Southwestern Utah is a popular destination for visitors year-round. While many people think Utah's winter recreation is the state's main draw, Utah offers outdoor activities during every season. Quail Creek State Park, located in Hurricane, is a desert escape for RVers searching for a place to camp, fish, and hike near some of Utah's most beautiful mountains and canyons.
Quail Creek State Park is situated along a warm body of water formed by a pipeline that diverts the Virgin River into the Quail Creek Reservoir. Since the reservoir comes from the pipeline, the water temperatures are warm on the surface and cold closer to the bottom of the lake. The heated surface temperatures create a comfortable environment for paddleboarders and boaters, while the depths of the water help to sustain the cold water fish. The contrast of the two water temperatures helps to provide recreation seekers with ample fun during every season.
Quail Creek State Park is the perfect camping getaway for people who want to stay in a primitive camping location away from some of the area's more crowded destinations. Zion National Park, one of the country's most visited national parks, is less than 35 miles away. Instead of staying among crowds of people in larger, more developed RV resorts, why not escape to a place surrounded by colorful rock formations and warm turquoise waters?
Quail Creek State Park is located on the outskirts of Hurricane, Utah, along Utah Highway 9. The park is minutes from I-15 which is the main thoroughfare leading from Salt Lake City, Utah to Las Vegas, Nevada. I-15 is a well-maintained, four-lane, divided roadway. Drivers passing between Salt Lake City and Las Vegas will find that Quail Creek State Park is a quiet place to stay. Hurricane, Utah is only a 15-mile drive away from St. George, a border city that separates Utah from Nevada.
Drivers heading between Zion National Park and Quail Creek State Park will travel on Utah Highway 9, the same highway leading from I-15 to the park. Highway 9 traverses through curvy mountain passes surrounded by Utah's iconic red rock formations. Portions of the drive may have some small climbs or downhill sections, but much of the road is RV-friendly. If you encounter downhill portions, drop into a lower gear and stay in the right lane until the roadway flattens out again.
Visitors to Quail Creek State Park may enter the park between the hours of 7 AM through 9 PM. All Utah state parks charge a day-use fee which is an additional cost added to the price of camping. Visitors can pay the fee at the entrance station when entering the park.
The Quail Creek Campground is a small, pet-friendly facility that operates year-round. The campground sits along the shores of the reservoir, providing campers with the option to reserve a water-front site. Campers may choose from either pull-through or back-in sites, with the largest space accommodating RVs and trailers up to 35 feet in length. Although the sites are primitive with no hookups, each site has a paved surface driveway, a fire pit, grill, and a picnic table, and several community hydrants provide potable water. The Quail Creek Campground doesn't have a dump station on-site, but all campers have access to a comfort station, trash bins, and proximity to a swim beach. To preserve Utah's quiet desert ambiance, please silence your generators between 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM, the park's quiet hours.
Petroglyphs are ancient drawings and etchings that depict stories and the way of life of the early inhabitants of an area. Quail Creek State Park's rock stories are detailed and easy to spot. To see the rock carvings, take the East Overlook trail to the site where the petroglyphs remain. The hike to the rocks is scenic with majestic views of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve to the north, the Sand Hollow Reservoir to the south, the Virgin Anticline Cliffs to the west, and the Cliffs of Zion featuring the Sandstone Mountain to the east. The petroglyphs, or cave drawings, are located near the dam.
When packing for your RV trip, don't forget to bring your mountain biking gear in your camper. The red rock terrain and rocky outcroppings make a scenic and challenging bike ride for rugged mountain riders. Depending on your skill level, the trails that run adjacent to the park offer paths for beginners and intermediate riders. For bike riders who want to plan their riding routes ahead of time, visit the park's detailed trail maps for information on the location, length, and difficulty of every path. Regardless of your skill level, you will find something to see along your route.
Quail Creek State Park's location helps protect the park from light pollution. On moonless nights, the park's dark skies create the ideal stargazing location. Campers who want an unobstructed view of the stars should head to one of the higher elevations within the park with a telescope and a camera. The best time to find your stargazing location is just before dusk, so you can watch the sunset and then witness the sky coming to life with millions of stars. While moonless nights are the best times to see the sparkling skies, choosing to visit during celestial events like meteor showers or a lunar eclipse makes your stargazing experience even more memorable than a typical night sky.
Quail Creek Lake is one of southwestern Utah's favorite fishing locations. The water's warm surfaces entice fish like bluegill and largemouth bass while the deeper surfaces sustain species like crappie, rainbow trout, and bullhead catfish. Because the lake has both warm water and cold-water fish, anglers have the opportunity to try different types of fishing techniques as well as switch up the lures and baits used to entice various kinds of fish. Before you head to the water, make sure you purchase a valid Utah fishing license.
The red rock mountains surrounding the turquoise waters of Quail Creek Reservoir create a paddler's paradise. Exploring the open water with a paddleboard, canoe, or kayak is the perfect way to exercise or meditate. Paddlers have a designated boat launch for personal watercraft separate from the main boat launch area. If you don't have a paddleboard or kayak, don't worry. The park has a private paddling company that operates from the shoreline. The company rents paddleboards, kayaks, and all the necessary gear paddlers need to have a safe and exciting time on the water. Contact the paddling company for hours of operation, pricing, and for information on paddling instruction.
The warm waters of Quail Creek State Park make excellent boating conditions year-round. Because of the popularity of the lake, the park enforces a max boating capacity. To ensure time on the water, get to the park early. Quail Creek State Park has one concrete boat ramp located next to the trailer parking area, and the boat launch is open year-round with varying seasonal hours of operation. The lake is a favorite destination for water skiing and wakeboarding. When the other Utah lakes become too chilly for the year, the water feels just right at Quail Creek Reservoir.