Gunlock State Park offers the opportunity to explore some of the region's unique geology. The area is known for its striking red rock canyon country, with formations like the Moenkopi Formation and Chinle Formation providing a stunning backdrop for exploration. Visitors can also view petroglyphs, which are ancient rock art left behind by the Ancestral Puebloans.
In addition to its geological features, Gunlock State Park is also home to some of the most beautiful plant life in southwestern Utah. Wildflowers like Indian paintbrushes and bluebells can be seen blooming throughout the park during the spring months. In addition, visitors can find an array of shrubs and cacti, including juniper, manzanita, prickly pear and cholla.
Gunlock State Park was established in the early 1970s to provide recreational opportunities for visitors and locals. The park is located on the site of an old homestead, which was inhabited by cattle ranchers in the 1880s. Throughout its history, the park has been managed by a variety of state agencies including the Division of Forestry, Fish and Game and the Division of Parks and Recreation.
The town of Gunlock was named after William Hamblin, who was one of the first settlers of the township. The area began to develop in the late 19th century and was eventually incorporated into a town. In 1970, the reservoir was built, providing water to local farms and ranches and providing flood control and irrigation water for the surrounding community. The park became popular among locals and visitors alike, offering picnics, camping and fishing opportunities.
Today, Gunlock State Park is managed by Utah's Division of Natural Resources and offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. The park encompasses nearly 500 acres, with over 5 miles of trails that offer stunning views of the area's red rock canyons and surrounding landscape. Visitors can also explore the area's riparian habitats and observe a variety of wildlife. Camping is available at the park, with tent camping sites and cabins for rent.
The annual spring run-off is significant to make water go over the dam and through the red rocks below. They create multiple waterfalls in the red rock formations and this eventually connects from the Santa Clara River to the Virgin River, which is a water source that runs and flows through Zion National Park.