Kanab derives its name from a Paiute word meaning, "willow." The town is like a Hollywood portrayal of the classic American West – towering Navajo sandstone cliffs and vistas of sagebrush. This scenery has lured filmmakers to Kanab for nearly 80 years. Abandoned film sets near town have become tourist attractions. The buildings all over town have plenty of movie posters and autographed photos to support Kanab's self-proclaimed title, "Little Hollywood."
Situated near the southern boundary of the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area, Kanab is a prime stop for major driving routes heading off in four directions accessing three national parks, three national monuments, several state parks, and a number of historic sites.
The Western Legends Roundup each summer draws people who enjoy the cowboy culture of the past and present, www.westernlegendsroundup.com. Best Friends Animal Society, five miles from Kanab in Angel Canyon, is the largest sanctuary for homeless animals in the country. Tours are available daily by calling (435) 644-2001, www.bestfriends.org.
Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument
Experience 1.8 million acres of outdoor adventure and star-filled night skies. Slot canyons, slickrock and other geologic wonders fill your line of sight while hiking, mountain biking, off-roading and camping. Visitor centers at Big Water, Kanab, Escalante and Cannonville. The massive Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is vast and rugged, yet easily accessible off Scenic Byway 12 and U.S. Highway 89. Divided into three regions: Canyons of the Escalante, Grand Staircase and the Kaiparowits Plateau, scenic and recreational opportunities abound within the monument. Visitor centers are located in Kanab, Escalante, Cannonville and Big Water.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
Rippling arcs of rust-colored sand welcome you as you enter Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. The park is a wonderful place for camping, photography, off-highway vehicle riding or just playing in the sand. As the only major sand dune field on the Colorado Plateau, this park is a unique geologic feature that should not be missed.
Cultural and Heritage Attractions
The Variety Arts Council features touring artists and companies, (435) 644-5033. The Crescent Moon Theater features classic cowboy music and comedy in a Branson-style setting from mid-April through mid-December, (435) 644-2350
Family Fun Adventures
Best Friends Animal Society, the nation's largest sanctuary for homeless animals offers daily tours, (435) 644-2001. Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park has acres of pristine coral-colored sand; ATV's are allowed in some areas, 11 miles off U.S. 89 between Kanab and Mt. Carmel Junction, (435) 648-2800. There are movie sets in Kane County from over 200 feature films and TV series, like Gunsmoke and Lassie. Contact the Kane County Travel Council, 78 S. 100 East, (800) 733-5263.
Glen Canyon Recreation Area and Lake Powell
Sun-drenched boating and an expansive lake ringed with towering cliffs and a labyrinth of side canyons, a visit to Glen Canyon usually involves water skiing, jet skiing or relaxing in a houseboat on Lake Powell, soaking in the otherworldly scenery.
Zion National Park
If it isn't abundantly obvious, Zion National Park is the top attraction in Springdale, and you can even grab the park's multipassenger shuttle from several stops in the town to avoid traffic congestion at the park's entrance. Also don't miss the Zion-Mt. Carmel scenic drive. The distinctive red asphalt leads to the narrow 1.1-mile tunnel, a triumph of 1920s engineering, the trailhead to the Canyon Overlook and further east to a junction with historic U.S. 89.
Early in August, enjoy the Kane County Fair at the Fair Grounds in Orderville, 475 North State on Highway 89. There are more than 20 events or contests including a Dutch Oven Cook-off and a Symphony of the Canyons performance. Orderville is less than 30 minutes from Kanab and the eastern border of Zion National Park and one of several Mormon settlements along the East Fork of the Virgin River in 1870s.
For more detailed information on attractions, accommodations and dining, visit Kane County Utah Office of Tourism/Film Commission www.visitsouthernutah.com.
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Known as "Little Hollywood," more than 100 movies have been filmed in Kanab. The town is centrally located between southern Utah's national parks and Lake Powell.