They say Kanab is "magically unspoiled." And they're right. This small town oozes with an authenticity that will open up your vision to the endless possibilities of adventure in redrock country. You won't be overwhelmed with billboards and advertisements. You'll simply drive into a charming town with people who are eager to meet you and make sure you have the experience you were hoping for.
Kanab takes care of you, and "boring" isn't in the vocabulary here. You can mountain bike, trail run, canyoneer, go offroading, climb, visit old west ghost towns, and explore three national parks. It's a lot to cover. If you've got three days, here's our favorite way to Kanab.
Salt Lake City to Kanab: 312 miles, 4 hours 42 minutes
Las Vegas to Kanab: 199 miles, 3 hours
If you really want to know this town, have lunch overlooking the redrock country surrounding Kanab. The $5 all-you-can-eat buffet is (shhh!) vegetarian and mighty delicious. After lunch you can take a two-hour tour at 1:00 p.m. or 2:30 p.m.
Our favorite lodging: Grand Circle B&B — family owned, updated design, home-cooking.
Our favorite restaurant: Sego Restaurant owned and managed by former executive chef at Amangiri Resort, Shon. A social plate restaurant with flavor profiles for each person in your group. Take your favorite people here, and all of you can empathize together about how it's the best dang meal you've ever had. Anywhere. And Shon will even check up on you to make sure everything is perfection.
Length: 1 mile
Round-trip time: 2 hours
The trail takes you up the red rock rim north of Kanab. The first half of the trail is up a small canyon, and then it opens up on the rim where you’ll be in direct sun. Make sure to bring a hat, sunscreen and lots of water. The trailhead is on 100 East, north of Jacob Hamblin Park.
From Kanab: 70.3 miles, 1 hour 5 minutes
Lake Powell is often called “America’s lost national park” because the flooded canyons look a lot like the federally designated lands that surround it. You get to see the red rocks via boat, kayak, or paddleboard — the desert sans dryness. During the summer heat, getting in the water is beyond refreshing. The Wahweap Marina in Page, Arizona, is just an hour drive from Kanab. Wake up early and catch the sunrise on your drive to the lake.
Ambassador Guides are professional fishermen and licensed to take you fishing in Lake Powell. You can go for half-day, full-day or extended fishing charters. Want to fly fish? They can help you do that too.
Zion National Park: 30.1 miles and 33 minutes to the east entrance
Paria Canyon: 75.2 miles and 2 hours, 28 minutes
You’ll most likely be out all day and head home straight after your adventure — so check out and pack up early.
Distance: 8.1 miles overall
You’ll need to get a permit from the National Park Service because this one is real popular among your adventurous folk, and it doesn't disappoint. Bring a rope and gear for rappelling down boulders, overhangs and waterfalls along the way. Start at the Wildcat Canyon trailhead.
Distance: 3.4 miles to the Buckskin Gulch confluence
Buckskin Gulch is a 20.3-mile slot canyon that is best done as an overnight backpacking trip, but you can get a taste for slot canyons and explore Buckskin Gulch a bit on a day trip if you make your way through Wire Pass.
Go home. It will probably be a late night, but totally worth it.
Grocery store: Honey’s Marketplace 260 E 300 S
Best coffee and chai: Willow Canyon Outdoors (gear, coffee, books)
Lodging: Grand Circle B&B, Canyons Boutique Hotel
Trails: K-Hill Trail, Squaw Trail, Tom's Canyon Trail
Visitor Center: Stop in and say hello. The folks here will tell you everything you never knew you wanted to know about the area. You can't miss it. It's the most colorful building in town 78 South 100 East.