Trail Tuesday took me for a walk around beautiful Gunlock State Park, about 15 miles northwest of St. George, Utah. According to the Gunlock State Park website, Gunlock is named after William Haynes Hamblin, a Mormon pioneer who settled the Gunlock farming community one mile north of the reservoir. “William Haynes Hamblin (nicknamed Will or Bill) was a good hunter and sharpshooter, and was skillful in repairing gunlock, which are the firing mechanisms for muzzle leaders.” The park site talks about how the road next to the park is the “Old Spanish Trail used by horsemen and raiders from Sante Fe, New Mexico to Los Angeles from the 1820s until the gold fields became the destination after 1849 and a shorter route was taken.” Gunlock was constructed in 1970 and opened to the public then. The elevation of the park is 3,600 feet.
I enjoyed walking around the reservoir and meandering by the water. It actually has the most water in it that I have ever seen at the park. I was hoping there was enough water for me to enjoy the waterfalls, near the spillway, but they weren’t flowing – darn it.
A Utah Parks Pass will get you into Gunlock. If you want to purchase a day-use entrance it will cost you $7, or $4 if you are a senior. The park is open from 7:00 am - 8:00pm daily, during the months of June – Labor Day in September. The park boasts quality fishing for bass and catfish in the waters at Gunlock. There is also a campground with five sites. The camping fee for each site is $13, but you are also allowed to camp on the beach. There is a boat ramp for you to dock boats, kayaks and paddleboards, but you can also park your car and walk right to the beach, that is extremely close by, without using the boat ramp. The boat ramp is closed October – March. It opens in April and May on Friday from 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 7:00 am – 8:00 pm. The ramp is open throughout the summer.