St. George’s Hidden Secret: Gunlock

Part of the appeal of attending SUU is the plethora of outdoor activities around the city. Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks are close by and St. George is right down the road. But few people know about Gunlock.

When SUU students travel south down I-15, it is normally to Sand Hollow Reservoir, Snow Canyon State Park or just going to St. George for a quick getaway.

Gunlock can be referred to as a “blink-town”. If one blinks, they could miss the whole town. When traveling through the suburbs on Sunset Blvd. in St. George, it can be easy to miss one of the underrated parks of Southern Utah.

Gunlock-overviewThe town sits near Gunlock Reservoir State Park. This body of water lies 15 miles northwest of St. George and welcomes “boating, water sports and quality fishing for bass and catfish.”

The Gunlock dam on the south end of the reservoir was constructed in 1970 to help with irrigation and flood control for the small town only one mile north.

One of the most popular attractions in the park is Gunlock Falls. The falls form when the reservoir is overflowing, which only happens when the winter runoff from the mountains has melted. The water runs down the red rocks, forming a variety of waterfalls and pools. Some of the pools are deep enough to dive into.

IMG_9967Getting to these falls can be a hit-or-miss, however. The falls may be unknown to some SUU students, but residents of St. George know about the attraction-making it difficult to find a parking spot. Parking is available directly off the road, but may require a walk to get to the trail.

The falls are just off the road and can be seen from most parking spots.

The park’s website is well aware of this feature, and gives updated information on if the falls are running or not.

The park normally requires a fee to visit the falls because they do lie within the state park boundaries.

For any questions about the falls or the rest of the park, call 435-680-0715.

Story By: Kurt Meacham
Photos By: Kurt Meacham