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When one thinks of Utah, images of majestic mountains and sprawling deserts often come to mind. However, the Beehive State has a delightful secret waiting to be uncovered—its stunning and often overlooked beaches. In this article, we embark on a journey to explore the unexpected beauty of utah beaches where the juxtaposition of red rock landscapes and serene shores creates a unique and captivating coastal experience.

1. Sand Hollow State Park: Desert Oasis by the Water

Sand Hollow State Park, located near Hurricane, Utah, is a hidden gem that defies the typical beach setting. The park is centered around a reservoir with crystal-clear blue waters surrounded by towering red sandstone cliffs. The sandy shoreline offers a beach experience reminiscent of a coastal oasis, complete with warm sand and inviting waters. Visitors can indulge in water activities such as swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking while soaking in the breathtaking views of the surrounding red rock formations.

2. Antelope Island State Park: The Great Salt Lake’s Best-Kept Secret

Antelope Island, situated within the Great Salt Lake, is renowned for its wildlife and unique landscapes, but its beaches are often an unexpected surprise for visitors. The island features several sandy shores, including Bridger Bay Beach and White Rock Bay Beach, where the salty waters of the lake meet the expansive views of the surrounding mountains. The beaches offer a peaceful escape, and visitors can witness unforgettable sunsets over the Great Salt Lake, creating a tranquil and serene atmosphere.

3. Bear Lake: The Caribbean of the Rockies

Known as the “Caribbean of the Rockies,” Bear Lake straddles the border between Utah and Idaho, offering visitors a true beach experience in a mountainous setting. The lake’s unique turquoise-blue waters, combined with its sandy beaches, make it a popular destination for water activities and relaxation. The State Park Marina Beach and Rendezvous Beach provide opportunities for swimming, sailing, and enjoying the scenic beauty of Bear Lake. The lake’s stunning colors against the backdrop of surrounding hills create a picturesque beach destination that feels like a hidden paradise.

4. Pineview Reservoir: A Lakeside Haven in Ogden Valley

Nestled in Ogden Valley, Pineview Reservoir is a local favorite for those seeking a lakeside haven. The reservoir is surrounded by lush forests and offers sandy beaches like Anderson Cove and Middle Inlet Beach. Pineview Reservoir is ideal for water sports enthusiasts, with opportunities for boating, fishing, and jet skiing. The beaches provide a perfect spot for picnics and family gatherings, where visitors can unwind while admiring the scenic beauty of the reservoir and the surrounding mountains.

5. Quail Creek State Park: Red Rock Shores and Aquatic Adventures

Quail Creek State Park, located near St. George, showcases the contrast between red rock landscapes and shimmering blue waters. The reservoir’s beaches feature warm red sand, providing a unique and visually striking setting for a day by the water. Visitors can enjoy a variety of water activities, including swimming, fishing, and paddleboarding. The red rock surroundings add a touch of desert allure to the beach experience, making Quail Creek State Park a hidden gem in Utah’s diverse landscape.

6. Jordanelle State Park: Mountain Majesty Meets Lakeside Leisure

Jordanelle State Park, situated near Park City, is a picturesque destination where mountain majesty meets lakeside leisure. The reservoir boasts several sandy beaches, such as Hailstone and Rock Cliff, where visitors can enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding Wasatch Mountains. The park offers a range of water activities, including boating, fishing, and stand-up paddleboarding. The juxtaposition of the sandy shores against the rugged mountain backdrop creates a scene of natural beauty that defines the charm of Jordanelle State Park.


Utah’s beaches, though unexpected in a state known for its rugged terrain, offer a delightful and diverse coastal experience. From the red rock shores of Sand Hollow to the turquoise waters of Bear Lake, each beach destination in Utah unveils a unique blend of landscapes and recreational opportunities. These hidden gems provide an escape for locals and a surprise for visitors, showcasing the state’s ability to surprise and captivate with its natural beauty. So, the next time you find yourself in Utah, venture beyond the mountains and deserts—discover the unexpected allure of Utah’s beaches, where sun, sand, and surprises await along the shores of the Beehive State.