Your oasis in a sea of rock and desert, the small town of Kanab is often used as the jumping-off point for adventure. Located within a few hours of Bryce Canyon and Zion National Park, many travelers choose to stay in Kanab before going out and exploring the beauty of Utah.
Before you venture out and explore the canyons, mesas, and deserts of Utah, Kanab is the place to go to stock up on delicious food, great drinks, and information on the roads ahead.
We know you can’t wait to get to Kanab to start your journey, but there may just be one snag in your plans – you don’t know what to do first! With so much to do in the city and surrounding areas, picking just a handful of parks and museums is easier said than done.
You can rest easy because we’ve brought all the best things to do in Kanab, Utah, to one place! With everything from museums to restaurants, you can now create an itinerary and make your dreams a reality.
Get ready to descend into canyons and climb up mountains; your Kanab adventure is just a few clicks away!
17 Best Things to Do in Kanab, Utah
1. Kanab Visitor Center
There are countless hiking trails and canyons to explore around Kanab, but before you lace up your boots and start exploring, make sure to stop by the Kanab Visitor Center.
Many of the sights around Kanab are not organized into parks, so before you decide to hit the trails, you can get the most up to date information at the visitor center. The Kanab Visitor Center also has extensive exhibits about the culture and geography of the local area.
2. Utah – Kanab “Walk of Fame” Historical Markers
Kanab, Utah is known as Little Hollywood and throughout the city, you can find great historical markers that highlight those who have made western movies or television series in the area. This is a great way to stretch your legs and also learn about this city that many people just drive through en route to Page, Arizona.
These recognizable markets provide insight into a cool past that no other city has. Discover where The Lone Ranger was filmed with Clayton Moore and Jay Silverheels or where the cowboy star Tex Ritter and his horse thundered across in this historic western town that was the backdrop to many great productions.
3. Kanab Heritage House Museum
Offering guests insights into the history and culture of Kanab, Kanab Heritage House Museum will show you what life was like in this frontier town.
Built in 1885, the Kanab Heritage House was known as the first modern home in town. The house hosted important local families, who left their imprint on Kanab. With fascinating exhibits and stunning decor, this museum should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Kanab.
4. Moqui Caverns
Taking you away from downtown Kanab, Moqui Caverns is a system of caves and tunnels carved deep into the side of the rock. Although small, the light shining in from the outside reflects off the sandstone in such a way that it is perfect for pictures.
A short walk away, you’ll also find the Moqui Museum. Within this museum, you’ll discover exhibits taking you through the history of early Native American settlements in the region. With hiking trails and interesting displays, visiting Moqui Caverns makes for the perfect day trip.
5. Zion National Park
You’ll quickly realize that most travelers only stay in Kanab to visit nearby Zion National Park. Located only 30 minutes away, Zion National Park is home to some of the best hiking trails in the world.
When visiting Zion National Park, you better be prepared for adventure. The hiking trails will lead you everywhere – from mountain overlooks to deep canyons known as The Narrows. You’ll also want to check out Angels Landing and the Emerald Pools.
Zion is not a place you can simply visit for one day and be done. Even after spending a week at the park, you’ll still be finding new things to explore!
6. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Some travelers may be disappointed when they arrive in Utah because the deserts are full of more rocks than sand. Lucky for you, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is located just a few minutes outside of downtown Kanab.
Here you can kick off your shoes and sink your toes into the soft sands. One of the most popular things to do is grab a surfboard and slide down the massive dunes! You’ll also find loads of hiking trails and canyons within the park.
7. Peekaboo Canyon
Not only is this one of the best places to hike around Kanab, but Peekaboo Canyon is also one of the most famous slot canyons in the United States. Located within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument region of Utah, you could spend years exploring all the canyons and mountains.
If you’re looking for an alternative to Antelope Canyon, this is the place for you. While Antelope Canyon is beautiful, it is crowded, so this one is actually a much better experience. We were the only visitors on the day we went, mainly because you need a 4×4 to access this canyon.
8. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
This animal sanctuary is so much more than just a place to adopt homeless pets; it’s also a place to hang out and play with various animal species, including dogs and pigs! You can even sponsor an animal to go out with you on one of your day trips.
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is surprisingly busy. Sometimes during the year, you may have to call in advance to reserve a spot on one of their free tours.
9. Peekaboo Canyon Wood-Fired Grill
You already know a few museums and parks to check out while visiting Kanab, but where can you grab some food? Named after the nearby attraction of the same name, Peekaboo Canyon Wood-fired Grill is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat after spending a long day on the trails.
Owned by the co-founders of Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, this restaurant has some of the best vegetarian and vegan food in all of Kanab. Serving local dishes and nationwide favorites, you’re sure to come back night after night to Peekaboo Canyon Wood-fired Grill.
10. Little Hollywood Museum
It doesn’t matter if you’re a child or a grown-up; travelers are sure to be blown away at the Little Hollywood Museum! It wasn’t long ago when cowboy films were all the buzz in Hollywood. You can still see these classic movies brought to life at this museum.
The Little Hollywood Museum is home to cowboy costumes and memorabilia; you will also find full movie sets where you can pretend you’re Clint Eastwood or John Wayne.
11. Belly of the Dragon
If you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind experience, head down to the Belly of the Dragon. This drainage tunnel bores through solid rock under a highway. While that may not sound overly interesting, wait until you see the pictures.
Much like the rock formations you see throughout Utah’s desert, Belly of the Dragon has a spectrum of colors within its walls. With few travelers in sight, the Belly of the Dragon is one of the best off the beaten path destinations from Kanab.
12. Rocking V Cafe
Did you work up an appetite after spending a day exploring the canyons and hiking trails around Kanab? Then rest your feet for a bit and grab some dinner at Rocking V Cafe. A favorite with tourists and locals, you won’t find a better meal in town.
Rocking V Cafe not only has some of the best food, they also have plenty of vegan and gluten-free options. Offering everything from southwest salads to steaks, get ready to send your tastebuds to heaven.
13. Buckskin Gulch
Not far from downtown Kanab, you’ll find a record-breaking canyon. Buckskin Gulch is not only the deepest but also the longest slot canyon in the world. Be prepared for a trek – the trail leading through the base of the canyon is not suitable for beginner hikers.
Although Buckskin Gulch is too much for your average traveler, you can always try Wire Pass, a short canyon leading to the gulch. Just two miles long one way, this is the perfect alternative to explore Buckskin Gulch without blistering your feet.
14. The Redstone Theater
Looking for a place to spend your night in downtown Kanab? The Redstone Theater is the best place to immerse yourself in local western culture. With live music that’ll have you on your feet hitting the dancefloor, this is an experience you won’t want to miss.
The Redstone Theater is home to The Bar G Wranglers, a house band playing all your favorite country hits. Besides great music, you’ll also be able to enjoy whip demonstrations and rope tricks.
15. The White Wave
Not as famous as its brother (the Wave), the White Wave is an impressive white cliff near Kanab that is sometimes referred to as the Nautilus Wave.
It is not easy to get there since you truly need a 4×4 to reach this secret spot that offers sweeping views, striated sandstone, and some great petroglyphs that will blow your mind and make you wonder why you’re the only ones there.
16. Old Paria
Ghost Towns and rainbow mountains? Old Paria has it all! The town of Paria may be long gone, but some of the old western facades still remain. Due to its scenic location, you’ll even find remnants of old movie sets in the area.
The ghost town makes for the perfect spot to shoot a few pictures, but the real beauty of Old Paria is in the rainbow mountains. These multi-colored giants are nothing short of breathtaking. Although there are no hiking trails, you can still explore all the beauty of Paria.
17. Hike the Wave (if you can get a permit)
One of Kanab’s most famous attractions is also the most difficult to visit. The Wave is a colorful sandstone formation just over the border in Arizona. With its smooth surface and stunning curves, it’s easy to see where The Wave got its name.
Everyone may want to visit The Wave, but getting the permit isn’t that easy. Every day there’s a lottery at the Kanab Visitor Center to see who gets to hike the trail to The Wave. The center only issues 20 permits a day, so sign up and cross your fingers!
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