Kanab, Utah

Photo by David Dudley

Where in the West Should I Go? • 52 Places to Visit in 2022

After spending too many weekends inside, hiding from the brutal summer in St. George, my partner and I hit the road to Kanab. Situated in the southeast corner of Utah, it’s close to a number of major attractions: Grand Canyon’s North Rim, Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Lake Powell.

It’s also near lesser-known spots like Buckskin Gulch, the Cottonwood Wash Narrows, White Pocket and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.

While there are a number of good places to stay in Kanab, we chose to stay with Best Friends Animal Society, the largest no-kill shelter in the country. They have two properties: The Angel Canyon Cottages and Cabins, and The Best Friends Roadhouse and Mercantile. The Roadhouse, located on the edge of town, is a haven for those traveling with pets. Stylish and comfortable, they feature built-in pet houses next to the beds.

After leaving our things at the cottage, we headed out for dinner at Houston’s Trail’s End Restaurant, where they serve flavorful 16 oz. cuts of prime rib that melt in your mouth.

The next morning, we had the breakfast buffet at Parry Lodge. Their dining room is bright and airy. The walls are adorned with pictures of cinema’s great cowboys. The Old Barn Theater, which sits at the center of their complex, stabled Roy Rogers’ “Trigger,” the Lone Ranger’s “Silver” and Tonto’s “Scout” during Kanab’s heyday as hub for Hollywood westerns.

Then, we set off for Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. Though it’s a popular destination for off-highway vehicle enthusiasts, we came to walk barefoot in the sand and slide down the slopes. The sand derives its distinct pink color from nearby Navajo Sandstone mountains.

Before heading home, we had dinner at the Rocking V Cafe. They offer fine dining in a casual atmosphere. They’ve also got an art gallery upstairs. I had “Homer’s Dream Chop.” I never did get Victor, the owner, to clarify whether it was Homer Simpson’s dream, or Homer the Greek’s. But it was the perfect way to cap our quick trip.

–David Dudley