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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

On our way to Yellowstone National Park- 2nd Stop Salt Lake City

Our second overnight stop was at Little America in Salt Lake City.

We made a quick stop at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. It is such a fascinating place!

Scenery along the way from Page to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes

I'm positive my mother watched all those movies.


Sand dunes are created by three factors: sand, high winds, and a unique influence upon those high winds. At Coral Pink Sand Dunes, a notch between Moquith and Moccasin Mountains causes this unique influence. Wind is funneled through this notch, increasing wind velocity to a point where it can carry grains of sand from the eroding Navajo sandstone.

This phenomenon is known as the Venturi effect. After wind passes through the notch and into the open valley, wind velocity decreases, depositing the sand.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes support a diverse population of insects, including the Coral Pink tiger beetle that is found only here. Drought is one of the major threats to this rare beetle. Rainfall is one of the primary factors controlling the beetle's population size, which tends to fluctuate dramatically from year to year. This beetle has one of the smallest geographic ranges of any insect. It is only found within a small portion of the seven-mile long Coral Pink Sand Dunes ecosystem. Its nearest relatives are located in southwest Wyoming. It has a striking appearance due to its bright white elytra, or wing cases, on its back.

Michael saw a beetle running across the pathway and another digging down into the sand but of course he didn't film them.

Melting snow sometimes creates small ponds in the dunes that support amphibians such as salamanders and toads.


Mormon Tea

Green Welsh's milkweed popping up from the sand.

Who or what made these tracks?

The park also contains most of the remaining individuals of the rare plant known as Welsh's milkweed (Asclepias welshii), a federally listed threatened species

The park allows camping, hiking, off-road vehicle driving, and photography. There is a conservation area of 265 acres (1.07 km2), and the total grounds include 3,370 acres (13.6 km2). It was established as a Utah state park in 1963.

" It is called Coral Pink Sand Dunes because the dunes are formed from the erosion of pink-colored Navajo Sandstone surrounding the park. High winds passing through the notch between the Moquith and Moccasin Mountains pick up loose sand particles and then drop them onto the dunes as a result of the Venturi effect."

The Venturi effect is simply the drop in wind pressure when it passes through a confined section. In wind flow analysis, the Venturi effect can help explain the wind flow behavior and high gusts through walkways when passing between two high-rise structures.

The dunes are estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000 years old.

I walked barefoot as I didn't want sand in my sneakers. The temperature of the sand decreased the deeper my feet sank in. The sand was the right temperature to walk upon. It is strenuous to walk uphill on the sand, though. My legs got quite the workout.

Traveling from the dunes to Beaver, Utah to charge the car.

My seat belt was uncomfortable so I asked Michael to pull over so I could adjust it. If I hadn't asked I never would have spotted the rotting carcass.

Lots of cattle grazing.

Loved watching the meandering river.

Controlled burned outside of Beaver. It was terribly windy so I'm not sure how controlled it was.

Wonder what they serve.

So many snow capped mountains.

We are spending the night at Little America in Salt Lake City

Gorgeous pansies and tulips

We are on the 17th floor

"For generations, Little America has warmly welcomed travelers at the intersection of timeless luxury and unmatched comfort, allowing guests to expect a little more from their stay. Among the most spacious in downtown Salt Lake City, our guest rooms provide a little more room to unwind, and a little more freedom to explore the best recreation, dining, and entertainment, without having to compromise on quality.

We are on the 17th floor which is the top floor. Pretty view of the mountains.

We ate dinner at the Little America restaurant as Michael loves their rolls. We ate three of them before I took the picture. They were squishy which is the way I like them.

Across the street from Little America is Grand America. It certainly is "Grand!'

We should have gone across the street for afternoon tea.

The Grand America has a four piece band while Little America has a pianist.

Gorgeous tulips and pansies but on a much grander scale.

Good night from Little America

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