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Utah Road Trip Day's 7-9: Drive to Kanab or Grand Canyon and Hike Coyote Buttes North or South

July 31, 2018

Day 7-9: Drive to Kanab or Drive to the Grand Canyon


Once you’ve enjoyed the sites of the Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon and cooled off in Lake Powell, it’s time to head off in one of two directions: Kanab or the Grand Canyon. Of course, both are incredible places that have their own activities, but our focus is with Kanab and the activities there. We included the drive distance to the Grand Canyon and suggest that you can do an overnight trip there if you would rather go there.


Drive to Kanab



Drive to the Grand Canyon



The drive to Kanab is a little over an hour long. Be advised that if you are leaving from Lake Powell, Kanab is an hour ahead. Once you get into Kanab, you will recognize that it has kept its charm as an old “western” town. Between the 1930’s-1970’s, countless number of Wild West TV shows and movies were filmed in the area and actors/directors are remembered with metal podium along the sidewalks.


Activities to do in Kanab


The Wave (Coyote Buttes North)


If you have obtained a permit, congratulations and get ready to prepare for your hike! There are a number of things to consider:


- The first is that it is a 3.5 mile hike which typically will take the entire day to get to and from (since you’ll be spending so much time there).


- Secondly, there are only 3 trail markers that show you the way, so if you are an experienced hiker and comfortable navigating the environment you'll be able to find the wave for yourself. If not, and you’re worried about getting lost, you can hire a guide to help get you to and from The Wave. A great company that is reasonably priced is Kanab Tour Company; they will drive you to and from Kanab as well as The Wave.


- You will need to be well packed with 2 liters of water, lunch, and snacks, as the hike is a bit grueling in some parts.


- If you go during the summer it can get up to 100 degrees (there is little shade on the trail so we advise bringing sunscreen, a hat, long sleeves, and pants to protect yourself from the sun). 


Another great blog that shows the path to the Wave, as well as more information regarding the entire permit process is Barefoot Theory.


Alternative Hike: We understand that getting a permit to hike The Wave may take months, even years to obtain; but don’t fret! Coyote Buttes South is another hike that you can obtain permits for and it is far easier to be selected. The views are just as incredible, and you get to see very similar rock formations and sandstone. We highly suggest applying for both since they are amazing hikes that you should go after and are worth the wait.


Wire Pass Trail (Buckskin Gulch) is along the way to both Coyote Buttes North and South, but is a hike that most people do if they haven’t obtain a permit since this trail doesn’t require one. Just like Coyote Buttes, Wire Pass is a narrow slot canyon (similar to Antelope Canyon) which leads to Buckskin Gulch and has petroglyphs along the walls of the canyon.



This is a must do if you’re in the area and you won’t be disappointed. It costs $12 to hike the trail. Be advised that you must take an 8 mile drive through a sandy/bumpy road to get there, so if it rains we highly recommend you take a 4 wheel drive to make it through safely. Below is a map showing how to get to the trail head for all the above hikes from Kanab:


Paria Canyon (Painted Hills)


About a five mile drive down a slightly bumpy/sandy road  (4 Wheel Drive may be necessary at times), you will see the ridge of canyon walls which have been striated in bands of red, pink gold, copper, and ocher that have been smoothed out over time by the Paria River creating waves along the mountain sides. In any case its worth the time to stop by and check it out (may even run into a movie set while you're there!)



Other Activities: In Kanab, the Heritage House is another gem that is worth stopping by to learn more about the history of the area. If interested, click the link here to reserve a tour.


Accommodations in Kanab


Campgrounds: There are limited RV/camping options to be found in Kanab, with two campgrounds that are located in Fredonia about 30 minutes down the road. Given that Kanab not a populated area and you should be able to find a spot pretty easily, it’s always good to book early if you can. Below is a map of the campgrounds in Kanab:



Hotels: Within Kanab there are several hotel options in town that are walking distance to a number of great restaurants and shops. To find great deals, go to Booking.com for more. Below is a map of hotels in the area to give you an idea of where to look:



Specialty Lodging: If you want to finish (or start your trip) in style, Base Camp 37 offers an unbelievable glamping set up that we highly suggest. With only 5 tents and each with their own unique interior design, Base Camp 37 provides that "home away from home" feel. There are great facilities on site from bathrooms and a kitchen to an outdoor fire pit and hang out area. Ann, who runs the B&B, is a fantastic host who does a great job in fulfilling any needs! Check out the website here and be sure to book a reservation in advance as space is limited.


Food in Kanab


There are a lot of restaurants in Kanab and most are walking distance from one another, and naturally we have suggestions. Peekaboo Canyon Wood Fire Kitchen is a vegetarian restaurant, but they have some delicious pizzas that you can’t pass up. If you’re looking for some good American food, the Rocking V Café and Sego Restaurant have some great bites. Below is a map of those, other restaurants to check out in town, and  Yelp links for more information:



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