Kanab is a beautiful southern Utah town that serves as a perfect base camp for all your adventures!
Kanab, Utah is the ultimate adventure hub, near 3 different U.S. National Parks (Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon) and boasting many incredible natural wonders of its own.
Kanab is a laid-back small town filled with friendly people and gorgeous surrounding scenery.
We love Kanab so much that we built a short-term rental here. We love that we can visit Kanab more often and give others a comfortable place to stay as they explore the area as well!
This post will cover the best things to do in Kanab and the surrounding area (within 90 minutes).
Quick List: Best Things to Do in Kanab
- Hike a Local Trail
- Jackson Flat Reservoir
- Jacob Hamblin Park
- Kanab City Pool
- Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
- Rent a Jeep or UTV
- Belly of the Dragon
- Kanab Sand Caves
- Take a Guided Tour
- Visit a Local Coffee Shop
- Dine at a Local Restaurant
- Treat Yourself to Dessert
- Little Hollywood
- Go Horseback Riding
- Moqui Cave
- Hunt for Murals
- Go Mountain Biking
Quick List: Best Things to Do Near Kanab
- Toadstool Hoodoos
- Coral Pink Sand Dunes
- Zion National Park
- Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch
- Red Hollow Slot Canyon
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Grand Canyon National Park
- Page, AZ
Best Things to Do in Kanab, Utah
The area surrounding Kanab is incredible, but don’t overlook these awesome things to do right in Kanab!
1. Hike the Local Trails
There are many incredible hikes in Kanab. Our personal favorites are the Squaw Trail and K Hill Trail.
Best Local Kanab Hiking Trails:
- Squaw Trail (3 miles, moderate)
- K Hill Trail (3.1 miles, easy)
- Bunting Trail (4.2 miles, hard)
- Tom’s Canyon Loop (3 miles, easy)
- Dinosaur Tracks (1 mile, steep/rocky)
- Greenhalgh Hike (4.6 miles, moderate)
2. Check Out Jackson Flat Reservoir
Jackson Flat Reservoir is a beautiful recreation area with many different entertainment options.
You can swim, fish, paddleboard, kayak, or canoe in the reservoir.
There are multiple sandy areas for kids to play in. One of them boasts an epic outdoor fitness area and volleyball courts.
There is a 3.2-mile flat, paved loop trail that goes all the way around the reservoir. The trail is great for kids and is stroller-friendly. You can also bike and bring leashed pets on the trail. A connector trail will take you into Kanab if you want to extend your adventure.
Jackson Flat also has an 18-hole frisbee golf course. We played about half of the course with our 15-month-old, and he had a blast running along the course and picking up our frisbees for us!
3. Play at Jacob Hamblin Park
Now that we have two toddlers, we love finding great parks with awesome views whenever we travel.
Jacob Hamblin Park is right in Kanab, and it is incredible! It is clean and well-maintained, there is a lot to do, and beautiful red cliff views surround it.
Jacob Hamblin Park has lots of open green space, public restrooms, and a large picnic pavilion.
The park has a great playground with swings and a large play structure. The park also has tennis courts, a skateboarding area, basketball courts, ball fields, and a free splash pad!
4. Swim at Kanab City Pool
The Kanab City Pool is right next to Jacob Hamblin Park, and it is only $5 per person for non-residents.
After a hot summer morning spent hiking in Bryce Canyon National Park, the pool was the perfect way to spend our afternoon! Once again, it has those beautiful views that so much of the town boasts.
5. Visit Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a home-between-homes for up to 1,600 animals at a time. The Sanctuary provides a safe home for dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, horses, and other barnyard animals from around the country.
You can volunteer at Best Friends or book a tour to see the animals. The Sanctuary is located in a beautiful canyon about 5 miles north of Kanab.
You will find hiking trails and climbing/exploring opportunities throughout the canyon. Best Friends also serves a daily $5 lunch at its Village Cafe. See the menu here. We tried the $5 lunch last time we visited, and it was good, especially for the price!
We love hiking & exploring Angel’s Canyon and visiting Best Friends Animal Sanctuary!
6. Rent a Jeep or UTV
Renting a jeep or UTV is a great way to get off the beaten path and access trails and attractions which are only accessible with all-wheel drive/high clearance.
There are many companies in Kanab to rent from, including Kanab Tour Company and Roam Outdoor.
Last summer, we rented a UTV from Kane County Off Road (now called Endless Adventures) in Glendale and had an absolute blast. It’s so nice to go at your own pace and stop anywhere that looks interesting.
Peekaboo Canyon and the Great Chamber were the two major attractions we rode to on our self-guided ATV adventure and both were incredible.
7. Take a Guided Tour
We have not done a guided tour in the area, as we prefer to explore on our own (however we do want to try a canyoneering tour sometime!), but guided tours require less planning and allow you to learn more about the area.
A guided tour is an excellent way to safely visit area attractions that are otherwise difficult to access.
We recommend Kanab Tour Company or Coral Cliffs Tours of Kanab for area-guided ATV, Jeep, Canyoneering, and hiking tours.
Here are a few popular tour attractions:
- Peekaboo Slot Canyon
- Great Chamber
- Inchworm Arch
- Hog Canyon
- Coyote Buttes North (the Wave hike)
- Coyote Buttes South
- White Pocket
- Wire Pass + Buckskin Gulch
8. Walk Through the Belly of the Dragon
The Belly of the Dragon is about 16 miles north of Kanab. It is a short and fun stop along Highway 89 on the way to Zion National Park.
The Belly of the Dragon is a man-made tunnel that was created as a water culvert under Hwy 89. Over time, the water that passed through it created a neat, cave-like ripple feature that makes this short tunnel fun to explore.
9. Climb Up to the Kanab Sand Caves
The Kanab Sand Caves are located about 5 miles north of Kanab along Highway 89, very close to the Moqui Cave attraction. The caves were man-made years ago when people were mining for sand.
There is parking along Hwy 89, and it is only a short half-mile or so to get to the caves. However, the caves are on a cliff, so you have to do a bit of steep climbing. If you stay further left away from the caves, it is easier to get up, and then once you are up, there is a relatively flat area to walk along to the caves. However, it is a bit narrow, so if you are afraid of heights, you may be nervous.
We would not take our young kids up to the caves, but my parents who are in their 50s were able to do it, and elementary-age kids would likely be able to do it as well if you feel comfortable.
10. Visit a Local Coffee Shop
Kanab boasts multiple excellent local coffee shops. The hardest part is deciding which to go to and what to order!
Kanab Coffee Shops
- Sunny Creek Coffee (brick & mortar location in the Kanab Tour Co building, coffee trailer downtown across from Kanab Drug)
- Willow Canyon Outdoor (outdoor store with a full coffee bar, across from Glazier’s Market, open late)
- Jakey Leigh’s Cafe (full coffee menu + breakfast/baked goods, downtown)
- Kanab Bakery (full coffee menu + breakfast/lunch)
- Taro Coffee Bar (coffee trailer across from Wild Thyme)
- Brown Box Bake Shop (downtown, very basic coffee/bakery items, better known for its grilled cheeses + ice cream)
- Nomad Coffee (full coffee menu/breakfast, fun retro vibe, north of town along Hwy 89)
My favorite coffee shop for to-go: Willow Canyon Outdoor
My favorite coffee shop to stay and hang out/work: Sunny Creek Coffee
11. Dine at a Local Restaurant
Kanab packs a punch in the restaurant department for being such a small town. With a great variety of delicious options, you really can’t go wrong.
Our personal favorites:
- Wild Thyme (outstanding food)
- Iron Horse (for the theatrics)
- Peekaboo (good pizza)
- Brown Box (Jalapeno grilled cheese)
- Big Al’s (for quick diner food)
12. Treat Yourself to Something Sweet
You just can’t beat a delicious smoothie or dessert after a day of hiking and adventures!
Kanab Smoothie & Dessert Spots
- Brown Box – baked goods, homemade ice cream & amazing cookie skillets
- The Soda Fountain – ice cream
- Cave Cafe – smoothies, acai bowls
- Kanab Creek Bakery – cookies, baked goods
- Asava – smoothies & smoothie bowls
13. Visit Little Hollywood Museum
We visit Little Hollywood every time we are in Kanab with our kids because they love it!
It’s a free outdoor museum full of old Western movie sets, including Clint Eastwood classic The Outlaw Josey Wales.
There is also a gift shop and BBQ restaurant on site.
Admission is free, but there is a suggested $5 donation/adult.
14. Go Horseback Riding
We have an Airbnb in Kanab and often see people riding past our house (which is in town on city streets) on horses! There are many great horse-friendly trails in the area.
Kanab Equestrian Trails:
- K Hill Trail
- Greenhalgh Trail
- Cottonwood Trail
- Navajo Lake Loop
Horseback Riding Tour Companies:
- Roam Outdoor
- Paria River Ranch
- Staircase Stables
- East Zion Adventures
15. Dive Back in History at Moqui Cave
Moqui Cave is a unique museum and gift/rock shop north of Kanab along Highway 89.
The museum depicts life in southern Utah throughout history and houses Native American artifacts, dinosaur tracks, minerals, rocks, and fossils.
The cave never rises above 65 degrees, so it’s a nice place to cool off on hot summer days!
Museum entry fees: $5/adults, kids are free
16. Go Mural Hunting
There are many awesome murals throughout Kanab – see how many you can find!
For an added challenge, look for the four sets of “wings” on different buildings throughout town. Email me or message me on Instagram (@jettsetterstravel) if you want me to give you the exact locations. 😉
17. Hit the Bike Trails
Whether you ride on the roads, go mountain biking, or hit the bike trails, Kanab is a wonderful place to go biking.
Renting e-bikes at Zion National Park is on our bucket list, but there are many great biking opportunities in Kanab as well.
Check out Kanab E-bikes for e-bike and mountain bike rentals!
Best Area Bike Trails
- Jackson Flat Reservoir (in Kanab, paved)
- Raven/Roadrunner Trails (in Kanab, mountain bike)
- Hog Canyon (fat bike trail)
- Gooseberry Mesa Trails (mountain bike)
- Red Canyon (paved trail)
- Page Rimview Trail (mountain bike)
18. Visit Kanab Museum & Heritage House
Learn about area history at the Kanab Museum and take a free tour at the Kanab Heritage House, the “first modern home in Kane County”, built in 1894.
The Kanab Museum is open 10-5 daily (closed on Thursdays), and admission is free for all permanent exhibits.
19. Stop by the Kanab Visitor Center
The Kanab Visitor Center is one of four visitor centers for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument but also serves as a great resource for the area in general.
The friendly staff at the Visitor Center can provide you with weather reports, hiking information, trail and road reports, and more information about the area.
For even more information and recommendations, check out the Kane County Visitor Center to speak with friendly and knowledgeable staff, pick up free maps and brochures, and learn more about area events, tours, and things to do.
Best Things to Do Near Kanab
All of these hikes, parks, and attractions are within 90 minutes of Kanab.
20. Hike the Toadstool Trail
The Toadstool Hoodoos Trail is one of our favorite hikes! It is about a 45-minute drive from Kanab, but it is right on the way to Page, Arizona if you are planning to check out any of the attractions there.
An easy, family-friendly trail, this hike is fun for all and makes you feel like you are on another planet. Most of the trail leading to the toadstools travels through a dried-up wash – it is perfect for young kids because it is flat and the walls of the wash keep kids contained and on the right path.
The trail is well-marked, and there are nice views the whole way. Once you get to the area where you start seeing the famous toadstools hoodoos, there are endless opportunities to explore.
You could spend hours letting the kids play in the sand and dirt and explore all of the nooks and crannies. We found a soft, sandy area, and our 1-year-old had SO much fun playing.
21. Drive Cottonwood Canyon Road
Cotton Wood Canyon Road is a 47-mile scenic drive from the Kanab area in the south to Kodachrome Basin State Park in the north.
The road is unpaved and can be very difficult to navigate when muddy, so it’s important to check road conditions before heading out on your adventure.
Aside from stunning views throughout the drive, there are a few other attractions to note:
- Lower Hackberry Canyon (15 miles in) – anywhere from 2-10 miles
- Cottonwood Wash Narrows (25 miles in) – easy 3-mile slot canyon hike
- Grosvenor Arch (30 miles in)
- Kodachrome Basin State Park (47 miles in)
22. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is about 20 miles from Kanab. There is an entry fee of $10/car for this Utah State Park.
The park offers beautiful views and a wide variety of entertainment options. You can hike, play in the sand, go sledding or sandboarding (bring your own or rent these from the Visitor Center) or go OHV riding.
We have only been to Coral Pink Sand Dunes once. We went on a warm June day around sunset, and there were beautiful wildflowers everywhere. I would love to go back now that our son is older so he can explore and play in the sand!
23. Visit Zion National Park
We love Zion National Park and have visited it many times! The East Entrance of Zion is only about 30 minutes from Kanab.
Some of our favorite trails in Zion are Canyon Overlook Trail, Pine Creek Waterfall, Watchman Trail, Pa’rus Trail (with strollers), and Angel’s Landing.
24. Hike Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch
There are multiple trailheads that provide access to Buckskin Gultch, one of the longest continuous slot canyons in the world at roughly 16 miles long.
Wire Pass Trailhead offers the most direct access for a day hike at Buckskin Gulch. The trailhead is about 1 hour from Kanab. The road to Wire Pass Trailhead is dirt, but is accessible to most vehicles as long as the road is not wet/muddy.
Once you make it to the trailhead, get ready for an epic (and flat/easy) hike through two incredible slot canyons.
Follow the trail for about 1.4 miles until you reach the beginning of Wire Pass Slot canyon. You will need to go down a wide, sturdy ladder during the Wire Pass section of the hike. You will be in Wire Pass Slot Canyon for about 0.3 miles before reaching Buckskin Gulch.
Once you reach Buckskin Gultch, you can choose to go left or right. The right side goes on for miles – explore as far as you’d like before turning around and heading back the way you came!
There is a $6 day use permit fee per person and per dog to visit Buckskin Gulch.
25. Short Hike to Red Hollow Slot Canyon
Red Hollow Slot Canyon is in the nearby town of Orderville, UT (about 30 min from Kanab).
26. White Pocket
White Pocket (Paria Plateau) is a well-known feature of Vermillion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona, about 70 miles from Kanab (same area as Coyotte Buttes). Despite being just 70 miles away, it will take you 2-2.5 hours to reach White Pocket from Kanab.
While many people take tours or ATVs to White Pocket, it is accessible with a 4WD high-clearance vehicle. Once you make it to the trailhead, the hike itself is just over 1 mile. You will be treated to those famous white wave views.
27. Visit Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is another incredible Utah National Park that we love and have visited multiple times. It is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Kanab to Bryce Canyon National Park.
28. Road Trip to the Grand Canyon North Rim
We have been to both the South Rim and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Grand Canyon North Rim only receives 10% of total Grand Canyon visitors, making it much less crowded than the South Rim.
We hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up in one day when we visited the South Rim. It was an incredible experience and definitely the coolest hike we have ever done.
The North Rim is closed during the winter (October 15- May 15), while the South Rim is open year-round. The North Rim is about 75 miles from Kanab, and the South Rim is much further away – about 200 miles from Kanab.
I HIGHLY recommend hiking down into the canyon at least a little bit no matter which part of the Grand Canyon you visit because it gives you an entirely different experience and allows you to escape the crowds.
We visited the North Rim of the Grand Canyon with our 6-month-old in June 2021. Our day consisted of a visit to the Lodge and Visitor Center, checking out most of the viewpoints, and doing some short trails along the rim of the canyon. We loved that the North Rim was so much less crowded than the South Rim and offered a different perspective, as it is at a much higher elevation.
29. Check Out Page, Arizona
Page, Arizona is about 1 hour and 10 minutes from Kanab. It is a small town that packs a big punch. There are many famous sights and activities in and around Page. Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Lake Powell are some of the best attractions to see and explore.
We highly recommend eating at the Barnyard if you visit Page. This fun, family-friendly restaurant opened in Fall of 2023 and it is packed with fun activities (playground for the kids, cornhole, yard games, mini golf, darts, etc.). We had excellent food and service when we visited and will be going back!
I hope you found this list of things to do in Kanab, Utah helpful and inspiring!