No visit to Kanab is complete without exploring some of the outdoor attractions that make this area so great. If light filled caves, man-made tunnels, petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks, and scenic views sound good to you then check out this list of 4 hikes that you must check out next time you are in town.
Belly of the Dragon
Located 16 miles north of Kanab this trail is a short .5 mile round trip hike and such a fun adventure with kids. A short walk through a man made tunnel is the highlight of this trail. The tunnel was originally created as a water culvert but over time drainage from upper canyon water flow has carved the sandstone walls and created a beautiful rippling tunnel prime for exploring. Since this is a drainage tunnel be cautious and do not enter under rainy conditions. Please be respectful and do not add to the carvings on the sandstone walls.
Kanab Sand Caves
These beautiful light-filled caves, also known as Moqui Caverns, are prime for exploring and fun for the whole family. Located 12 miles north of Kanab, between Moqui Cave the tourist attraction, and the turnoff to Best Friend Animal Sanctuary, this .5 mile round trip hike will take you to man-made caves that were used to harvest sand for glass production in the 1970s. Wear good hiking shoes that will grip the rock as you scale up a short wall to the caves. Play in the sand and enjoys the views but always keep a close eye on your children. There are sheer dropoffs to be aware of inside the caves. Please be respectful and do not add pictures or carvings to the sandstone walls.
Dinosaur Tracks Trail
To get an up-close look at some prehistoric dinosaur footprints, check out this trail located 3 miles outside Kanab. The trail is short at just 1 mile round trip but because of the slippery path and decent elevation gain, it isn’t a great trail for younger or elderly hikers. The trail takes you to a plateau with lovely views of the surrounding area and of course, a number of 185 million-year-old dinosaur tracks in well preserved slick rock outcrops. Don’t worry about not being able to find the tracks. They are easy to spot.
Located just 6 miles east of Kanab, The Mansard Trail is a great hike to do later in the day. A 4 mile round trip strenuous hike will take you to Mansard Cove, the site of some very unique petroglyphs. These petroglyphs are thought to date back to the Anasazi period 0 AD to about 1250 AD. Take special care to leave this site just as you found it. Do not try to expose rock from under the sand and do not touch or step on any of the ancient art. Oil from your hands can destroy the petroglyphs. As you hike back down the trail during sunset you will enjoy stunning views of the valley below.
About the Author: Arika Bauer is a local southern Utah girl with a passion for helping outdoor lovers get outside, have fun, and enjoy Zion and all of Southern Utah to its fullest. This article originally appeared on ZionAdventurePhotog.com