11 Best Things to do in Kanab Utah (Why It’s Amazing Here)

If you’re doing a first time visit to this place, know that there many things to do in Kanab Utah and the 11 you’re going to learn about here are excellent for planning an itinerary.

I drove through Kanab Utah in 2022 while exploring the southern most parts of Utah and I had no idea how beautiful this area was and considering how other areas I explored in this state took my breath away, I would never have guessed that Kanab would do the same and even surpass some of the spots I had already seen. In fact, let me put it this way:

There are many towns throughout Utah which you can use as an HQ to explore tons of amazing areas nearby and in terms of logistics, here’s how it looks:

  • St. George is an excellent HQ for exploring the western Utah.
  • Moab is an excellent HQ for exploring the mid north of Utah.
  • Bluff and Monument Valley are an excellent HQ for exploring east Utah.
  • And in the case Kanab, that is an excellent (if not the best) place for exploring the southern region of Utah.

While Kanab is a pretty small town, it’s still one of the largest in southern Utah and in terms of actual activities inside the town, there’s not much to see. However, what lies near/outside of it is what makes it so special:

Here are the 11 best things to do in Kanab Utah:

things to do in kanab utah

  1. Check out Moqui Cave.
  2. See the Sand Caves.
  3. Hike to Cutler Point (incredible arch).
  4. Hike to Red Canyon (slot canyon).
  5. Do the White Wave hike.
  6. See Belly of The Dragon Cave.
  7. See Elkheart Cliffs Slot Canyon.
  8. Spend a day at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
  9. Check out Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.
  10. Hike to Inchworm Arch.
  11. See Wahweap Hoodoos.

Now aside from these 10 things, know that Kanab also has a lot of historical sites and family friendly things to check out like pictographs and even dinosaur track hikes. Me personally, I love the scenic hikes and adventures you can find in and near Kanab so that’s what this list reflects. If you want to share some of your own recommendations on things to do in Kanab, feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.

1) Check out the Moqui Caves:

things to do in kanab moqui cave 01

How far from Kanab Utah? Only 15 minutes.

Description: Moqui Caves happen to be one of the most commercialized pictures you see if you look up Kanab on Google. However before I explain why I recommend this spot, you may encounter some confusion if you go here (like I did).

You see, when you actually look up images of this area, you may get either the Moqui Caves themselves which is a tourist attraction for families where you can see historic sandstone, old ruins and so forth and more.

But right nearby this area is a place called Sand Caves which is the next spot on this list and the images of this place sometimes show up for people who look up Moqui Caves and this confuses people. That’s exactly what happened to me because I was originally looking for the Sand Caves while visiting this area and my GPS took me to the Moqui Caves instead.

Not that I’m complaining here. I enjoyed looking at this area and think it’s an excellent spot for simple/tourist adventures.

2) See the Kanab Sand Caves (there’s 5 of them):

sand caves kanab utah things to do

Distance from Kanab Utah: 15 minutes as well (north of the town).

Description: About 300 feet south of Moqui Caves is where you’ll “see” the Sand Caves.

I say that because they are not easy to spot when you’re driving but once you park your car either at Moqui Caves, or a plan B parking lot across the road from it (by the way, there’s a nice waterfall there), if you look east and up, you will see them.

The Sand Caves are what you will often see shown off on social media and on Google maps when you look up Kanab and I’m glad I was able to find it when I went here. Believe me, it’s worth going and getting some amazing views and experiences in there.

However one thing you have to know is that to get there requires you hike to it. It took me about 10 minutes, but I followed some people who appeared to know where to go and we were able to get to the Caves.

The hike up there can be a little tough for some people but there’s a way to do is in a simple way (it can be pretty steep).

3) Hike to Cutler Point:

great chamber cutler point near kanab utah things to do 02

Distance from Kanab Utah: 30 minutes from the town to the trailhead.

Description: I’ve wanted to hike to this amazing arch for a long time but I never knew where it was, let alone which town was near by it and as it just so happens, Kanab happens to be that town.

Now if you want to do this hike, here’s what you need to know:

  • Besides Cutler Point, it’s also called Great Chamber and it’s one of the best hikes in Utah.
  • It takes about a whole day to get there and the road to reach it is very rugged and sandy (AWD or 4×4 required).
  • I would not do this hike unless you are prepared.

Now if you feel ready for this hike, the main 2 attractions are the views when you reach the Great Chamber and the second is the Great Chamber arch itself which is gigantic.

It is also a spot that you may see on social media (that’s where I first saw it).

4) Hike to the Red Canyon (aka Peekaboo Slot Canyon Kanab):

red canyon peekaboo slot canyon things to do in kanab

Distance from Kanab: 30 minutes north.

Description: As you drive north out of Kanab, you will see a trailhead to explore a very popular slot canyon called Red Canyon. However to reach it, you will have to hike about 4+ miles to reach the trailhead (and then another 4+ back to the parking lot).

The reason I’m adding this specific hike is because I love slot canyons in general and this specific one might be far less crowded than most of the others you’ll find in Utah and Arizona in this case since there’s many similar ones there.

A few things you should know before you hike here:

First, Red Canyon is also the name of a popular region in Utah near Bryce Canyon National Park, but they are completely different regions of the state.

Second, this place is also known as Peekaboo slot canyon and as it just so happens, there’s another Peekaboo slot canyon further north in Utah within the Grand Staircase Escalante area, but that one is even tighter than this one.

Third, if you are looking for great Antelope Slot Canyon alternatives, this would be it!

5) Explore the White Wave hike:

white wave hike near Kanab utah

Distance from Kanab: 20 minutes north.

Description: I am so glad I discovered that there is a Wave alternative hike near Kanab and it’s this one!

If you don’t know, there is actually a very popular hike (known across the country and even world) called the Wave and it’s in Arizona, specifically south east of Kanab (not far), but getting to that hike is extremely difficult as you need a permit.

But there are alternatives hikes like it and the White Wave hike (also known as the Nautilus hike) is one of them!

I’m not sure if a permit/tour is required (although they are available), but the hike to it is very long (about 6 miles one way) so keep this in mind!

The amazing thing about this place is that the Wave look a like is on amazing terrain and the adventure of getting there speaks for itself, something that any hiker would (in my opinion) be happy to do, including me.

6) See Belly of the Dragon cave:

belly of the dragon cave near kanab utah 01

Distance from Kanab: 45 minutes.

Description: I am happy to report I also explored this area when I was passing through the Kanab area and finding it was a bit tricky for me.

You have to drive on highway 89 and while you do have a GPS Google listing for Belly of The Dragon, you have to drive on a rugged road, but only for about 2 minutes and look back at where the road is to see this cave.

I missed it the first time I drove through here, but just remember that the cave actually passes underneath highway 89. The cave itself is well over 100 feet long and when I went there, I was the only person in the cave.

There is very smooth, yet rugged sandstone there and it’s pretty easy to walk through. You can keep going further and further till you reach the next exit point, but in my case I didn’t go through the cave all the way.

If you keep driving on the same rugged road further, you will find hiking trails, camping spots and even horse back riding areas.

7) Elkheart Cliffs Slot Canyon:

elkheart cliffs slot canyon things to do in kanab

Distance from Kanab: About 45 minutes.

Description: Here’s another awesome slot canyon near Kanab you should explore if you’re into these types of hikes folks!

This slot canyon is about a 3 mile in and out trip off the road and not far from any of the other major things I’ve listed here (included the other slot canyon, and White Wave).

In fact, a lot of these regions are not just close to Kanab, but also near one another and you may even find opportunities to mix some of the places on this list together for a single day hike that passes through multiple spots so if you’re advanced and ready to do this, then you can make an entire day adventure out of this area.

This slot canyon is also highly rated for scenic views and awesome picturesque opportunities.

I’m considering adding this as a great Antelope Slot Canyon alternative too, but I’ll hold off on that for now.

8) Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park:

coral pink sand dunes park near kanab utah 01

Distance from Kanab: About 30-45 minutes.

Description: I absolutely love Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and when it comes to this state, it’s one of the best state parks in Utah that I have seen so far. The sand itself really is pink, and very coarse in general.

The park is also huge and you can do a lot of outdoor activities there all ranging in different levels of difficulty and taste.

There’s overlooks, scenic hikes, sand boarding and way more, all of which is packed into this beautiful park.

Out of the several sand dunes I have seen across the US, without a doubt this has been my favorite so far and it’s not just because of the color of the sand there, but also because it’s so beautiful there in general and you’ll understand that when you visit this park.

I only had about an hour to spend here while I was headed to Kanab but I am planning to return to this park soon to do things like ATV riding and sand boarding.

9) Vermilion Cliffs National Monument:

vermilion cliffs national monument things to do in kanab

Distance from Kanab: About 1 hour south east.

Description: Vermilion Cliffs National Monument crosses between AZ and UT and in this case if you want to check out the best spots there, you’d be in the AZ side of this region.

Anyway, the main areas here I would recommend you check out are:

A) The official Wave hike I talked about earlier (if you can get he permit of course).

B) White Pocket which is very close to the Wave and actually looks better in my opinion than the White Wave hike I shared earlier on this list.

C) Cathedral Wash which is an amazing hike that I will never forget and will do again (this requires about a 2 hour drive from Kanab though).

And that’s just 3 of many more. I have included a link above to help you see what else you can see and do at Vermilion Cliffs. The closest town to it (eastern end) is Page, something to consider if you plan on seeing more of this region.

10) Inchworm Arch:

inchworm arch near kanab utah 03

Distance from Kanab: 30 minutes east.

Description: Inchworm Arch is an awesome natural bridge you will find off a 3 mile hike near Kanab.

The area is amazing with mixes of white and red rocks. The arch itself is pretty large too, but accessing the area requires you to take road 3600 to reach.

Getting up to the actual arch from the hike requires a bit of a scramble/climb but the payoff, pictures and area is just amazing to behold once you are there.

I am not sure if Inchworm Arch is part of the Grand Staircase Escalante, but if it is, it’s certainly one more of the many beautiful spots in that region I strongly recommend you take several days to check out (but you’d want to do that in the town of Escalante vs Kanab so you can have closer access to more spots, especially one of my favorite which is Coyote Gulch that has even bigger natural bridges and arches).

Note: I will be uploading a much better picture of Inchworm at in the future (this isn’t an accurate one).

11) See Wahweap Hoodoos:

wahweap hoodoos things to do in kanab

Distance from Kanab: 2 hours east.

Description: If you’re going to visit the Vermilion Cliffs region of Arizona, specifically the eastern side, then I would absolutely add Wahweap Hoodoos to your list of things to see.

While it is about 2 hours away from Kanab, it’s worth making the trip here because of how amazing this area is.

It’s actually outside the Vermilion Cliffs, but the trail and area here is amazing.

Its not easy to describe how and why this place is awesome but this picture should help with the description.

It’s basically boulders on top of building like rock formations, all naturally made by the way and the area has a mix of the White Wave as well as stuff you’d see in Goblin Valley State Park (further north in Utah, but more red and white rocks).

My advice for seeing this region as well as others so far outside Kanab (if you consider 2 or more hours to be far) is to start in Page, Arizona, see these spots and then move further west to Kanab and see the other spots on the list there.

Questions about Kanab Utah:

What is Kanab UT known for?

Mostly as a logistically convenient area to check out some of Utah’s best scenic areas like caves, hiking trails and much more.

Is Kanab worth visiting?

Absolutely and one of the main reasons why is because some of the best hikes and scenic spots are so close to Kanab itself.

Is there anything to do in Kanab Utah?

Yes there are tons of things to explore in Kanab and especially near it such as the parks, slot canyons and historic sights.

Is Kanab near Zion?

Yes Kanab is very close to Zion National Park (30-40 minutes).

Other things to explore near or outside of Kanab UT:

1) Zion National Park. This is the closest national park by the town and if you haven’t been there yet, definitely plan a trip to it!

2) St. George Utah. This town is very close (west) to Zion and it’s where most people who visit this park stay at. However, that town also has amazing sights and hikes too, but I would say Kanab has a more diverse range of things to see and do.

3) The Mighty 5 National Parks of Utah. In my opinion Kanab is a great start or end point to explore the Mighty 5 National Parks of Utah. Zion is only 30 minutes away.

4) Other amazing hikes in Utah. I’ve listed the top 20+ I’ve found across the state and some are near Kanab. Depending on how far you’re going if you’re visiting, you may want to add some from that list.

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12 thoughts on “11 Best Things to do in Kanab Utah (Why It’s Amazing Here)”

  1. Wow! Utah is beautiful. To let my husband (truck driver) and niece (former military) tell you about it, they’d say there’s nothing to do in Utah. Now that I have this information, I have something to come back with. I love that you provided the town headquarters for the different locations. 

    I have not visited Utah yet. I would love to visit the Moqui and the Belly of the Dragon Caves. Also, the arches and the canyons. What are some great food places?

    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • There’s plenty of restaurants in Kanab, although when I first went here, I passed the town and went to the other places I suggested in this post. I’ll be revisiting it in a month again, but I assume there are some nice restaurants.

      Reply
  2. Thank you Vitaliy, my friend and I are planing to visit north rim of Grand Cayon NP and will stay in Kanab since the lodge in the park is sold out. Thanks for your precious info which helps us to find some exciting things to do near Kanab.

    Reply
    • Hi Wanjun thank you for that. Just a few suggestions before you trip:

      1) I think you may find the stuff near Kanab is way better than most of what you’ll see in the Grand Canyon, unless you decide to hike down into it. I visited the south rim earlier this year for the first time, didn’t go all the way down because it was icy, but wasn’t very impressed by the views (they were nice, but nothing I didn’t see in other/better places) and in Kanab, you will get so much more diverse adventures and activities that it may end up being a good thing that you weren’t able to get a lodge in the north rim!

      2) There is one hike I have been researching in the Grand Canyon called the Hopi Salt Trail, check it out and if you are in good shape and interested in amazing nature areas, this is one you may seriously want to consider!

      Enjoy your trip and let me know if you see awesome spots on it.

      Reply
  3. Thank you so much for this amazing blog over some of the things to do in Kanab Utah. I love to go hiking and I love mountains as well, hiking up a few in southern Arizona. That is why, when I saw your suggestion to check out Exploring the White Wave hike, I was hooked!  That looks like a beautiful area to go hiking in.

    Reply
    • I’m going to be visiting southern Arizona in November this year Jessie. If you have any suggestions on hikes to see near Phoenix, I’d love to know!

      Reply
  4. My family is planning a weekend getaway but could not decide yet where to go. But since it will just be a 2 to 3 days adventure, I thought why not just go to a neighboring state? Kanab, Utah seems like a nice place to explore. 

    I see that there are so many exciting things to do in Kanab and beautiful sites to explore. My kids are very adventurous so I am sure they will have a great time. But what really caught my attention are the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and the Dragon Cave. 

    I can’t wait to see these amazing scenic spots. 

    Reply
  5. In the UK we have some great trails and hikes obviously not as many as you though. The Ridgeway National Trail, which is very popular with many hikers, the trail Starts at Overton Hill and Ends at Ivonhoe Beacon (87miles). 

    Then you’ve have the Cleveland Way, which Starts at Helmsley and Ends Near Filey (110 Miles). 

    The Cotswold Way which Starts at Chipping Campden and Ends at Bath (102 Miles). 

    The Pennine Way another great hike which starts at Edale in Derbyshire and Ends at the Scottish Borders in Kirk Yetholm (268 Miles). 

    So, if you ever find yourself in the UK maybe you would like to try one of these trails. The above-mentioned hiking trails are just a few of the many national trails in England and Wales, including 29 great trails in Scotland. These long-distance hiking, horse-riding and Mountain Biking trails explore some of Britain’s most amazing landscapes. 

    The Moqui Caves you mention absolutely fascinates me, the Red Canyon, and the Belly of the Dragon cave, although I may not venture into that one as I am a bit claustrophobic. These look like truly amazing places to visit. 

    Take care.

    Reply
    • Hi Brian awesome hiking suggestions my friend! I’ve never visited the UK or England (yet), but when I do, I’m not the sort of person who can be in a city enviornment for too long so having these options will be on my list and I’m glad you got a lot of ideas from this article for when you visit Kanab! Let me know if you need anymore suggestions if you visit the states here.

      Reply
  6. I have been to a lot of places in my life, but Kanab is by far my favorite. If you’re looking for an authentic experience with natural beauty, then this is the place for you. Make sure to grab some local food and stop at one of the many parks to enjoy nature. There are also plenty of caves around, which I recommend exploring if you like amazing places. 

    Reply

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