Magically Majestic: Get curious with Kanab


Surrounded by an array of national parks, state parks, and national monuments, this quaint town amidst the red-rock canyons of Southern Utah offers the highest concentration of natural wonders found anywhere on earth.

Known as Utah’s Little Hollywood, more than 100 western movies and television series such as “Gunsmoke” have taken advantage of the magical landscapes formed 120 million years ago by wind and water.

The natural sandstone colored by iron oxides provides the original artwork derived from Mother Nature making Southern Utah one of the most spectacular places to take a gander. Named for a Paiute word meaning “place of the willows,” Kanab is not only a great location for a basecamp to explore, but also serves as a window to the American West.

Just a few miles north of the center of town in Angel Canyon rests Best Friends Sanctuary, one of the largest sanctuaries of its kind in the United States. Plan a visit amongst the red rock vistas and take a bird’s eye view where healing broken bones and mending broken hearts takes place. Horse Haven, Piggy Paradise and Cat World are just a few of the thoughtfully designed communities amongst the property.

“People from all over the world come to visit and volunteer at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Once you’ve been here, you’ll understand why,” said Michelle Sathe, communications strategist at Best Friends Animal Society. “It’s the perfect destination for animal lovers to enjoy some hands-on interaction with beautiful dogs, cats, horses, bunnies, pigs, goats, and more.”

Witness the compassion in action with a free guided tour offered daily where one can experience the incredible caregiving that happens here. The animals enjoy plenty of food, love and attention in front of a stimulating canyon backdrop before going to a home for good. On any given day, approximately 1,700 rescue animals are cared for by the loving hands of caregivers, volunteers and donors while being provided plenty of room to roam the 3,700 acres.

Another local gem is Red Canyon, commonly known as Peek A Boo Slot Canyon, one of the most beautiful and magically unspoiled slot canyons in the area. Off the beaten path, take a private stroll with Grand Circle Tours and the colorful rippled fluted rock while the twisting and turning caverns glittered by the sun peek through from above. The stunning russets and golds on the sandstone walls make for a true paradise for hikers and photographers alike.

Take time to ponder the ancient Moqui Steps that climb the canyon wall while soaking up the spectacular array of colors.

“Our goal has always been to deliver scenic locations in a safe environment with very small groups allowing for a more bespoke feeling while in the wilderness. Our trips are designed to get you well off the beaten path where high clearance 4x4 is often required and leave you with a better understanding of our unique geology of the Colorado Plateau. We offer both driving and hiking tours for all ages and abilities along with photo specific tours on request,” shares Kyle Walker, Grand Circle Tours.

When ready, think pink and play in a giant 3,000-acre sandbox at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. This unusual four season multiple-use state park is framed by the Moquith Mountains and ready to roll for ATVs, dune buggies, dirt bikes and off-road vehicles. Pink snow happens year round as one can shoosh down the mountains of bright pink salmon colored sand with specially designed boards available for rent.

“Nature is one of the best ways to disconnect from our fast-paced, technology-driven lives and Utah is the perfect place for it. With some of the world’s most interesting geological features, lakes, and reservoirs it’s only natural that Utah is home to a whopping 46 state parks. Popular activities at the park include sandboarding, four-wheeling, hiking, rappelling, and rock climbing. Come and see the majestic dunes, which are surrounded by red sandstone cliffs and juniper trees,” said Park Manager Patrick Buhr.

Come and stay a while, and when it’s time for a friendly and relaxing reprieve, check into the Canyons Boutique Hotel. It is centrally located in the heart of Kanab and provides a perfect wrap up with plush bedding, in room fireplaces, and a jetted hot tub to end the day.

A locally sourced buffet breakfast at the hotel makes for an easy start up, as the rooms are quiet — the hotel — intimate and accommodating. The Canyons Boutique Hotel is an exceptional headquarters for exploring all of the area’s countless treasures.

Kanab, Travel