One of the great things about the St. George and the rest of Southern Utah is the number of public reservoirs, rivers, and splash pads to play in when it gets toasty out. Quail Creek State Park is a recreation area in Hurricane, Utah, with a 600-acre reservoir open for swimming, boating, fishing, and more.
Our guide to Quail Creek State Park will help you make the most of your visit.
What Makes Quail Creek Great?
Though Quail Creek is more than just a reservoir, the body of water is the biggest draw for visitors to the park. Along the western side of the lake, there are plenty of beachy areas for families to relax and play. The ground is a little hard and rocky in some areas, so you’ll probably want to bring chairs or blankets to sit on.
The water near the beach is designated for swimming and non-motorized watercraft like kayaks and paddleboards. You can bring your own, or rent from the on-site rental companies. The companies also rent out personal watercraft (think JetSkis, SeaDoos, etc.), water carpets, and a giant floating play structure complete with slides and a rock climbing wall.
DIG Paddlesports, one of the rental companies, offers guided tours and lessons. You can even try paddleboard yoga with an instructor.
Near the water’s edge, you’ll find a sand volleyball court and RC car race track. If you’ve forgotten any supplies, the rental shacks sell snacks, drinks, and sunscreen. They also provide life jackets with their rentals. Firewood and ice are available for purchase from the park rangers.
The reservoir’s boat ramp is located on the northwest side of the park. Out-of-state boats will be inspected before launching. If your boat requires decontamination, you’ll be sent to Sand Hollow State Park or to the Port of Entry on the Utah/Arizona border.
The reservoir is a popular spot for fishing and water sports. There is plenty of room for wakeboarding and waterskiing. A slalom waterski course sits on the east side of the reservoir.
The park features a 24-site campground. Each campground has a covered picnic table and a fire pit. Some sites also have power and water. Campsite reservations are $28/night for primitive sites and $40/night for sites with power and water. There is a 2-vehicle limit at the campsites. Sites can be reserved online.
There are also hiking and biking trails around the park. There is one small dirt lot near the south side of the park where hikers and bikers can park for free (it’s quite a trek from that lot to the reservoir though, so don’t plan on parking there to get to the water). There are also hiking trails on the east side of the reservoir, with an access road that runs just below the south dam.
Dogs are also permitted at the park. Be sure to keep your dogs on leash or under voice control and always pick up after them.
Where is Quail Creek Located?
Quail Creek State Park is about 20 minutes from downtown St. George. The south entrance to Quail Creek is located just off State Route 9, between Coral Canyon and Hurricane. The north entrance is accessible from the I-15 frontage road, just south of the town of Leeds.
At the south entrance, there is a parking lot for single vehicles. A Utah resident day pass is $15 per vehicle (up to 8 people) and an out-of-state day pass is $20 per vehicle. For many years, entrance to the south lot was free, but as of May 1, 2023, the day pass fee will apply to that lot as well, due to overcrowding and littering.
On the north end, there is a parking lot for single vehicles, as well as a larger lot for boat staging. Only vehicles that are towing boat trailers are permitted in the boat ramp lot. If you have visited the park before, please note that the north entrance has been moved and is now further south, close to the campground.
What Are The Hours Of Quail Creek State Park?
Quail Creek is open daily from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM year-round. The boat ramp is also open year-round, but its hours change seasonally. During the off-season, it closes earlier than the rest of the park (as early as 5:00 in the wintertime).
On-site rentals are also available year-round, but during the off-season they often do not staff the rental offices full time. From October-April, it’s a good idea to call ahead to check their hours of operation and schedule an appointment if necessary.
Best Ages For Quail Creek State Park
Quail Creek is perfect for people of all ages. Young children will enjoy splashing in the water and playing on the beach, while older kids can have fun racing RC cars, paddling around on non-motorized equipment, and trying out watersports. Of course, adults can have a great time there too, playing in the water, hiking, or just laying out in the sun.
Depending on the ages and energy levels of your family members, you can plan to spend an entire day at the park, or as little as an hour or two. Because it’s only 15 minutes from downtown Hurricane and 20 minutes from St. George, you can be back to your hotel or to a number of restaurants very quickly once everyone decides they’re done playing.
Facilities at Quail Creek State Park
There are several sets of restrooms and drinking fountains in and near the parking lots at the park. There are coin-operated showers available (there’s no privacy in the showers, however).
There are covered pavilions that can be reserved for a fee. The pavilions have 8 picnic tables and 3 barbecue grills each. Call the park to reserve.
There are also picnic tables throughout the park–they can get extremely hot on summer afternoons, so be prepared to lay down a towel or blanket before sitting down.
If you happen to catch any fish, there is a fish cleaning station available.
Please note that Quail Creek does not have a boat decontamination station available. The nearest stations are at Sand Hollow State Park (15 minutes away) or the Port of Entry (20 minutes away). Save yourself time and frustration by cleaning and decontaminating your boat if necessary before heading out to the park.
Best Time Of Year To Visit Quail Creek
If you’re planning to hike or mountain bike, Quail Creek is lovely any time of year. Of course, in the summer months, it gets incredibly hot near mid-afternoon and doesn’t cool down until late evening, so it’s best to hit the trails early in tfrom May-September.
Though Southern Utah has a mild winter climate, the water still gets quite chilly in late fall through early spring. For swimming, boating, and other water-based activities, you might want to wait until April or May to go out to Quail. You can check weather, boat ramp, and water conditions online any time.
If you’re planning on fishing, try heading out in the morning or evening. Trout, bass, and blue gill are active in Quail Creek Reservoir.
About the author: Jessica Peterson-Jeppson has spent her entire life adventuring around Southern Utah. She loves trail running and hiking among the red rocks with her two dogs. She and her husband enjoy traveling and trying new foods.