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Best 7 Things to Do Near Kanab, Utah in 2024

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Hiking the wave in Kanab Utah

Nestled in the heart of Southern Utah lies an often-overlooked gem of a town that offers visitors a breathtaking views like no other. Kanab, Utah is a charming town situated in Kane County, that boasts stunning red rock formations, pristine natural landscapes, and an abundance of outdoor activities.

Kanab is one of our favorite areas to visit while on an Arizona and Utah national parks road trip because it is truly a mecca for adventure lovers. It’s the perfect home base for anyone looking to do a ton of exploring on the Utah and Arizona border. Despite its relatively small size, there are so many things to do near Kanab from hiking slot canyons and hoodoos, to exploring National Parks, to taking gorgeous scenic drives. 

This Utah travel guide goes over the best 7 things to do near the Kanab region. With its awe-inspiring natural beauty and abundance of outdoor activities, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience on your road trip.

1. Visit Zion National Park

Zion National Park Watchman View

Zion National Park is a breathtaking National Park situated just an hour and 20 minutes from Kanab. It was established in 1919 and covers an area of 232 square miles. The park is known for its unique geology, vibrant biodiversity, and stunning vistas. Throughout Zion National Park, you can explore the park through a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, canyoneering, and rock climbing. Here are a few must do activities while visiting Zion National Park.

Angels Landing

View from the top of Angels Landing Hike in Zion National Park

This hike is known to be the scariest hike in the whole country. Although we personally don’t find it that intimidating, it’s definitely not for those who are afraid of heights. It’s about 4.3 miles total and 1,827 ft in elevation gain. 

This hike does require a permit so, make sure you have one before coming to the park. If you aren’t able to get one, we recommend hiking to Scout’s Landing at least and enjoying the views from there.

If you bring a bike to the park, we suggest riding it to the trailhead for sunrise. The shuttles start at 6 am, but if you arrive at the trailhead at 5 am, you’ll beat the crowds and be some of the first people at the top. This hike does get extremely crowded so getting there early is essential. You’ll definitely want to bring a headlamp and some layers as the top is very windy and maybe even some gloves for holding the cold chains as you hike up and down. This is a must-do hike for all adventure lovers that aren’t too afraid of heights.

The Narrows

adventure couple hiking the narrows in zion national park

The Narrows is a very unique hike and another must-do in Zion. Before you start this hike, we recommend visiting Zion Outfitters and renting some neoprene socks and boots and sticks. If you’re planning to visit in the winter months, you should rent the pants as well. 

Most of this hike is in the water so having the proper shoes is vital to enjoying your experience. Once you get off the shuttle you’ll need to hike about a mile to the trailhead and that’s where you can start putting your rental gear on. The best time to hike this trail is between 12-4pm when the sun is inside The Narrows. This is another very popular hike so, keep in mind that there will be lots of people the whole time.

Our favorite part of the hike was Wall Street and Orderville Canyon. Once you get to the junction, if you make a right, you’ll be headed straight to it. You can only go about ¼ mile past the junction, but it’s very peaceful and stunning in the canyon there.

Lastly, we recommend bringing extra shoes such as flip flops or comfy sneakers to put on after the hike. The rental boots aren’t the most comfortable and your feet will thank you once you take them off.

Canyon Overlook Trail

We highly recommend coming to Canyon Overlook for sunrise if you can. It’s about a mile round trip and it does get pretty crowded so try and get there early if you can. We heard this location is more of a sunset spot than sunrise, but we don’t think you can go wrong either way. Whatever your schedule allows on your trip, we definitely recommend checking this spot out for sunrise or sunset.

2. Hike the Wave Near Kanab, Utah

Hiking the Wave in Kanab Utah Coyote Buttes

Hiking The Wave is an experience unlike any other. Just an hour east of Kanab and located in the Coyote Buttes of Arizona, this natural rock formation is known for its stunning sandstone formations that resemble waves.

In order to go on this trail, you do need to obtain a highly sought after permit. Only a limited number of people are allowed to visit each day, which makes it even more special. The trail itself is about 6.7 miles round trip, and the steep incline of 1,233 feet can be challenging for some. Proper hiking equipment and plenty of water is essential.

Once you arrive at The Wave, the scenery is truly breathtaking. The undulating waves of sandstone are delicately carved by wind and time and create a mesmerizing effect. The colors of the rock are also stunning, ranging from deep reds to sandy yellows and oranges.

3. Check out Bryce Canyon National Park

Hiking the Navajo Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park

Just an hour and a half from Kanab, Utah is Bryce Canyon National Park, a breathtaking natural wonderland that showcases a stunning collection of hoodoos, spires, and other geological formations. Established in 1928, this magnificent park covers an impressive 35,835 acres of spectacular terrain, including a series of natural amphitheaters that have been carved out over millions of years.

Bryce Canyon is home to some of the world’s most awe-inspiring red rock scenery, offering a range of unique and unforgettable experiences. From hiking and camping to nature walks and stargazing, there’s something for everyone at Bryce Canyon National Park. If you’re planning to visit the park while in Kanab, check out a few of our favorite hikes.

Hike in bryce canyon national park near Kanab
Watching the sunrise at Inspiration Point in Bryce Canyon National Park

Inspiration Point

The Inspiration Point viewpoint is the most beautiful spot to watch the sunrise in the park. There are viewpoints from the Upper, Middle, and Lower Inspiration Point and it’s about 0.6 miles out and back. Watching the sun rise up and cover the hoodoos is something we recommend everyone to witness.

Sunset Point

adventure couple hiking in bryce canyon national park utah

Next, we suggest taking the Rim Trail from Inspiration Point and hiking the ½ mile to Sunset Point. It’s called Sunset Point, but we personally love coming here for sunrise instead. The sun sets in the west and doesn’t light up the hoodoos as well as the sunrise does, which is our favorite part. The hike along the Rim Trail does have unstable soil so make sure to be extra careful when getting close to the cliffs.

Navajo Loop Trail

Navajo Loop is about 1.5 miles round trip and takes you to see some stunning rock formations. We recommend hiking it clockwise to avoid the sun being in your eyes when you’re coming uphill. As you hike, you’ll first see Thor’s Hammer which is a super awesome narrow hoodoo that resembles Mjolnir. At the end of the trail, you’ll see an area called Wall Street, which was our personal favorite of the hike. The hoodoos here are incredibly tall and the canyons are super fun to walk through.

4. See the Moqui Sand Caves in Kanab, Utah

Exploring the Moqui Sand Caves in Utah is such a great morning adventure. The cave is located in Kanab, Utah, and is known for its incredible geological features and fascinating history. The cave is located in a picturesque setting and is surrounded by stunning red rock formations, which make the experience all the more memorable.

The Moqui Cave is an underground cave that formed over millions of years of geological activity. You can explore the cave and see the stalactites and stalagmites that formed over centuries, as well as the various rock formations that make the cave so special.

In addition to its geological features, the Moqui Cave is also a place of historical significance. The cave was used by Anasazi people for many years, with evidence of their stay found within its walls. In more recent times, the cave was used as a Speakeasy during Prohibition.

Today, the Moqui Cave is open to the public, and anyone can walk through the cave with a guide. The cave is a perfect spot to explore for all nature enthusiasts, as well as anyone who is interested in history or geology.

5. Explore the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Man standing on Coral Pink Sand Dunes near Kanab
Stephen atop one of the dunes in Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a unique and beautiful destination located just 30 minutes away from Kanab. The park covers over 3,700 acres and features expansive dunes of soft, pink sand that are a joy to explore.

We especially loved visiting Coral Pink Sand Dunes at sunrise. The park was completely empty and the way the golden hour light hits the dunes is super magical. Make sure to bring layers if you decide to go that early in the morning as it was a little chilly!

When visiting the park you can take part in a range of activities, including hiking, sandboarding, and off-road vehicle riding. Trails wind through the dunes and offer fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. Sandboarding is a popular activity, using specially designed boards to glide down the dunes. If you love off-roading, you can explore the sand dunes, with designated areas set aside for it.

The park also features picnic areas and campground facilities, making it a great spot for a family day out or a weekend camping trip. With its unique landscape and variety of activities, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a must-visit for anyone looking for things to do near Kanab, Utah.

6. Take a Scenic Drive Through the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument

Vermillion Cliffs National Monument Kanab Utah

If you’re looking for more things to do near Kanab, Utah, we recommend taking a scenic drive through the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Located just an hour from Kanab, the breathtaking vistas, towering cliffs, and vibrant colors of the rocks will leave you speechless. The monument spans over 280,000 acres in northern Arizona and southern Utah and is home to some of the most unique geological formations.

As you drive along the winding roads, you will see towering cliffs that seem to touch the sky. The cliffs, shaped by the forces of wind, rain, and sun, have incredible sculptures that are both beautiful and awe-inspiring.

Along the way, there are many stops where you can get out of your car and explore the area. There are hiking trails, picnic areas, and overlooks that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The most popular stops include the White Pocket, the Coyote Buttes North, and the Wahweap Hoodoos.

In addition to the natural beauty of the area, there is also an abundance of wildlife to observe. The Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is home to a variety of animals such as coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and even mountain lions.

7. Explore the Slot Canyons Around Kanab, Utah

Woman standing in Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is a mesmerizing natural wonder located just an hour and a half east of Kanab. Known for its narrow, winding passageways and breathtaking colors, the slot canyon attracts hikers and photographers from every corner of the world.

There is a catch though – since this canyon is on tribal land, you do have to book a paid tour through the tribe in order to visit. You do a short hike through either the upper or lower part of Antelope Canyon and enter into a magical world of sandstone formations, which were chiseled over time by the powerful forces of wind and water. Make sure to book this tour about 2-4 weeks in advance.

While most people hike through the canyon, you can also enter via kayaking or paddle boarding! We did this back in 2020 and had a great time heading out on the water. This option is much cheaper and much less crowded than hiking it. However, you’re not getting the same super narrow formations in this part of the canyon as it’s more wide.

Buckskin Gulch & Wire Pass Canyon

Couple hiking in Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon in Wire Pass Canyon Kanab

Hiking through the Buckskin Gulch slot canyon via Wire Pass Canyon is another must do if you’re looking for hikes to do near Kanab, Utah. Just a little over an hour from Kanab, Wire Pass Canyon is a 3.7-mile-long hike. The canyon walls rise up to 200 feet high and are only a few feet apart, creating a breathtaking sight. The hike takes you through narrow passageways that twist and turn throughout the canyon, and every corner presents a new and exciting experience.

Along the way, you can explore hidden alcoves, narrow passages, ancient Native American petroglyphs and stunning rock formations. The hike is an unforgettable experience, and it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular hikes in the area. Not to mention, it’s an incredible alternative to Antelope Canyon if you don’t want to pay for an expensive tour there. Make sure to arrive early, bring $6 cash for the parking fees, and come prepared with your hiking essentials.

Ready to Explore Kanab, Utah and its Surrounding Areas?

Toadstool Hoods Kanab Utah
Hiking in Kanab Utah

As you can see, there is so much to do and see around Kanab, Utah. These areas are incredibly beautiful and have such amazing history and landscapes. Like we said before, Kanab is a town that is overlooked, and we want to share the beauty it holds with all of you. Start planning your trip to Kanab so you can explore all the natural wonders around it.

If you want to learn more about the National Parks in Utah, check out our blog The Best of the Utah Mighty Five. Is Kanab on your travel bucket list?

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