Kanab is a small town in Utah famous for being one of the best base points for visiting Bryce Canyon, Zion National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. If you are planning your itinerary along the great American parks you cannot fail to consider this stage both for the convenience and for the splendid natural attractions of the area.In fact, Kanab is not only a comfortable solution to stay overnight, but it is also a real window on the American West. Its splendid views have been chosen as the location for dozens of western films, so much so that over the years the city was nicknamed the Little Hollywood of Utah.
- Where is it and how to get there
- What to see in Kanab
- Little Hollywood Museum
- The hidden gems around Kanab
- Moqui Cave
- Old Paria Ghost Town
- The Toadstools
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
- Buckskin Gulch
- Distances from large parks
- Where to sleep in Kanab
- Where to eat in Kanab
Where is it and how to get there
The fastest way to get to Kanab from Arizona is to take the Highway 89 which, besides being the main connecting artery to reach the city, can easily be defined as a real panoramic road. The splendid views that will accompany you during your journey will help you not feel too much the fatigue of driving. Kanab can be reached from Page in Arizona in about an hour and a quarter by car.
What to see in Kanab
There aren't many real tourist attractions in Kanab, apart from a little gem that I will describe shortly, but it is certainly the best place to find information on the main attractions in the area. Tourists visiting this part of the United States can get help planning their next stops especially in two offices:
- Kane County Office of Tourism: the Kane County Information Center. The staff are very friendly and willing to provide information, maps and brochures on nearby parks.
- Grand Staircase-Escalante Visitor Center: in addition to finding all the necessary information to visit this huge park, this is where you will have to go to participate in the lottery in order to access the famous The Wave all’interno del Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
Little Hollywood Museum
As we have mentioned, Kanab has played a very important role in the history of American cinema. More than 100 western movies and TV series have been shot in its surroundings, so much so that over time the city has begun to be nicknamed as Utah’s Little Hollywood. To remember these good old days we think about the only real tourist attraction in the city: the Little Hollywood Museum.
More than a museum, it is actually a reconstruction of what must have been a film set representing a typical Far West village. Admission is free and can certainly be a pleasant stop to consider in your itinerary.
The hidden gems around Kanab
As mentioned Kanab is a very convenient base for discovering the southern part of Utah, let's find out which are the main hidden pearls and get ready to change your itinerary.
Traces of dinosaurs (real or presumed), phosphorescent stones, fossils and artifacts of Native Americans, here is what will welcome you upon entering the Moqui Cave. Located on Highway 89 just 10 minutes north from Kanab, it can be a pleasant stop if you are going to (or returning from) the major national parks of Zion and Bryce.
To enter this small natural history museum, even if some go so far as to define it as a real tourist trap located inside a cave, you need to pay an entrance ticket costing $ 5.
Old Paria Ghost Town
A real hidden gem that can be reached by taking a detour along Highway 89. This is the Ghost Town di Paria which, after being abandoned by its inhabitants in the late 1920s, has become a film set for numerous westerns.
Unfortunately today the set was destroyed by a fire, but this area of Utah is still worth visiting for the beautiful natural views it manages to give to those adventurous enough to embark on this excursion. You can find out how to get there and other useful information by reading our in-depth study entirely dedicated to Old Paria.
A detour from Highway 89 is also required to visit this natural attraction. The route The Toadstools Trailhead starts from a small parking area located between mile post 19 and 20. Along the trail (about 2 and a half kilometers there and back) you will find a considerable amount of hoodoo's and curiously shaped stones reminiscent of those of mushrooms (hence the name of the zone). The best time of day to photograph these rock formations is about half an hour before sunset.
Also in this case some necessary recommendations are necessary: the whole path will be completely exposed to the sun without any kind of shelter. Especially in summer this could cause some problems. So make sure you have suitable clothing and plenty of water with you.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
The characteristic of the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, as you can guess from the name, are the picturesque pink dunes that were created thanks to the erosion of the rock formations in the area, known as Navajo Sandstone. What makes this place special is not only the color of the dunes but also the fact that you will not find yourself in the middle of a desert, as in the Kelso Dunes in California, but you will be surrounded by forests and mountains.
Locals usually go to this place with quad-bikes and dune buggies and whiz along the many dunes. The entrance fee is $ 8.
Many tourists who visit the west coast and want to see the spectacular play of light that only a slot canyon can offer up close, head without delay to the famous Antelope Canyon near Page. However, if you have not been able to book your tour, or you want to look for an alternative less populated by tourists, you can try an excursion to Buckskin Gulch, the longest canyon in America.
It is located on the border between Utah and Arizona and can be reached through multiple trails that you can choose according to your training and the time you have available for this excursion. It is certainly not an easy stage to add to an itinerary, and there are many indications to take into account. To find out everything you need to know to visit this fascinating canyon, you can read our article entirely dedicated to the Buckskin Gulch.
Distances from large parks
- Kodachrome Basin State Park: one hour and fifty minutes
- Cedar Breaks National Monument: one hour and thirty minutes
- Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area: two and a quarter hours
- Zion National Park East Entrance: 30 minuti
- Bryce National Park: one hour and twenty minutes
- Grand Canyon North Rim: one hour and fifty minutes during the months that the road leading to the visitor center is open
- Lake Powell: an hour and a quarter
Where to sleep in Kanab
Given the tourist vocation of the city, as you can guess, the hotel offer is very rich especially when compared to the small size of Kanab. While you shouldn't expect five-star or top-of-the-range accommodations, most hotels still offer great convenience and very good value for money.
The first interesting solution is Aikens Lodge (79 West Center, Kanab) which I personally tested during my stay in Kanab. Although the general atmosphere may seem a little spartan, the rooms are very spacious and clean, plus there is also a nice swimming pool that can be used to cool down on hot summer days. The mode of parking of the cars is that comfortable and characteristic of American motels.
A certainly more unusual solution could be to try the experience of sleeping inside the characteristic American Indian tents. If you are intrigued by this proposal then you can consider the Bed & Breakfast Black Feather Tipi Experience (514 North 200 East) which, in addition to offering the classic rooms and various comforts such as the Jacuzzi, will allow you to choose the "types" of the natives as accommodation. The fortunate position close to the promontory near Kanab also offers interesting views.
Those who prefer to rely on the comforts and safety of a large chain can consider a stop at theHampton Inn (98 South 100 East), a four-star hotel, which features an indoor swimming pool with Jacuzzi and a fitness room. Particularly suitable therefore for those looking for some extra comfort during their stay.
The last tip concerns a hotel with a fascinating architecture that also has an excellent restaurant. We are talking about the Parry Lodge (89 East Center Street) a motel that was frequented by many Hollywood stars during the golden years of film production in this area. If you choose to stay overnight in this motel do not miss a visit to the The Old Barn Theater an old stable of over 100 converted into a cinema that obviously shows western films.
If the proposed solutions are not for you, or if you want to have a general idea of all the other hotels in the city, you can click on the button below.
Search all the hotels in Kanab
Where to eat in Kanab
Like the hotels, Kanab offers a considerable choice in terms of catering. Let's start with Rocking V Cafe which, in addition to being an excellent restaurant, also houses an art gallery on the upper floor. For meat lovers I recommend Homer's Dream Pork Chop and the Bison Tenderloin (bison meat) a real specialty of the house.
If you are nostalgic for pizza you can try the Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen which by American standards manages to offer a pretty good pizza combined with a pleasant location in which to eat.