Kanab is a quirky little city that sits at the feet of the Grand Staircase. We chose to stay here for 5 nights as our headquarters while Stefan was in town so we could hit the nearby parks and natural wonders. We picked it for location, without realizing just how beautiful Kanab is. Lucky us.
After pitching our tent at the Hitch-N-Post (real name), we picked up Stefan from St. George airport. It was around 5:00 when we got back to the Kanab area, but we had to do something for Stefan’s first night in Utah, so we hit up Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park.
We walked on the salmon colored dunes and enjoyed the views all around us.
The sand is created from eroding Navajo sandstone and carried by wind through a notch between the Moquith and Moccasin Mountains.
We tried to spot the Coral Pink Tiger Beetle, a beetle found no where else in the world, but it was a little too early for them to be out.
We did spot a lot of ATVs, riding up and down the dunes like a scene out of Mad Max. It definitely broke the peace factor, but seems like a cool thing to do if you’re into off-roading.
Plus, they were polite and gave us some space to walk, so win-win for all. Couldn’t really hear the grains of sand dancing in the wind though.
After a delightful first night for Stefan in our luxurious three person tent, we woke early to head to Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Kodachrome sits just east of Bryce Canyon National Park but because of the elevation change, the scenery is quite different.
Kodachrome houses towering sandstone chimneys and spires that seem to change color with the light.
We hiked the 6-mile Panorama Trail Loop stopping along the way to see formations like Indian Cave, Ballerina Spire, and Secret Passage.
The grand formation was of course Cool Cave, where we enjoyed our lunch on a boulder in a refreshing refuge from the sun.
After finishing the loop, we headed to Shakespeare Arch on the Sentinel Trail where we were told we could do a little scrambling.
After spotting the arch, we followed some footprints up a trail to the right of it.
It was a tough scramble on the sandstone, and we had to press our feet against the side walls to avoid sliding down. We realized it wasn’t the trail when we spotted a giant hole slide that led to probable death or dismemberment. So down we went picking up the correct trail a few yards away from the arch.
The Sentinel Trail provided views of mountain landscapes and clusters of spires.
There is something very powerful about looking out and seeing nothing created by the hands of humans.
Even if they kind of look like humans…
After enjoying the two hikes at Kodachrome we decided to head to Red Canyon at Dixie National Forest, but we saw a trailhead for Bryce’s Mossy Cave along the way (are you getting an idea of just how many parks there are in Utah?), and decided to stop. This was our first taste of Bryce’s hoodoos, those proud formations reaching to the sky.
We walked the trail and found Mossy Cave. It was a lot like Weeping Rock at Zion, except that the weeping water is frozen in time due to lower temperatures at a higher elevation.
We knew we would be hitting Bryce the next day, so we headed for the Hoodoo Trail at Red Canyon.
Walking among the hoodoos was something I’ve wanted to do for a really long time.
I’m not sure what it is about the structures that entice me so much.
Perhaps it is their seeming strength and unusual shape, their uniqueness in their uniformity.
I couldn’t get enough, but I didn’t have to. Because the next day would be a hoodoo lovers wildest fantasy.