Working at Best Friends is definitely a reason to visit Kanab, but what can you do the rest of the time?
The answer: Plenty!
Utah is probably one of the most beautiful states in the US. With 5 National Parks and 45 State Parks, there is something to see and experience around every corner.
Here are a couple of other places to visit when you’re not working a shift at Best Friends.
1. Hidden Lake:
There are only 2 trails on the Best Friends sanctuary where they allow you to bring your own dog, and Hidden Lake is one of them. It’s an easy 2 mile round trip hike up through the canyon. The trail splits about 2/3 of the way in. One way continues around to the lake, and the other takes you up to a small cave with native ruins. It’s an interesting little detour to check out before continuing on to the lake.
After passing a couple of fields for the horses of Horse Haven, you’ll find yourself standing below an impressive multi colored rock with a small opening. That’s hidden lake! Walk down into the cave to get to the water’s edge.
It’s strangely eerie in there. One of the volunteers told me that divers had gone into the lake to find the bottom but were unsuccessful, so nobody knows just how deep that lake really is!
2. Zion National Park:
I would strongly recommend driving over to Zion National Park and spending the day. It’s only about an hours drive from Kanab and so well worth it!
I knew the park would be beautiful from all the pictures I had seen before, but my mind was blown by how incredible Zion really is. Alan and I had Missy, and they only allow dogs on one trail, so we didn’t get to see much of the backcountry. That’ll have to be for the next visit.
The path we could take wound along through the valley passing over the river with various access points. Missy loves the water, so she was more than happy to jump in however I don’t think she was prepared for the icy temperature!
I didn’t make it to any of the other parks, but Bryce Canyon, Pink Coral Sand Dunes, and many others are just a short drive from Kanab.
3. The Grand Staircase:
Another volunteer mentioned the Grand Staircase when I asked her for recommendations. Anyone who has a fascination for dinosaurs knows that Utah is a hub for finding fossils, and the Grand Staircase is a place where you can get up close and personal with the giants of the past. Many different fossils have been found in the area, and you can still see footprints left behind by the large lizards.
And dinosaurs aren’t the only ones to have lived in the canyon eons ago. Ancient ruins and petroglyphs have also been found nearby.
4. Party with the Stars:
Kanab is miles away from big city lights which is perfect for star gazing. Starting in April through November, Kanab holds nightly star parties where groups of people meet up and spend the evening viewing the beautiful night sky.
Don’t know much about the stars? No worries. Their are plenty of astronomy enthusiasts that will be more than happy to point out different constellations and planets.
5. Explore the Town of Kanab:
There are a good number of eateries to try out. Vegetarians and vegans might have a harder time finding a place for dinner. I would recommend the Fusion House and the Rocking V Cafe. They both had good vegetarian options that were quite tasty.
You can also find a little bit of Hollywood history in this sleepy little town. The Little Hollywood Movie Museum is a free exhibit where you can see some of the old set pieces from various Westerns filmed in the surrounding canyons.
If you are planning a trip to Kanab, I hope this list helps. A person could spend months exploring all the different parks. I know I’ll most certainly be visiting again but for a longer stay next time.