544 East 300 South, Kanab, Utah, 84741, United States
More about Kanab
Wonderful red rock pinncales
Figurines in front of movie set/gift shop
Film wrapped buffalo by visitor center
Travel Tips for Kanab
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
My favorite thing about this park is the contrast in color between the pink/orange sand and the blue sky. Plus the sand felt wonderfully cool on our bare feet! We stopped here for about half an hour to stretch our legs while driving between the big national parks all around here (Zion, Bryce, the Grand Canyon).
The dunes here are created from erosion of the Navajo Sandstone hills. The park is open to Off-Highway Vehicles like dune buggies, and we saw their tracks, but never actually came across any while we were walking around.
The park also has camping spaces available - call 1-800-322-3770 to reserve a spot.
prepare for desert conditions
Good hiking boots with ankle support are best for tackling the dunes. If you hike in the low sun hours, it will be cooler too you'll need at least a light jacket. It is surprisingly chilly once the sun goes down. Sunglasses make for a "rosier" experience. ;) Sun screen if hiking during the day and with all that reflective sand about it's best to wear it any time of day. Wide angle for atmospheric dune shots. Polarizer if shooting during the day but best to let nature's polarizer do the work by shooting when the sun is lower on the horizon. Tent, sleeping bags, and mats make camping in the dunes an all to comfy experience.
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
This animal sanctuary located in Kanab has received a good deal of publicity due to its altruistic aims. The sanctuary refuses to kill injured or unwanted animals. Although the santuary relies heavily upon donations, tours of the grounds are offered at no charge.
According to the best friends' literature, there are about 1,500 animals at the sanctuary on any given day. Some stay for only a brief period of time, but those who remain injured or homeless remain at the sanctuary for the remainder of their days.
Best Friends is located 5 miles north of Kanab on Hwy 89.
Trouble In North Coyote Buttes
Most of the time it is a good idea to hike with other people. I went to North Coyote Buttes alone.
My friend Win told me to get there early because of the early August heat. I arrived around 8 in the morning and followed the BLM's directions. I headed into the wash and looked for the sign that would indicate where the trail was for North Coyote Buttes and Buckskin Gulch. Someone had taken the sign I guess. I followed the wash until I came to the start of Buckskin Gulch (longest slot canyon in the world) and had to turn around. I probably went at least a mile or more one way.
On my way back up the wash I ran into a couple from Switzerland. Nice people who were headed in the wrong direction too. I convinced them they were going to make the same mistake I had.
We headed to the starting point and found our way to the trail head for North Coyote Buttes. I was a bit apprehensive if I could find the Wave. A magazine in a Page hotel said they thought the BLM didn't want people to find the wave. Therefore protecting it. They gave an example of a party from Denver who wound up at Buckskin Gulch (like I did) and never did see the Wave.
I enjoyed my journey to the Wave almost as much as seeing the Wave. It seems like more people in Europe are aware of the Wave vs. Americans. I was told they even have an IMAX presentation of "The Wave."
"Getting to "The Wave""
I enjoyed visiting with the Switzerland couple. They were in Utah for one month seeing all the sights. I lost their e-mail address, which bums me out.
The journey to the Wave was the highlight for me. Lots of ever changing scenery. We located the notch and headed for our objective. The only other people out there were an older couple from Germany and a young fellow from Norway. Behind the wave I checked out some "brain rocks." They were pretty cool. There are dinasour tracks along the ridge but I started to get hot in the 98 degree heat. I decided to head back alone.
Evidently I strayed too far to the right or east on my return trip. I had a digital compass but no GPS. It is almost 4 miles to get to the Wave so I had some ground to cover.
"Now I am In Trouble!"
I made it back to the final ridge before I hit the wash. I climbed over the crest of the ridge to see a 40 foot drop off on the other side. My bodies' core temperature was getting really hot at this point. It was after 1 o'clock and the sun was really intense. My Powerade was about 95 degrees too, so it wasn't any relief to drink.
I scrambled back over the top of the ridge and decided to head east and find a lower spot to get into the wash. Remember the BLM doesn't want any trace of you being there including building a pile of rocks too, so you can find your way back.
As I proceeded East, I knew I was heading downhill. At some point I decided to cross over the ridge and hopefully find the wash that would lead me back to my Jeep. When I looked ahead and down I saw a lot of rock and an exposed part of Buckskin Gulch. I had a hard time getting into the slot canyon. I slid down a steep smooth rock for 15 feet until I landed. Now I could see it looked like it could rain and I am in a slot canyon.
I looked at my digital compass and I knew which dirction to head but I kept getting cut off. I continued to walk in Buckskin Gulch. That was weird. It would be open and then completely like a cave. Dark and like 20 degrees cooler than the 100 degree temperatures outside. I decided I should try to find a spot to get up and out of the slot canyon. I was able to hoist myself up - God the rock was so hot! I sat there for a few minutes trying to gather myself and my composure. I didn't know if I would be able to make it out that day.
At this point things became a little fuzzy. I think I went over a steep ridge and back into the slot canyon. I remember walking out of Buckskin Gulch and how it seemed like a long way back to my Jeep.
When I went to sign out the person in charge of taking the sign in sheets took mine too. I drove to Kanab and stopped at the BLM office. I told them someone was going to die at North Coyote Buttes (I spoke to the asst. Mgr). I said there wasn't a sign at the beginning showing the way to Buckskin and to North Coyote Buttes. I also mentioned on the way back from the wave things tend to look a little different and they should have a small sign pointing to the area to cross to get to the wash. Then I asked him how often the person takes the sign in sheets. He said most of the time daily. I informed him the guy hadn't been there for 6 days to collect the sheets and took my sign in sheet for that day.
The BLM guy was polite and said I had some good ideas or suggestions. As I left he said, "now you have another story to tell."
I really enjoyed my trip to North Coyote Buttes and find myself liking it more each day. I made it out alive.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes
Kanab was a very pleasant stop for us when we were driving between the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Zion National Park. It's a small town on Highway 89, close to the border with Arizona.
It's really not much more than a fork in the road, so we just had lunch here and then went to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, just 12 miles off the highway, to take a break from sitting in the car.