Southern Utah has become very popular in recent years due to those wanting to social distance, visit Utah National and State Parks, and simply see this unique area filled with incredible sites and rich history. Because of its’ popularity, it can be hard finding special places to visit where you can enjoy solitude. Here are six hidden gems that you’ll need to put on your ‘must-see’ list during your next Utah vacation.
The Great Chamber is found near Kanab, Utah in the Grand Staircase Escalante Region. This hidden gem is striking, to say the least, and should be on your Southern Utah bucket list! Here’s what you need to know about the Great Chamber:
- In order to get here, you’ll need a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle that handles great in the sand and backroads.
- Once you reach the trailhead of the Great Chamber in the Escalante region, you’ll need to hike .25 miles to the actual cave.
- The hike is uphill and the last section is straight sand. You’ll be hiking through the sand a good portion of your trip so I would recommend wearing an outdoor sandal. Socks and tennis shoes will just end up being filled with sand.
I’ve seen so many people get stuck out in the sand while exploring backcountry destinations in the Kanab region, even experienced drivers! My advice? Hire a local tour guide to take you there! It totally takes the stress out of wondering if you’re going to be stranded in the hot, Utah desert without any cell service. I recommend going with Expedition Kanab. The great thing about going with these local tour guides is that not only will you be able to see the Great Chamber, but also get to experience Peekaboo Canyon. Two Utah sites for the price of one tour is a great deal in my book!
Check out this blog post I wrote for a complete guide to the Great Chamber in Kanab, Utah.
Use code PartTimeTourists10 for 10% off any tour with Expedition Kanab!
Peekaboo Slot Canyon
If you’ve researched the best slot canyons in the United States, inevitably, Antelope Canyon in Arizona will rank on the top of said list. I visited Antelope Canyon several years ago and while it is impressive, I had a much better experience at Peekaboo slot canyon in Kanab, Utah!
Why? The lack of crowds is a major factor! It’s quiet, you’ll find more solitude, and be able to really connect with the outdoors by exploring this Utah slot canyon.
If you do decide to explore Peekaboo slot canyon just know that the hike is 1.5 miles round trip. I would say most skill levels would have a great time here. It’s a flat hike through the packed sand and there is only one part that you’ll need to scramble up a small boulder.
I mentioned earlier that Expedition Kanab with take you to the Great Chamber and Peekaboo slot canyon on their most popular Kanab tour, but I didn’t tell you how they get you there! So here’s a short description of how you can access these two amazing Utah hidden gems.
“The tour starts with an adventure-filled ATV ride to Peekaboo slot canyon, once you’re done picking your jaw up off the ground, hop back on the ATVs and head through the desert backroads to the Great Chamber. The Great Chamber requires a short hike up a sandy hill but the view is worth every step!” We’ve experienced riding at ATV through this area and just getting to these two destinations is part of the fun!
Use code PartTimeTourists10 for 10% off your tour with Expedition Kanab!
The Warrior’s Walk is one of the very best-kept secrets in the Kanab, Utah area. This mysterious site leaves you with more questions than answers as you try to understand who would’ve built and designed this special path lined with large boulders on either side. The locals believe this historical site to be around 700-1000 years old, putting it within the same time frame as the Anasazi. Why they built this walkway is a mystery we may never get answers to.
When we visited, there was not a soul to be found beside us. Our tour guides told us that hardly anyone knows about this place, let alone ventures out to find it. I took some time to walk the entire length of the path and definitely felt like this was sacred land. If you’re looking for a unique, off-the-beaten-path experience during your Utah vacation, this is it!
We got to experience the Warrior’s Walk through a new tour offered by Expedition Kanab. You can use my code, PartTimeTourists10 for 10% off any tour. In addition to seeing the Warrior’s Walk, Expedition Kanab bundles this beautiful destination with the Mail Drop (more on that below).
The Mail Drop in Kanab, Utah is an incredible overlook point that can best be reached by ATV/UTV or Jeep. Because of current boundaries, you’ll get within 2 miles of this beautiful view by vehicle, then you’ll have to hike the rest of the way on a sandy wash. Most skill levels will be able to easily hike this trail.
The hike to get here from the fence is about a 1.5-2 mile round trip hike. They built a cable system where the mailman could lower the mail from Kanab down to Shunes Creek over a 300 ft. cliff. This was much more effective than traveling down into the canyon every mail day.
If you decide to take the tour from Expedition Kanab, the only tour company currently offering a tour to this unique place, then you’ve got to ask them about the story of the rattlesnakes and rocks!
Hog Canyon in Kanab, Utah is an OHV enthusiast’s dream. With roughly 30 miles of trails, there’s plenty of space for everyone. What is awesome about this canyon is that not only does it provide an excellent place to ride, but offers incredible views, especially at sunset.
We took the Sunsets + Sweets Tour with Expedition Kanab one evening and were treated to not only a great ride and the sweets they brought along, but also a killer sunset experience! They took us to a secret spot that offered a 360-degree view of the area on top of the red cliffs just north of Kanab. While there, they’ll entertain you will old cowboy stories and talk about the ancient history of the area.
Use code PartTimeTourists10 for 10% off your tour with Expedition Kanab!
Jackson Flat Reservoir
Jackson Flat Reservoir is a rare oasis in the middle of the Utah desert. There are endless outdoor activities to be had here including disc golf, fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. Our favorite part was the Sherry Belle Trail, a 3.2 loop around the reservoir that is great for walking, running, or biking.
The best way to experience this beautiful reservoir is by e-bike! Kanab Expedition offers a Kanab e-bike tour that not only goes around Jackson Flat Reservoir but through charming, downtown Kanab. I loved learning about the historic homes that are still standing and where famous Hollywood movies stars have stayed while filming movies in the area.
This tour is the perfect way to wrap up a day in Kanab! You’ll get to watch the sunset go down behind the red cliffs all the while having the wind in your hair as you glide around town. You don’t need to have experience with e-bikes as they will teach you everything you need to know.
Where To Stay When Exploring Kanab, Utah
I know it can seem overwhelming deciding on where to stay in Kanab, Utah because the area has plenty of hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and Airbnbs. On our most recent trip to Kanab, we stayed with Timber + Tin and decided we want to move in and stay forever!
“Timber and Tin at Kanab Main Street is where modern design meets historical location. These brand new, specifically made-for-vacation rentals are built on the homestead of the host’s cowboy ancestors and have been intentionally designed with all the conveniences and amenities of a high-end resort nestled into the heart of one of America’s most charming small towns.”
You have your choice between 7 vacation rentals that can fit up to six guests, perfect for a family getaway. What I was so fascinated by was that the owner has no background in interior design, yet completed a feat only seasoned professionals could do by designing each vacation rental around a unique theme and design concept!
Here are just several of the amenities that they offer:
- A restored 1920’s barn that offers game tables, a theater room and a kids toy loft.
- Private rooftop dekcs with comfortable patio furniture and personal fireplaces
- A refreshing pool with a slide, plenty of chairs on the pool deck and a unique shower tower
- Fast wifi (tested and proven!)
- Luxury hot tub that is open all year round
The Jackson family, owners of Timber + Tin, are 8th generation Kanab locals. Because of this, they have an incredible depth of knowledge about the area and love it enough to welcome visitors to spend time on their special property!
“The land where Timber + Tin now stands was the headquarters of the Jackson Cattle Company, Great Grandpa Elmer built the house for his wife Great Grandma Leah in the late 1920s. This home and barn have seen a lot of life, it’s time it has played host to thousands of people from all walks of life, Cattle-Ranchers, Cowboys, Outlaws that rode with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, World War 1 and World War 2 Veterans, Native American Tribal Leaders, Western Movie Stars, A Prophet of The Church of Jesus Christ, and now YOU!”
You can book a stay at Timber + Tin here!
Expedition Kanab and Timber + Tin hosted us during our stay. All opinions remain our own.