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When you visit Zion or Bryce Canyon National Park, there are other interesting spots to check out in Southwest Utah and Arizona worthy of a stop. Here are some of our recommendations of things to do around Kanab, Utah.
Our family took a trip to Utah and Arizona during children’s spring break to visit the National Parks and other nearby wonders. It’s been a dream of Nami’s to visit Zion and Bryce Canyon National Park for a long time. In case you’re not aware, Nami’s dream job when she first came to the US was to be US National Park ranger. You can read about it in our Yosemite National Park Travel Guide post.
For this travel series, we’ll share the following posts.
- Zion National Park Travel Guide
- Bryce Canyon National Park Travel Guide
- Lower Antelope Canyon Travel Guide
- The Wave Lottery, Glen Canyon Dam, Eating, and other Activities
The Wave Lottery
Besides images from Antelopes Canyon, the other iconic images from this area you’ve probably seen before is from The Wave. What is The Wave? It’s an area where the Navajo Sandstone has been naturally eroded by water and wind over time sculping unbelievable U shaped geological formations.
- Get to the BLM office before 9 AM.
- Fill out the application form with your information.
- When the waiting room opens up, everyone enters the room and you turn in your form and receive a number.
- Instructions will be given and then balls are drawn from a bingo wheel for winners.
- Numbers are called until the 10 person slots for the next day are filled.
- Keep in mind if there are only 2 spots left, and let’s say your group has 4 people and your number was drawn. You have to decided which 2 of the four will get to hike. It’s by person count and not group count.
Our number didn’t get called but it was a good experience for us to understand how the process works for the next time. There were over 100 people competing for the 10 person spots the day we were there. For more detailed information on the process to get a permit for The Wave and FAQ, click here. If you visit The Wave without a permit and get caught, there is a hefty fine.
Even though we didn’t win The Wave lottery, there are still plenty of places to visit and sceneries to enjoy. One of the trails we hiked during our trip called Wire Pass actually shared the same trailhead as The Wave. The trail itself is easy to hike and there are 2 slots canyons on the trail for the visitors to explore.
After enjoying the unique sandstone scenery for about 1 mile, you will see the entrance to the first slot canyon.
The Wire Pass slot canyon offer similar landscape to Antelope Canyon.
When you research about the Wire Pass trail online, you will read about the 8 feet drop on the trail. You can see the drop in the image below and that’s where we stopped as our children weren’t quite ready to tackle it. You can get around the drop by taking a path to the right of the slot canyon. There is definitely a bit of regret since there are more dramatic slot canyon sceneries after the drop and you can see them here.
If you look at the imagery below, we stopped at the white x.
Speaking of slot canyons, besides the Lower and Upper Antelope Canyons there are a few other stops in Page including:
- Horseshoe Bend
- Glen Canyon Dam
Horseshoe Bend Observation area is only 10 min drive from Lower Antelope Canyon. Unfortunately, we actually didn’t make it to Horseshoe Bend due to our hectic travel schedule. If you do have some free time, try to make it to this iconic spot around sunset. What you see is one of the Colorado River turns downstream from Glen Canyon Dam. For FAQ and more info about Horseshoe Bend, read them here.
Glen Canyon Dam
We did stop by Glen Canyon Dam on the way back to Kanab from Page. There is a visitor center at the dam you can stop by to appreciate the view as well as take a tour of the dam.
As we continue our way back from Page to Kanab, we hiked other interesting trails along the way. Right off Hwy 89 and just about halfway between the two cities is Toadstool Hoodoos trail. The hoodoos are not a far hike from the trailhead and their unique shapes make they worthwhile to checkout.
Visitors hike along the riverbed for about 1 mile to get to the toadstool hoodoos. It is an easy hike but not wheelchair accessible.
The toadstool hoodoos are formed when there’s a boulder perched on top of a column of pedestal rock. As erosion happened, the boulder shields the sandrock below forming a spire.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Besides the national parks, we also made a quick stop by Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park as it was nearby where we stayed in Kanab, Utah. Our children rated it one of the best highlights of the trip as they had so much fun running through the fine sand.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is over 1,200 acres and it’s popular with all-terrain and off-highway vehicles. You can also camp at the state park overnight. For more information about the park, please see the state park site.
What we did in Kanab, Utah
During our visit, we stayed in St. George for one night (first night driving from Las Vegas) and the remainder of the trip we stayed at an Airbnb in Kanab Utah. It was a great central location between all the spots we visited on the trip (roughly 1 – 1.5 hr drive to Zion, Page, or Bryce Canyon).
Airbnb in Kanab Utah
The Airbnb we stayed at was perfect for our family, it was a large 3 bedrooms 2 bath townhouse that is relatively new. Excluding the cleaning fee, it was $110 per night which is a much better option than hotels. Our host was very responsive to all our questions during the stay. Besides the large space, other highlights include comfortable beds and linens. If you are interested here’s the link to the Airbnb we stayed.
Eating in Kanab Utah
As we were out most of the day, the majority of our activities in Kanab involved around eating. I’ve included the information for where we ate below:
Rocking V Cafe
If you look on Yelp, the most reviewed restaurant in Kanab is Rocking V Cafe and we ate there twice. The food was pretty good for the most part and the service was excellent. However, the price is what we would consider expensive at least for the area.
The upstairs of the cafe is an art gallery featuring many photographs taken by Victor, the owner of the cafe.
Sego Restaurant inside Canyons Boutique Hotel
The second dinner place we tried was Sego Restaurant, the food is more “creative” than Rocking V and it’s located in the lobby of Canyons Boutique Hotel. Once again, we feel the price of dinner is quite expensive (Bay Area prices) but the food was interesting.
Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen
The last spot we tried for dinner was our family’s favorite, it’s a vegetarian restaurant that features wood-fired pizza oven. The artisan pizzas were excellent and so were the desserts. If you are only in town for one night, try the Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen.
The Soda Fountain Kanab Utah
After the meals, we stopped by the Soda Fountain for some ice cream desserts!
If you stay at an Airbnb like we did, there are 2 supermarkets in town where you can purchase groceries and goods for your trip.
Star Gazing in Kanab Utah
There aren’t too many things to do at night in Kanab. However, we couldn’t get enough of how clear the sky was and how many stars you can see with naked eye. I took the following photos from the patio of our Airbnb.
Lastly, there is a Little Hollywood Museum in Kanab which we didn’t have time for. If you get back in town early, stop by and check out the old movie sets that were filmed in the area.
Besides the above activities, there are many other choices for recreational activities in the area including ATV tours and other natural wonders to check out. We had an amazing time and 6 days went by quickly. If you plan to visit the area, we recommend at least 5-6 days to you can enjoy all the different experiences and natural wonders the area has to offer.