I have enjoyed hiking for many years, so I enjoy sharing what I know and tips about places to hike.
Where the Heck Is Kanab, Utah?
Kanab can be found just north of the Arizona state line in southern Utah. Like many towns in the region, Kanab is surrounded by red rock cliffs, which provide stunning scenery for anyone fortunate enough to visit the area. And for those who choose to wander out on a nearby hiking trail, there awaits an invigorating outdoor adventure with plenty of stimulating desert vistas.
Furthermore, many Southwest travelers will find that Kanab is centrally located to the Zion, Bryce, and Grand Canyon (North Rim) National Parks. Also situated nearby is Lake Powell, which is part of the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, along with several national monuments and a couple of state parks.
The Squaw Trail
Climb the Squaw Trail and you are going to get a good view of the sprawled-out town of Kanab. For hikers that follow the trail to its final endpoint, they will come across a red sand ridge that looks out over the stunning landscape of the Coral Hills and Escalante wilderness.
To find the trailhead just head to the Jacob Hamblin City Park. You can't miss the park, it's the one with the old-fashioned windmill, silhouetted against the red rock cliffs. From the north end of the park, the trail is easy to follow, as it ascends a steep cliff on a series of carefully constructed switchbacks. As you climb higher, the town of Kanab will become visible below. Eventually, you will reach a plateau, which will take you to the bench pictured above and the end of the trail.
*Note: The connector trail to Tom's Canyon has been closed, so you will have to come back down the same way you went up.
A Hill with the Letter "K"
As one travels across the Southwest, it seems like every settlement of any size has its town initials displayed somewhere high. Kanab is no exception, for it has a large white "K" that adorns one of its red rock buttes. And that is how the K Trail got its name, for its skirts the hill with the letter "K."
For easy walking try the winding footpath, as it follows the base of the K hill for several miles. The views of the red rock cliffs that tower above your head are incredible. Look closely for hawks and eagles, as you might spot a few of these raptors, cruising along on the updrafts.
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A Genuine Box Canyon
Tom's Canyon is a real box canyon that will stop you in your tracks when you come to the hanging wall. During spring runoff, you might be lucky enough to witness a waterfall descending from the rocky ledge. However, summertime hikers should be aware that during thunderstorm season, this canyon might have a flash flood risk. So before you go, check the weather forecast. Other than that there is no reason not to hike this beautiful canyon, which on occasion has even hosted a Hollywood shoot.
The trailhead is well marked and the trail is pretty flat and easy to follow. Over the few miles that it covers you will steadily progress into the canyon until the vertical sides close in.
A Steep Climb Into a Stunning Place
You won't encounter the Cliff Trail until you have walked a few miles along the path into Tom's Canyon. Fortunately, there is a big, public display map, which you will come across just before you reach the trail junction.
Take the path that leads uphill and you will be on a steep ascent that will take you to the north rim of Tom's Canyon. In reality, the climb is nothing but a goat path, but the view and wind-sculptured vegetation at the top is worth the effort. Be sure and bring water, as it could get hot, especially during the summer months.
The Old and New
A walk down the Kanab streets is definitely an enjoyable experience. One reason for this is the scores of historical plaques displayed along the sidewalk. Take a minute to read the bits and pieces of Kanab movie history that are located all over town. It's a fascinating account that explains why Kanab is also known as Little Hollywood, for the list of TV shows and movies that have been filmed in Kanab or nearby is quite impressive.
Don't stop at the town limits, for once outside the spreading village, there are many more places to visit. Movie buffs might want to head south on Highway 89, where they will find Johnson and Paria canyons. These were important locales for more one than Hollywood production and besides the usual charming Southwestern vista, you might encounter an old movie set building falling into decay.
Animal lovers might decide to go north on the same route 89, where they will quickly arrive at Kanab Canyon, home of the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. This is the largest such place in the US, and it provides free tours for those who wish to see all the animals.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.