Skip to content
Greater Zion logo

Visitor Information Center

The Greater Zion Visitor Center is a must for anyone interested in exploring the natural wonders of southwest Utah.

Privacy Policy Cookie Policy

Water trumps heat during summer in Greater Zion

“Summer is the annual permission slip to be lazy. To do nothing and have it count for something. To lie in the grass and count the stars. To sit on a branch and study the clouds.”

-Regina Brett

We aren’t going to beat around the bush. It’s summer in Greater Zion and we love it. When the heat arrives, it makes some typical outdoor adventure activities less likely. So, here are some favorite ways to stay cool and have fun with water activities in the summer in this desert destination.


Ahhh. Boating. Who doesn’t love sitting back on a lake with friends and family. The boat is one of the most fun ways to enjoy your summer vacation! Kick up your feet, turn up the tunes, and pull out the tubes.

Greater Zion is the desert, and you may wonder where you can find an oasis that’s big enough and good enough on which to boat, but the answer might surprise you! There are three. That’s right, THREE lakes for your water activities!

Sand Hollow State Park, Gunlock State Park, and Quail Creek State Park — each one amazing in their own right.

Sand Hollow (the newest reservoir in southern Utah) seems to be the most popular. With soft, red sand beaches, rental gear, and a beach restaurant, Sand Hollow Reservoir is a great place to swim, play, and generally get sun soaked. Enjoy the playful atmosphere on the stunning clear blue waters, with 360 degree views.

Gunlock State Park, located Northwest of St. George, is more of a quiet getaway. A little higher elevation gives this lake a more mountainous feel and a little cooler water. Fishing, swimming, kayaking, and boating are all welcome here. The lake is a bit smaller, but its quaintness invites you to come and relax in the southern Utah desert.

Quail Creek is located just minutes away from Sand Hollow State Park. Great for fantastic fishing and boating with friends. Bring a cooler and kick up your feet at Quail Lake.


Pools, pools and more pools! Sunny Greater Zion has pools for everyone! With water activities both outdoor and indoor alike, there are sure to be fun times’ poolside!

Sand Hollow Aquatic Center (SHAC)
Not to be confused with the Sand Hollow Reservoir, SHAC is located in St. George, near the town of Santa Clara. This indoor pool is fun for all ages and provides lap pools, slides, competitive swimming, and more. Don’t forget to check the sand volleyball courts just outside!

St George City Pool
This outdoor pool is awesome! A giant tube slide, diving boards and a kiddie pool allow the whole family to enjoy some water time, and to soak up some rays on the outdoor decks.

Washington City Aquatic Center
The award of “largest aquatic center in Southern Utah” goes to this place. Crystal clear lap pools, a kids pool and deck parties are all possible, even accompanied by additional features of the surrounding Washington City Community Center, which include foam pits, and other activities. You’ll never want to leave.