In case you missed it, we recently announced the location of our 2020 summit; Kanab, Utah.
On April 2 and 3, 2020 we’ll host our summit in one of Utah’s adventure capitals. This small town may have a middle-of-nowhere feel to it, but once you get here you’ll realize that it has all of the ingredients for a perfect vacation. It’s packed full of gorgeous landscapes, friendly locals, and heart-pounding outdoor adventures just waiting for you to arrive.
While you still have nearly 11 months to plan your trip, it never hurts to start early! Keep reading to learn the top things you need to do in Kanab during your visit.
1. Dip Your Toes in the Sand
While Utah’s Mighty 5 national parks tend to steal the spotlight, the state is also home to dozens of equally beautiful state parks. Some even offer landscapes and activities that you won’t find in Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Arches, or Moab.
One such park is Coral Pink Sand Dunes. This state park is home to a natural feature that many visitors don’t realize that Utah has; sand dunes. Formed by wind and rain eroding the sandstone cliffs of the area, these dunes are hued–you guess it–coral pink in color.
Scale the dunes on foot, or try out sand dune surfing for a thrill that you won’t find in any of the Mighty 5. Over 90 percent of the dunes are also open for off-road vehicles, making it a great spot to rent an ATV as well.
2. Spend a Day on the Lake
Another unexpected activity you can enjoy on a short day trip from Kanab is a day on Lake Powell. Go from the desert to the cool water, and rent a kayak or paddleboard, or something with a bit more power.
The lake was formed as a reservoir of the Colorado River and is located on the border between Utah and Arizona. A popular tourist destination, you’ll find plenty of marinas and rental agencies, as well as dining, hotels, and more in the area.
3. Hike One of the World’s Longest, Deepest Slot Canyons
Buckskin Gulch may not get the press of Antelope Canyon in Arizona, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. One of the region’s best-kept secrets, this stunning slot canyon stretches for miles, yet almost never gets wider than 20 feet.
If you’re brave enough to descend over a hundred feet into the canyon, be prepared for puddles and cooler temps.You might even plan to add a short backpacking trip to the beginning or end of your summit trip to explore more of it.
If you’re looking for a faster way to experience the canyon, head to Wire Pass Trailhead. Here you can hike just under 3.5 miles roundtrip on an easy route to check out one of the entrances to the slot canyon.
Just remember that slot canyons are incredibly dangerous in rainy weather, as they are prone to flash floods. Keep an eye on the weather report before and during your trip, and reschedule if rain is likely.
4. Take a (Truly) Scenic Drive
If you need a break from civilization, but aren’t in the mood for going on foot, fill up your gas tank and head off on the ultimate scenic drive.
Cottonwood Canyon Road is an unpaved, remote road that winds through beautiful, but stark landscapes. Stretching for 47 miles, the road begins in Kanab and ends in the Kodachrome Basin to the north of the city. You’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the Paria River Valley, a stunning desert oasis.
5. Step into a Cave and Back in Time
For a quirky experience that’s as educational as it is fun, plan a visit to Moqui Cave. This natural history museum is located inside of a red rock cave. You can view a huge array of Native American artifacts and learn about the history of the region’s original inhabitants.
There’s even a collection of preserved dinosaur tracks you can view. Try to imagine them dotting the landscape alongside tire marks and human footprints! Located just over 5 miles from Kanab, a visit to the museum is the perfect afternoon activity.
6. Take a Trip to One of Mighty 5 or the Grand Canyon
Two of the Mighty 5 national parks, as well as one additional national park, are all located less than a 2-hour drive from Kanab.
Zion National Park is under an hour’s away. Take a day trip and climb one of the park’s many stunning trails, or simply take a drive through the famous Zion-Mt. Carmel Tunnel.
An hour-and-a-half away is Bryce Canyon, National Park. Alongside hiking trails and overlooks, the park is also home to the largest concentration of Hoodoos, irregular columns of rock rising from the ground, found anywhere on the continent.
Finally, at just under 2-hours away from the town, is the Grand Canyon. Or at least the North Rim is. The more crowded South Rim will take you hours longer to drive to. Don’t worry though, because you’ll get to enjoy the same incredible views but with far fewer people getting in the way of your photos.
Planning Your Visit to Kanab
It’s not too early to start planning your trip to Kanab for the 2020 Utah Tourism Summit. While you’re here, be sure to check out as many of these epic, exciting, and breathtaking things to do as you can!