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Hidden Gem: Gunlock State Park

Okay, this reservoir is far from hidden, but for some reason that I haven’t been able to ascertain, it is severely underutilized. It’s a gem of a location hiding in plain site. Gunlock has the looks and the moves to impress but still flies under the radar some how. That covers the hidden part, now let’s take a look at why I think it’s a gem.


Gunlock Reservoir is a short 20 minutes from St. George, and that makes it closer than both Sand Hollow and Quail Creek. There isn’t a lot of anything but wilderness around Gunlock, but I consider that a positive because a day at the lake is more than enough. The lack of anything else being out by Gunlock may be a large contributor to its lack of visitors.

Two young girls kayaking on blue mountain lake
Smiling mother and young daughters kayaking


Soft orange sand and blue water are complimenting colors and a winning combination when it comes to landscape. In the distance you have the mountains forming a truly impressive backdrop. I know looks aren’t everything in life, but they sure are nice, and Gunlock has some great looks.

Two young girls posing in life-jackets at lake
Girl in life-vest jumping off rocks into water

Unique features

As we reached the far shore on our open kayaks, I felt like a kid again. That genuine sense of exploration and discovery was so great. I bleached my kayak up on a rock and began to climb around. The kids in our group loved exploring the little holes and caves in the rock. It was like a pirate’s hideout. These rocks offered more than just discovery and climbing—they made for some sweet jumping as well.

Of all the wild and fun adventures I’ve been on this summer, this one ranks up there as one of the best. It gets hot here in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide indoors until the fall. There are so many great things to do even in the heat. Take my advice and give Gunlock Reservoir a chance.

Learn More about Kayaking

Read about kayaking in Greater Zion and explore kayak outfitters in the area.