(Maps at Bottom of Page)
Kanab is one of our favorite towns for guests to visit! This small town, which is only 40 min from us, has a rich cowboy history and is even referred to as "Little Hollywood" due to the number of Western movies that were filmed here throughout the 1900s.
Surrounded by slot canyons, national monuments & ATV trails, and home of The Wave and Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Kanab has TONS to explore!
We have put together a full and half-day itinerary and included our favorite outdoor adventure company, ROAM Outdoor Adventure.
Things to Note:
Kanab would be the perfect city to visit if you wanted a day with limited driving, fewer crowds, and more options than what you'd normally find around the National Parks.
If you're a pet lover, a visit to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a must! Tucked away in the canyons, this animal shelter is home to over 1,400 animals including dogs, horses, & pigs & is truly one of a kind. They offer daily site tours and visits.
Pictured: Paria Townsite
Christina's Trip Tips:
Below is a full-day recommendation and our recommendations for tours & ATV rentals around Kanab. I strongly recommend downloading and using AllTrails, it's a great tool for researching hikes.
IMPORTANT: ALWAYS check websites prior to your trip to ensure all roads/hikes are open.
Conditions change all the time!
Full-Day in Kanab with ROAM Outdoor Adventures
A schedule will vary based on what time you book your tour with ROAM, this schedule is based on a morning booking, but it is best to ask them what time of day is best for the activity you're planning on booking.
After your adventure with ROAM & the short hike to visit the Sand Caves, drive into Downtown Kanab for lunch. They have lots of options, Wild Thyme is my favorite for lunch & dinner.
Toadstools Trailhead (2 miles, 1 hr, easy) This is an easily accessible hike (parking is right off the highway) that takes you to some amazing views of toadstools. The hike ends in the west so it's perfect to end the day there and watch sunset.
Want a Shorter Day?
Take CO RD 43 to Kanab
Head to Kanab to meet up with ROAM for your adventure! See the map below for our favorite route to them, you will not pass any spots for breakfast/gas on this route, you will pass Coral Pink Sand Dunes if you wanted to stop by (although we do recommend waiting until Sunset to visit Coral Pink)
Visit Moqui Sand Cave
At this point, you'll be less than 5 minutes from the Sand Caves Trailhead which is a 10-15 min hike up a rock wall to a unique sand cave- you gotta do it! There's also a museum you’ll see, it’s $5-6 entry to go into their gift shop and see some Native American artifacts.
Belly of the Dragon is nearby and a very short, easy but beautiful hike through a cave.
After that, head back to Cane Beds. You’ll pass Coral Pink Sand Dunes on the way back if you want to pull into the free parking lot (it’s about 2 miles before the paid parking station) and take a look at the sand dunes!
For a Full Day, Next is Lunch!
Full-Day in Kanab w/ Hiking & Scenic Drive
Scenic Drive to Paria Townsite
Hike Moqui Sand Cave
Hike Belly of the Dragon
Go Sledding Down the Sand Dunes!
You won't pass any breakfast or gas stations on the way to the first trailhead, so it is best to eat at Cane Beds or in Town
Toadstools Trailhead (2 miles, 1 hr, easy) This is an easily accessible hike (parking is right off the highway) that takes you to some amazing views of toadstools. Once you make it to the end, make sure to explore the mountain and canyon ranges on the left and right of the toadstools
This will add extra drive time, but if you're up for it- it's so worth it! Paria is a ghost town located on the edge of Grand Staircase Escalante and is home to Utah's infamous "rainbow mountains". You can take the road through these mountains swirling with blues, purples, maroons and reds and freely hike/climb. Definitely recommend it for any guests with a drone- you feel like you're on another planet!
Drive into Downtown Kanab for lunch. They have lots of options, Wild Thyme is my favorite for lunch & dinner.
At this point, you'll be less than 15 minutes from the Sand Caves Trailhead which is a 10-15 min hike up a rock wall to a unique sand cave- you gotta do it! There's also a museum you’ll see, it’s $5-6 entry to go into their gift shop and see some Native American artifacts.
Belly of the Dragon is nearby and a very short, easy but beautiful hike through a long, unique cave.
After Belly of the Dragon, head to Coral Pink Sand Dunes. This would be ideal to visit 1-1.5 hours before sunset (the sand is REALLY hot during the day).
If you prefer just to see it, pull into the free parking lot (it’s about 2 miles before the paid parking station) and you're able to access the dunes for free.
Unique Experiences/Rental Options
ROAM Outdoor Adventures
ATV Rentals for Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
ROAM Outdoor Adventures: a locally owned company that offers ATV tours, Jeep rentals, horseback riding, hikes through slot canyons & the Grand Chamber, canyoneering (SO much fun) and an insanely cool hike called Via Ferrata.
Take a look at their site and if you plan on booking something, message Christina for a discount code.
Coral Pink ATV Tours: The only ATV company allowed to give ATV tours & rides inside Coral Pink Sand Dunes State park!
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is the largest sanctuary of its kind in the U.S., Best Friends has become the heart of a collaborative no-kill movement, and a model for the future of animal welfare and is located on hundreds of acres of beautiful canyon lands in the heart of Kanab.
They offer guided tours and visits to the shelter, more info here.
If you are looking to visit The Wave, a permit is required and it is a raffle entry, more info here.
If you aren't able to gain a permit, keep in mind that there are similar hikes that don't require a permit such as The Second Wave, The Alcove, and Sand Cove.
Check to ensure you have the proper vehicle to reach the trailheads,