Kanab is a small town at the base of the Escalante Grand Staircase, in Southern Utah. It’s surrounded by several world-class landscape attractions, including Zion National Park, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, and the intriguingly named Toadstool Hoodoos.
I visited Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, and Navajo Bridge Interpretive Site on my first day. Likewise, the memorable Toadstool Hoodoos: bizarre rock formations, magical by name, and magical to see. Better yet, the hike up to the Hoodoos is short, family-friendly and forgiving. And they’re just 40 minutes’ drive from Kanab.
Lake Powell is a great place to take a swim and kick back, and after you’ve visited Navajo Bridge and the awe-inspiring Horseshoe Bend, you’re going to want somewhere to do that. I ate at Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fired Kitchen later that day. It has a vegan and vegetarian-only menu, friendly and quick service, and fantastic food.
My second day was spent in Zion National Park, Kanab Creek Bakery, and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Catching the sunrise at Zion – just 45 minutes’ drive from Kanab – was an excellent way to start the day. I tackled the brief but brilliant Canyon Overlook Trail, which offers spectacular views into Zion Canyon.
On the road, most people need coffee. I’m one of them: I need it to feel sharp. I was in luck, because Kanab Creek Bakery serves some of the best coffee in Southern Utah. It also has an array of delicious, freshly prepared pastries, cakes, and hot or cold sandwiches. Barring a few ingredients, everything is made in-house.
The nearby North Rim of the Grand Canyon was spectacular. It’s little over an hour and a half’s drive from Kanab, and another must-see sight. Few places offer views so vast and mesmerizing as the North Rim.
I rounded off my second day with a meal at Sego, in Kanab. The menu had plenty to choose from; I opted for a Pork Belly and Watermelon tapas – an unusual and colorful combination that could easily become the usual for me. Afterwards I spoke with the chefs. Their passion for cooking was clear not just from the delicious food they served up, but from everything they said.
The following morning was spent gambling – though not for cash. I entered The Wave lottery with the hope I’d win one of 20 spots available to embark on the hotly anticipated North Coyote Buttes hike. Everyone huddled into the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Visitor Center, excitedly awaiting the draw. Lady luck didn’t shine on me, but it was great fun.
After the fun of the lottery I ventured into Peekaboo Slot Canyon. Peekaboo is stunning, and the experience can only be described as Antelope Canyon, without the herd. I also found time to meander among the Coral Pink Sand Dunes – well worth visiting en route to Peekaboo.
Kanab is an idyllic, ideally placed town, unspoiled and genuine. The surrounding area is hauntingly beautiful: no surprise oodles of Hollywood movies have used it as the backdrop. My advice? Come and see for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
If you are planning a road trip that includes Utah, check out this itinerary for some great ideas; California & The Southwestern Desert Parks.
This story has been created in partnership with VISIT SOUTHERN UTAH.