Great Adventure Road Tour: Kanab

FEATURE — In this episode of “Nielson RV’s Great Adventure Road Tour,” join Matt Spendlove as he takes viewers on a trip to Southern Utah’s gem of a town: Kanab.

This file photo from 2010 shows the original set from the television show “Gunsmoke,” Kanab, Utah, Aug. 27, 2010 | Photo by Cami Cox Jim, St. George News

Often called “Little Hollywood” in honor of the many western movies filmed in the area, Kanab has a fascinating history of exploration and settlements that dates back thousands of years.

From early Native Americans to Spanish explorers and Mormon pioneers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Kanab has seen an eclectic array of people visits or take up residence on its lands.

For many years Kanab remained a small and isolated desert town, but today it attracts thousands of visitors who come to experience its “old West” flavor, unique shopping, a variety of dining options and its impressive access to national parks, state parks and other public lands.

Equally as interesting as the history of the people who explored and settled Kanab is the geologic history of the area. Kanab – and the greater Kane County area – has been significantly shaped by natural forces such as earthquakes, volcanoes, wind and water erosion.

Paria Mountains - Kanab - Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
This file photo shows the colorful Paria Mountains mountains at Paria townsite in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument near Kanab, Utah, undated | Photo by SumikoPhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus, St. George News

Its colorful scenery is marked by towering mesas, intriguing hoodoos, secret slot canyons and marbled sandstone making the area an ideal spot for tent and RV camping, hiking, mountain biking and exploring.

Kanab is also home to the renowned Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, “a lifesaving haven for hundreds of adoptable animals, nestled in between the sprawling red rocks of Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.”

The town hosts a variety of festivals throughout the year, including “Amazing Earthfest,” “Western Legends Round-up” and the “Kanab Balloons and Tunes.”

Start planning your next RV adventure to Kanab here.

Driving directions from Nielson RV in St. George to the Kane County Visitor Information Center (82 miles | 1 hour, 26 minutes driving time)

  • From Nielson RV head west on Sunland Drive toward South 320 East.
  • Turn right onto East Riverside Drive.
  • Turn right onto the Interstate 15 northbound ramp to Salt Lake City.
  • Take Exit 16 for state Highway 9 toward Hurricane/Zion National Park.
  • Keep right at the fork and merge onto the highway.
  • In Hurricane, turn right onto 100 East.
  • Turn left at the first cross street onto Highway 59 toward Hildale/Colorado City. 
  • Continue onto Arizona Highway 389.
  • In Fredonia, Arizona, turn left onto Highway 89 toward Kanab.
  • In Kanab continue onto 100 East to 78 S. 100 East to the Kane County Visitor Information Center. Destination will be on the left.

Visitor Center hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Written by HOLLIE REINA, St. George News.

The balloon glow at the “Kanab Balloons and Tunes,” Kanab, Utah, Feb. 20, 2016 | Photo by Dave Amodt, St. George News

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