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NATIONAL PARKS

Come to Kanab and Visit the National Parks

By Barry Eitel

Southern Utah has mile upon mile of pristine wilderness unlike anywhere else in the nation. Kanab is at the epicenter of three spectacular National Parks–each unique and ready for hiking, camping, climbing and more. Zion, Bryce Canyon, and the Grand Canyon North Rim have been dubbed America’s crown jewels, and for good reason. Each National Park boasts experiences you simply can’t get anywhere else.

Zion National Park

Zion National Park, the most popular National Park in Utah, is rated the No. 1 national park on TripAdvisor because of the towering cliff formations around every bend and exquisite hiking trails in the park. Each massive sandstone cliff is a gorgeous hue of pinks, creams and reds that soar into the bright blue sky. Wildlife like bighorn sheep and the rare California condor can be spotted among the beautiful setting. Hike along the same trails ancient peoples and settlers traversed for millennia. Between the crystal-clear waters of the Virgin River, enormous chasms and hanging gardens, Zion is definitely not to be missed. Zion Narrows, Angels Landing, and Observation Point are just a few destinations that are on many ‘Bucket Lists’.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon is 50 million years in the making! Only a 90-minute drive from Kanab, an amazing world of rock amphitheaters sculpted into gorgeous slot canyons, windows, fins and awe-inspiring colorful spires called “hoodoos” awaits your arrival and exploration. Some liken Bryce Canyon’s iconic hoodoos to a cave without a roof or a forest of stone – either way, it is a magnificent sight to behold, and photographs do not do the park justice. The odd formations were actually caused by millions of years of erosion. Bryce Canyon is also home to some lush greenery and becomes a riot of color in the autumn and stark contrast in winter.

Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon overwhelms the senses with its immense size and breathtaking landscapes. While Arizona is famously the home of the Grand Canyon, the North Rim of the National Park is easily accessible from the Utah side: Kanab is your gateway. Skip the huge crowds of pic-snapping tourists--visiting the North Rim is the best way to see the Grand Canyon, since this side gets only about 10 percent of the Grand Canyon’s five million annual visitors. Prepare for a much more intimate and personal experience with nature. Due to its higher elevation, the North Rim is only open between May and October, so start planning right away to visit one of the best-kept secrets of the National Park system.