Slot canyons, sand dunes and dragon bellies? This may sound like the beginning of a novel, but in reality these are a few words that describe one of our favorite Utah destinations. Kanab, Utah is close to the Arizona border only 90 minutes from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. 

What makes Kanab so special? For me it is the many activities that can accommodate a large array of interests, age groups and abilities. With a family, this is paramount to everyone having a great time. 

For families with smaller children I suggest visiting places like: 

  • Moqui cave to learn about ancient history, see dinosaur tracks and minerals and then hike up to the Moqui wind caves themselves.
  • Jackson Flat Reservoir where you can fish, kayak, disc golf, canoe and walk or bike the 3.2 mile Sherry Belle Trail that goes around the lake.
  • Hike to the Toadstool Hoodoos which is an easy 1.8 mile out and back trail. The kids will love seeing the cool rock formations. 
  • Go to Peek-a-Boo slot canyon which is easy for kids to hike and is a big bang for your buck. 
  • Find and hike to Inchworm Arch. 4WD required and a good knowledge of sand driving.

For the more adventurous individual:

  • Put in for permits to the Wave and see how lady luck treats you. If you do happen to pull a permit, know before you go. Know the route, take 4 or more Liters of water and be confident with your route finding abilities as there is no trail. Don’t hike during the hottest times of day.
  • Drive into White Pockets to see the cool swirly rock formations and and spend time away from the busier places in Kanab. 
  • Hike Squaw Trail but do the entire 8.1 miles. It starts in town and rises up to the plateau giving a wonderful view of Kanab and then you continue around and back to Kanab when finished. 
  • Go sand boarding at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes state park. Be sure it is not windy. 

For those who wish to do multi-day trips:

  • Get an overnight permit and hike the entire 22 miles of Buckskin Gulch. Note that you should be aware of the weather and that there can be standing water at parts of the gulch up to your chest or more. There is mud and you should be prepared to shuttle yourselves from the end back to the start for your car. 
  • Round Valley Draw, UT to Willis Creek, UT 49 miles. This is extreme desert backpacking and you must be experienced and in peak physical shape to attempt any part of the Hayduke trail. 

For those who are unable to walk far:

  • Drive to Paria townsite to look around and make sure to notice the beautiful colors along the way.
  • Moqui cave is a museum full of ancient history that is easily accessible. 
  • Hire a tour company and let them know of your limitations. They will help you find a destination that will work for you. We loved riding in the side-by-sides. 
  • Drive 90 minutes to see the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Family Adventure is one way that we have always bonded. Throughout my life I have been drawn to the outdoors and as a boy mom, it was a way for us to get out and release lots of energy. The outdoors is a place where quarreling stopped and curiosity set in. It was heaven and as our boys have grown, it is still one of our go-to’s for family time. I hope that this post can help you find some new places to explore with your family.

Happy Exploring!

Carri @JoyOfAdventuring

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