Easy-to-access hiking trails right in Kanab

The American Southwest is big country. But you don’t have to spend your entire vacation driving. Here are several hike ideas within 10 minutes of your Kanab hotel or vacation rental. All are well marked and accessible in a 2WD car. Many of these hikes can be done in a half day and are a perfect complement to our three-hour Peekaboo Slot Canyon Tour (which most definitely does require 4-wheel drive!). 

Kanab trail resources

If you’re looking for more Kanab hiking resources, we recommend visiting the Kanab Trails website and visitsouthernutah.com (this site includes trail maps). If you’re here in town, you’ll also get some great ideas by visiting the staff at the Kane County Information Center at 78 S 100 E (435) 644-5033 or the BLM Kanab Visitor Center at 745 East Highway 89, (435) 644-1300. You’ll also find helpful brochures with trail maps at either visitor center and in many grocery stores, hotel lobbies and gas stations in Kanab.

Our favorite “easy access” trails

Greenhalgh Trail

Features: Views, flowers, potential bird and  wildlife watching, creek
Distance: Easy option: 2 level miles roundtrip, Hard option: 4 miles roundtrip with a steep climb

This is a gorgeous red rock canyon hike with options. The easy choice is just over 2 miles round trip on a level trail that follows the floor of Trail Canyon to a pour off. There is often some water seepage there that attracts birds. If you want to hike farther, it is possible to hike around the dry falls, then continue heading deeper into Trail Canyon until the trail fades and becomes overgrown. The more challenging route uses switchbacks to ascend 600 vertical feet up the side of the canyon to the top. This hike is just over 4 miles round trip. Standing high up on the rim of the canyon, you’ll find an incredible view of the White and Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase. There is also a slight possibility of spotting desert bighorn sheep near the top of the trail.

Trail Canyon, where the Greenhalgh Trail is located, is just barely out of town – but it doesn’t feel that way. You’ll soon lose the traffic noise and you’ll likely see few other hikers. This is the newest and seems to be the least traveled of the Kanab Trails.

The Trail: At just over a half-mile from the trailhead you’ll come to a branch in the trail. Take the left fork to stay on the floor of the canyon and hike a short distance more to the dry falls.

Take the right fork if you wish to ascent switchbacks to the top of the canyon. Once you’re heading up the switchbacks, there will be one more trail fork. The left fork heads into the canyon and takes you above the dry falls. The right fork takes you up to the top.

Greenhalgh Trail Directions
  • Drive north on Highway 89 for 2.4 miles from the traffic light at Main and Center Streets.
  • Turn left onto an unmarked gravel road that is just before a guardrail and is directly across the highway from the Hog Canyon ATV riding area.
  • Drive down the gravel road to the left and park by the ATV Bridge.
  • Walk across the bridge which crosses Kanab Creek.
  • Walk along the creek on the ATV trail for 0.3 miles. Take the first right, and you’ll soon see the Greenhalgh Trailhead sign.

Mansard Trail

Features: Native American petroglyphs, views, wildflowers
Distance: 5 miles round trip with 1,000 feet elevation gain to the top, light scrambling

This strenuous half-day hike is one of our favorite local trails, and it’s practically just across the street from the Dreamland Safari Tours office. The trail climbs Chinle clay hills and the steep Vermilion Cliffs, then traverses a sandy desert to an alcove with dozens of well-defined Anasazi petroglyphs carved into the floor. Enjoy views to the south of the Arizona Strip, Kaibab Plateau and Vermilion Cliffs.

The trail: Park at the marked trail and follow the worn path. Part way through the steep red cliffs there is a 7-foot cliff that requires scrambling. It does turn some people back, but don’t expect anything too technical, one guide’s 81-year-old uncle was able to complete the hike. When you make it to the top of the cliffs, take note of where the trail is, it can be easy to miss on the way down. Once on top, the trail levels out and turns to sand as it heads north and west to the petroglyph alcove. Enjoy the view and head back when you’re ready.

Mansard Trail Directions
  • Drive 6.5 miles east of Kanab on Highway 89 and turn left onto Vista Drive just after Mile Marker 59. (Watch for yellow  Mansard Trail signs)
  • Turn right on Grand Vermilion Avenue.
  • Turn Left on Coyote Canyon Way
  • Turn left on Rocky Ledge Lane
  • At the end of the road, turn right on gravel BLM road 105J. Take the right fork. The left fork leads to the water tank.
  • Park in the gravel lot at the trailhead.

Tom’s Canyon

Features: Red rock canyon, wildflowers, hanging garden
Distance: About 3 miles round trip, relatively level

Hike a gorgeous red rock canyon that’s just on the edge of a Kanab neighborhood. The first portion of the trail crosses rolling Chinle clay hills that are decorated with many types of desert wildflowers in the spring. (Just be warned: the clay is a disaster to hike on when it’s wet.) After about the first mile the trail becomes sandy as it heads deeper into a gorgeous canyon that ends at a weeping rock where it’s always cool and peaceful. There is also a concrete picnic table near the end of the canyon where you can eat beside the cottonwoods.

The Trail: Shortly after leaving your car, the trail will fork. Veer left into Tom’s Canyon. The right fork takes you to the K-Hill trail. There is one other fork in the trail before you leave the clay hills. Take a right on the “loop” trail to add about ½ mile onto the hike. This will eventually join up with the main trail again. Veer left for a slightly shorter route into Tom’s Canyon.

Tom’s Canyon Trail Directions
  • From Center Street (Highway 89) head north on Main Street.
  • Turn right on 300 N. Continue into the La Estancia subdivision
  • Turn right at the waterwheel on Ladera Lane. Park on the side of the road where the road curves to the left.

K-Hill Trail

Distance: 3.25 miles round trip
Features: Sunrise, sunset, views of Kanab, Kaibab Plateau

This easy trail passes just below the giant ‘K’ for Kanab that’s posted on the hillside in town.  The wide, clay path climbs for a short distance, then levels out. It overlooks all of Kanab and offers views to the south out to the Kaibab Plateau. Watch sunrise, sunset, or stay after dark to see the night sky. The trail is just over 1.5 miles long each way. It connects Tom’s Canyon and Pugh Canyon, either canyon is open for hiking. But most folks walk as far as they care to, then turn around and head back. It’s no fun when it’s wet and muddy. You’ve been warned.

The Trail:  Park on Ladera Lane right where the road curves sharply to the left. Walk up the dirt road toward the red cliffs. The trail soon forks. Take the right fork (the left fork heads into Tom’s Canyon) The wide trail climbs for a short time before leveling out. There are several concrete benches along the trail if you just want to hang out and enjoy the view.

K-Hill Trail Directions
  • From Center Street (Highway 89) head north on Main Street.
  • Turn right on 300 N. Continue into the La Estancia subdivision and turn right at the waterwheel on Ladera Lane.
  • Park on the side of the road where the road curves to the left.
  • Most access the K-Hill Trail from the La Estancia Neighborhood but it can also be accessed from Country Club Drive in the Coral Cliffs Subdivision.

Bunting Trail

Distance: 2.5 strenuous miles round trip with 900 feet elevation gain to the top
Features: Incredible views, wildflowers, dinosaur tracks, faint Native American rock art

This steep trail is a real workout, gaining 900 feet elevation in just over a mile, but the view is worth it! The hike is just on the edge of town but it doesn’t feel like it. You won’t hear any traffic noise and you’ll probably only run into a handful of other people. As the trail climbs, you’ll gain views of the Kaibab Plateau, Jackson Flat Reservoir and all of Kanab from the top. Bonus features include dinosaur tracks and a few faint Native American petroglyphs if you can spot them.

The trail: Park at the trailhead and walk toward the cliffs on the easy-to-follow path. About half way up the trail (before the terrain gets terribly steep) a short spur on the left heads a short distance up a dry wash where huge dinosaur tracks are found on the top of a big boulder. The spur trail is marked by a dinosaur track sign. Near the top of the main trail, watch for faint petroglyphs carved into the rock. They’re hard to spot.

Bunting Trail Directions
  • Take 89A south for 0.9 of a mile from traffic light at the junction of Highway 89 and 89A (by the Chevron)
  • Turn right onto Kanab Creek Drive. Follow that for about 2 miles.
  • Turn right  (west) onto Stanfield Drive. Head about ¼ mile up the road and watch for a trailhead on your right.

Cottonwood Trail

Features: Red cliffs, wildflowers, views, feels remote
Distance: 6 miles round trip over rolling hills

This hike traverses hilly terrain at the base of the vermilion cliffs with views of the Arizona strip and Kaibab Plateau. There is no “pot of gold” at the end of the trail, so just hike as far as you wish and turn around. Even though this hike doesn’t have a specific spectacular reward, the entire trail is beautiful and offers pristine desert solitude right on the edge of town.

Cottonwood Trail Directions
  • Take 89A south for 0.9 of a mile from traffic light at the junction of Highway 89 and 89A (by the Chevron)
  • Turn right onto Kanab Creek Drive. Follow that for about 2 miles
  • Turn right (west) onto Stanfield Drive. The road soon turns to gravel but is fine for all cars. The road ends at a parking lot below a water tank.
  • Walk through the gate at the top of the road, the trail starts on your left and heads south.

Squaw Trail

Features: Views of Kanab, Grand Staircase
Distance: About 3 miles roundtrip

This steep and popular trail gains about 800 feet in elevation as it ascends to the top of the red cliffs. Gain a bird’s eye view of Kanab on the way up the hill, and stunning Grand Staircase views of the White Cliffs and Pink Cliffs (Bryce Canyon) from the top. You won’t have the trail to yourself, and it doesn’t feel remote with the view of town and slight traffic noise. Nonetheless, this hike is a real winner.

The trail: Park in the gravel parking lot north of the baseball fields. Cross a dry wash and follow the trail to your left. The trail heads back into the canyon then ascends to the top with numerous switchbacks.

Squaw Trail Directions
  • From the traffic light at Main and Center streets, head north on Main Street
  • Turn right on 300 N
  • Turn left (north) on N 100 E. Pass Jacob Hamblin Park and park in the gravel lot just past the baseball fields.

Dinosaur Tracks

Features: Dinosaur Tracks, views
Distance: About 1 mile round trip, gaining 300 feet in elevation

Most kids can make this short hike, but there are some short sections of steep trail with loose footing and drop offs, so use common sense with young ones. The trail climbs to the top of a red sandstone butte where a handful of gigantic, three-toed dinosaur tracks are found. These were created about 200  million years ago when dinosaurs wandered a wind-swept desert in the early Jurassic. Some left tracks in the sand that are preserved to this day. The site is just off the highway, so it doesn’t feel remote, but it’s beautiful and hey, it’s dinosaur tracks! (If you’re interested in seeing a wider variety of really great dino tracks without the hike, check out our Peekaboo Slot Canyon with Dino Tracks tour)

The trail: Park by a plastic outhouse. Look for the unmarked, but well worn trail that heads south toward the red butte. Where the trail forks, head left for the easiest route to the top of the butte. The trail heads east away from the highway before beginning to climb up the ridge and heading back toward the highway. There are many trails with no wrong way to the top, but some routes are easier than others. Flat, dark gray rocks on the top of the ridge contain several large dinosaur tracks. The tracks are exactly 0.12 miles east of the highway, 300 feet in elevation above it.

Dinosaur Tracks Directions
  • Drive 3 miles from the traffic light at Main and Center Street and park by a plastic outhouse just before the Port of Entry truck weigh station on Highway 89.

Jackson Flat Reservoir

Features: Paved path for running, cycling, etc., fishing, disc golf, water activities, bird watching
Distance: Paved path is 3.2 miles around reservoir, an extra loop adds a half-mile and a short spur adds about a quarter mile.

We love sunrise and sunset at Jackson Flat reservoir. It’s peaceful and you’ll spot plenty of birds you won’t expect to find in the desert, such as the great blue heron, red winged blackbird, Canadian geese and American coot to name a few. Bald eagles are common in the winter. This is a great spot for paddle boarding or launching a non-motorized boat from the concrete boat launch. The water is clear and comfortable for swimming in the summer, but we have experienced a little bit of swimmer’s itch, so decide for yourself if it’s worth it. (Read about swimmer’s itch on the CDC website.) We do think it’s a great place to watch the sunset after a day of hiking.

The trail: The paved Sherry Belle Trail makes a 3.2-mile loop around the reservoir. The disc golf course is on the south side of the reservoir. Willow Canyon sells disc golf supplies.

Jackson Flat Reservoir Directions
  • Drive south on 89A for just under 3 miles from the traffic light at the junction of Highway 89 and Highway 89A (By the Chevron)
  • Just past the airport, turn left on Kane Plex Road
  • In about ¼ mile, turn left onto a gravel road, then turn right onto a gravel road.
  • Park in the paved lot near the bathroom and boat ramp.

And once you’ve hiked all of those trails… 

Come find us to take an epic, 4WD-access only tour with us. The trails above are just some of our favorite outings with easy, 2WD access – and they are awesome, but nowhere near as epic as our new and remote Amazing Sandstone Teepees hiking tour or an all-camping-logistics-taken-care-of overnight at White Pocket. Let’s go on an adventure!

 

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