Skip to Content

15 Best Things to do in Kanab, Utah

Is a trip to Kanab, Utah, worth your time? What are the best things to do in Kanab for a great tour? Well, this town might be small, but what it offers is more than what most big towns can. Check out this comprehensive list of fun things to do in Kanab.

Kanab is a small town in the heart of the American Southwest. But, while it may be small and quite some miles away from the big cities, this town still has a lot to offer.

Kanab is conveniently located because it’s just a few miles from other great tourist attractions. From Kanab, you can easily access the Grand Canyon and various national parks from nearby areas.

For this reason, while you might not plan for an entire week in Kanab, a day or two will serve you well. You can include it in your itinerary when touring the West Coast, making your trip even more exciting.

Now that we know more about this small town let’s look at some of the best things to do while you’re here.

Things to Do in Kanab, Utah

1. Hiking Buckskin Gulch

Buckskin Gulch

Address: Buckskin Gulch, Utah 84741, USA

This is an epic slot canyon, undoubtedly the world’s longest. It stretches over 13 miles and rarely gets over 20 feet wide. And that’s not all. It is also the deepest slot canyon on the planet. This makes it one of the best slot canyons to visit, whether or not you’re visiting Kanab.

Most people make overnight hiking trips into Buckskin Gulch. This is because the hike can be extremely strenuous, especially in the heat of summer. However, its temperatures are slightly cooler than in other parts of Kanab.

The best time to hike Buckskin Gulch is spring or fall when the temperatures are more moderate. Generally, there are various trailheads leading to Buckskin Gulch. The most popular one is located at Wire Pass Trailhead, around 3.4 miles round-trip.

However, you should note that no water sources are along the route. Subsequently, you must carry all the water you need for your trip. This is a great hike for experienced hikers looking for an adventure.

2. Hiking in Cottonwood Canyon

Cottonwood Canyon stste park

Address: Kanab, UT 84741, USA

For novice hikers, the Cottonwood Canyon is a great place to start. Here, the trails are relatively easy and short. But, despite being easy, they are quite interesting and many advent hikers still love hiking here.

The canyon is located in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, only a short drive from Kanab. It offers the best experiences as you admire the beautiful rock formations and sandstone walls.

The trail is around 10.1 miles long, and you can make a loop by adding the Cockscomb Trail. It will take you through some of the most stunning landscapes in the area. The best trailhead is around 25 miles up the famous Cottonwood Canyon road, just as you turn off US-89.

3. Visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Address: 5001 Angel Canyon Rd, Kanab, UT 84741, United States

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit animal sanctuary in Kanab, Utah, taking in abandoned and unwanted animals. It operates the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the US.

The sanctuary is home to more than 1000 animals of different species. It also offers educational programs, adoption, and spaying/neutering services. Some of the main animals here include dogs, cats, horses, donkeys, etc.

Visiting the sanctuary allows you to interact with some of these special animals. The sanctuary was started in 1984, and since then, it has been home to over 17,000 animals. It is open to the public, and you can visit any day of the week from morning to evening.

See Related: Things to Do in Orem, Utah

4. Coyote Buttes North

Coyote Buttes North

When we talk of nature’s masterpieces, Coyote Buttes is certainly one of them. Candled within the northern region of Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, this nature’s beauty will pique anyone’s eyes.

The area is characterized by unique sandstone formations created by water and wind erosion over time. It is popularly known as the “Wave,” referring to a series of undulating ridges of Navajo Sandstone. And while it might not have any developed hiking trails, Coyote Buttes offers excellent photography sceneries.

However, you’ll need a permit from the Bureau of Land Management to get to Coyote Buttes. You can apply online or in person at one of their offices. There are only 64 permits issued per day for individuals and 12 for groups. Each group should have a maximum of six people.

See Related: Things to Do in Dickinson, North Dakota

5. Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness

Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs

Address: US-89A, Marble Canyon, AZ 86036, United States

Kanab is popular for hiking trails. Paria Canyon offers some of the most famous hiking scenes. If you’ve heard of Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, you certainly know that this is the epitope of hiking experiences.

The place is full of red cliffs, plateaus, and canyons that any hiker will love. It is also a photographer’s dream come true. The views it offers are incredible for your eyes and for making unforgettable memories.

However, the area is remote, so you must be well-prepared before hiking. You should also note that the region experiences extreme weather conditions.

Therefore, you need to check the forecast before starting your hiking expedition. Nonetheless, if you love hiking and adventure, Paria Canyon should be on your list of fun things to do in Kanab.

6. White Pocket

White Pocket Utah

Address: White Pocket, Arizona 86036, USA

Kanab is a great place for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors. With so many different things to do, you’ll never get bored. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or a novice, there’s something for you.

White Pocket is excellent proof of this. It is a beautiful area of sandstone formations, perfect for hiking, photography, and picnicking.

The area is located within the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument and is only accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicles. However, it is well worth the effort to get there. The views are simply stunning, and you’ll never forget your experience.

Therefore, if you want to see the amazing work of decades of erosion, there’s no better place than the White Pocket. It gives an experience that’s out of this world.

See related: Best Things to Do on the Mississippi River

7. Coyote Buttes South

Coyote Buttes South

Nature forces have made this place a hikers’ paradise. The visually stunning sites of sandstone formations, like arches, fins, and rock piles, are breathtaking.

However, this place is less frequented than the Coyote Buttes South. Fewer hikers seek permits to visit this region despite its picturesque features. And for this reason, it might be easier for you to obtain a permit than in the Northern region.

As you admire the beautiful work of water, wind, and time, you’ll create memories lasting for ages.

See Related: Best Restaurants in St. George, Utah

8. Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Coral Pink Sand Dunes

Address: Kanab, UT 84741, United States

You cannot describe Utah without mentioning buttes, plateaus, and sandstone cliffs. However, when all these get eroded over time, the sediments accumulate to form sand dunes.

The Coral Pink Sand Dunes is a magnificent dune that has formed over time. The orange-hued dunes are the ultimate beauty feature in this region. Anyone visiting this place agrees that the experience is worth every inch of the hassle.

The place is surrounded by ancient juniper, ponderosa pines, and pinyon, offering the best sites for photography and hiking.

The best way to experience the dunes is by hiking or four-wheel driving. And, if you want to make your visit even more memorable, you can go for a sunset or starlight tour. Coral Pink Sand Dunes is one of those places that you have to see to believe.

See Related: Things to Do in Ogden, Utah

9. Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon Utah

Address: Utah, United States

The major tourist attraction here is the Bryce Canyon National Park. And this is not your typical canyon. It is actually a series of natural amphitheaters that were also formed through erosion.

The most amazing thing about this place is the colorful limestone walls that make it look like a painting. Its views are mesmerizing, and you’ll have a great time here.

Even better, you can tackle any trail you want regarding difficulty and length. Bryce Canyon National Park has just the right combination for any category of hikers. If you want more than what we see on our screens, this natural beauty is what you need.

10. Hike to the Toadstools

Toadstools kanab

This amazing trail is located just 27 miles west of Page, Arizona. It’s around 30 30-minute drive on Highway 89, and you will easily notice this amazing trail’s features on the right side of the highway. And if you are coming from Kanab, Utah, it’s approximately 44 miles east on the same road.

The Toadstools got their name from their unique mushroom-like formation, which will undoubtedly pique your eyes. The beautiful stone carvings from extended water erosion spread all over, and each second spent here is worth it.

The only thing that experienced hikers may not like is its length. This trail is quite short, only around 0.75 miles long. However, the views are excellent; you can take all the pictures you want.

It’s also excellent for beginner hikers who don’t have much experience.

11. Belly of the Dragon

cave entrance

Address: Mt Carmel, UT 84755, United States

While it might not be a long hiking trail, this place is worth a visit. It is a stunning cave or tunnel around 16 miles north of Kanab.

The trail is short, only 0.5 miles long, but the experience is excellent. It gives quite an adrenaline rush as you walk through the narrow opening of this rock formation.

But be careful, as the rocks can get slippery when wet. The place is usually not handicapped ideal, but it’s still an easy trail compared to others.

12. Moqui Caves and Caverns

Moqui Caves and Caverns Outdoor view

Address: 4581 US-89, Kanab, UT 84741, United States

These caves are just stunning. And, while you might not allocate a whole day to tour them, they are worth stopping as you drive by. They are pretty close to the highway, making them an ideal add-on to your trip’s itinerary.

The Moqui Caves and Caverns are just a few miles from Kanab, Utah. Unlike many other rock formations in the area, Moqui Caverns are man-made. They resulted from sand mining used for iron casting between 1930 and 1940.

The caverns were hideouts for Indians in the past. However, today, they offer an excellent experience for any tourist. The caves and caverns are somewhat different. While the caves are neat, and there’s usually an entrance fee, the caverns are simply beautiful sandstone cave systems.

The caves are located only 5.5 miles south of Kanab. And they are quite easy to find as they are just off Highway 89.

13. Visit Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Address: Utah, United States

While Kanab is known for its numerous hiking trails and rock formations, that’s not the only good thing here. The town is surrounded by several national parks you’ll love visiting.

For instance, Zion National Park tops the list. This park is just an hour’s drive from Kanab. And it offers some of the most stunning views you’ll ever see.

The park is huge, and there are plenty of things to do here. For example, you can hike or enjoy a scenic drive. The huge red, cream, and pink sandstone cliffs soaring through the clear blue sky are a sight to behold.

Also, the wide variety of animals and plants will charm your tour. It’s an excellent place that blends the past and the present, offering the best experiences in southern Utah.

One more feature of this park you wouldn’t want to miss is the Zion Narrows (Canyon). It’s a 15-mile slot canyon on the Virgin River’s North Fork. And its reddish canyon walls are just enough to brighten your day. Make the most of your visit by reading our full guide on the best hotels in Zion National Park.

See Related: Places to Visit in Utah

14. Tour the Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon hiking

You can still access the Grand Canyon and its beauty even from Kanab. The North Rim of the canyon is just about a 2 hour’s drive from this town in Utah.

Generally, most of the Grand Canyon’s North Rim parts sit around 800 feet higher than the South Rim. This gives it a cooler climate, perfect for hiking and enjoying the outdoors. It also offers the best views of the area.

Its climate also supports a diverse ecosystem, with evergreen tree varieties ranging from pinions, blue spruce, and ponderosa. You’ll also see many wild animals, including mule deer, coyotes, bighorn sheep, and bobcats.

In short, the North Rim is an excellent place to visit if you want to get away from the heat and explore the wilderness. It’s also less crowded than other areas in the park, making it a great place to enjoy quietness.

See Related: List of US National Monuments

15. Hike Wire Pass Trailhead

Wire Pass Trailhead

Address: House Rock Valley Rd, Kanab, UT 84741, United States

This trailhead is a doorway to breathtaking views and excellent adventures. It’s located just outside Kanab and provides access to several trails.

One of these trails is the Buckskin Gulch trail, considered one of the best slot canyons in America. The Wire Pass Trailhead is also the starting point for Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness.

This short trail will take about one and a half hours to complete. However, it’s definitely worth your time as it takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the area.

Sometimes, all you need is some time outdoors. And the Wire Pass Trailhead is the perfect place to do just that. It allows you to enjoy nature and the magnificence of eroded landscapes with unimaginable features.

See Related: Four Corners National Monument Travel Guide

Where is Kanab, Utah?

Hot Air Balloons, Kanab, Utah
Maria Jeffs / Adobe Stock

Kanab is located in Kane County, Utah. It lies on the southern border of Utah, approximately midway between St. George and Page, Arizona. The town has a population of about 5000 people, covering an area of ​​about 14.6 square miles.

Kanab, Utah, was first settled in 1864 after the establishment of Fort Kanab. This was a military outpost meant to protect early Mormon settlers from Native American attacks in the area.

However, in 1866, heavy attacks by the Indians led to its abandonment. It was not until 1870 that 10 Mormon families bravely moved to resettle there.

The town was cut off from the rest of civilization for quite a long time. Accessibility was extremely difficult through the rough roads, where a 23-mile journey took almost four days. However, this is currently all in the past.

While Kanab is still a small town, it has developed significantly. It boasts all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. As for the climate, Kanab experiences a semi-arid climate with very little annual rainfall. This is because the town is located in a high desert region.

And when it comes to tourist attractions, Kanab is close to some of the most iconic and popular attractions in the American Southwest. In addition, it has some great features you’ll love to see and visit.

These include iconic attractions such as The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park, Lake Powell, Lake Mead, and Monument Valley.

Related Resources

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *