunes, around half an hour from Kanab without any cellular service there so make sure you preload and save the GPS map for the return trip, although, it was pretty straight forward so you shouldn’t get lost without GPS to get back to Kanab.

We pay the park entrance fee of $8 per car and the ranger pointed us to another parking lot where the trail into the sand dunes start…no wonder we couldn’t find it when we were here at night few days ago. I changed into a dress for photos and walked barefoot on the sand. OMG, the sand was super cold; I never know sand could be this cold! But for the photos, it was worth it 🙂

Coral Sand Dunes – at some angle from the sun, you can see some light coral color, definitely not the golden sand that I saw in Sahara so it’s different. Someday, I’ll visit the White Sands National Monument for the white sand dunes! We were there early morning so the sun was still low and able to shoot into the sun like this.

There were a few other people in the park as well including those two with their own ATVs.

The two men drove their ATV up and stopped next to us…we were like hum. They were super friendly and offered us free rides! Jeffrey and Peter jumped in and had their fun! They are from Salt Lake City and tow their ATVs to parks.

After the boys got their ride, we walked around for more photos.

The dunes aren’t that tall but pretty amazing surrounded by mountains and trees. Who would’ve known sand dunes formed in the middle of those?

After the cool photos from the sand dunes, we headed back to Kanab to have lunch at the Rocking V Cafe.

The food there was delicious, they lived up to the high TripAdvisor’s rating! I ordered the Adobe Chicken, it was so juicy and tender topped with the creamy gravy of corn and a little bit of spiciness.

Jason and them ordered the Kanab-A-Dabba-Doo Burger with avocado and it was super juicy and cooked perfectly.

The yummy lunch cost $80 for four of us including tips. The owner stopped by to talk as he saw my Canon 5D Mark IV camera, himself is a photographer as well! How lucky he is to be surrounded by beautiful parks, endless photo ops! He invited us to check out his art gallery upstairs and it was filled with paintings and photographs.

After lunch, our next stop in our plan is Wahweap Hoodoos but the trail is closed so we skipped that and drove to the Toadstool Hoodoos trail head. We drove pass this parking lot a few times and never realized what it is, now we know! It was a super easy hike so perfectly for everywhere for some nice photos.

Finally, some clouds!

The trail is pretty straight forward until we reached almost to the end…no, those are not the main Toadstool Hoodoos.

Walked around those and the main ones are on the back, there they are!

There are two distinctive colors: white and orange. We had so much fun posing with the hoodoos.

There are a few more hoodoos if you continued to walk like this lone one:

And a few scattered:

Hum…how many years it took to form this?

The landscape of the area but ruined by those poles, nevertheless, it was a pleasant short hike around the area.


We drove back to our hotel to get some rest since we woke up so early this morning, poor hubby who did most of the driving. Jeffrey and Peter went down to the pool while we took a nap. For dinner, we went to Luo’s Cafe, a Chinese restaurant. It’s very home-like with the husband as the chef, the wife as the cashier, and some of their kids as waiters/waitresses. The food though was just okay, the ingredients they used weren’t as good quality as Fusion House but the price reflected it. Our dinner cost $91.67.

8 thoughts on “Utah 2018 Day 3 – Coral Pink Sand Dunes and Toadstool Hoodoos

  1. Wow that first pix is so ethereal. The light and your dress… pretty good. I live in a desert .. supposedly .. but I dont see such pretty dunes.

  2. For the pictures with sun in the background. I’ve tried them multiple times and always overexposed or just lose to many details. Any tips?

    1. Best to have a flash and set it to high-speed sync. But if you forgot to bring the flash like me, set it to low ISO so you can recover much of the shadows, high speed like 1/1000 sec so won’t be overexposed, and wide open f/10-f/16 for the “sunburst”.

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