Posted on 10/6/2012 2:09:39 PM
Five Things We Love About Zion National Park
1. Angel’s Landing
With a five-star rating on Trip Advisor, the Angel’s Landing hiking trail is worth the demanding climb. Yes, it’s a difficult trek, but it’s hailed as Zion’s “most spectacular scenic outlooks.” Those who have braved the hike will agree that you’ll be more than rewarded by the views. Insiders say to hit the trail in the morning to beat the crowds and the heat.
2. Family Friendly Hikes
Much of Southern Utah’s outdoor destinations can only be traversed by able-bodied adults, and are not so suitable for children. If you’ve got kiddos in tow, Zion National Park has several hike/walk options for kids of all ages. We love the Riverside Walk, a two-mile flat path along the North Fork of the Virgin River. Kids love this shady trail and the riparian habitat along the way. What’s more, the path is stroller and wheelchair accessible. In the summer, we recommend taking a dip in the river at the end of the trail!
3. Endangered Wildlife
Any bird watchers out there? Zion is the place for you. Endangered California condors and peregrine falcons are among the 288 bird species that can be seen in Zion. Don’t forget to pack the binoculars!
4. Kolob Arch
Located in Zion’s backcountry, Kolob Arch is the world’s second largest freestanding natural arch. Few people get to experience this natural wonder, since it’s located in less visited, Northwestern section of Zion National Park. The hike to the arch can be done as a leisurely backpack or a long day hike.
5. The Fifteen-Mile Drive
Not the outdoorsy type? No sweat! (Literally). You can see all that Zion has to offer from the air-condition comfort of your car! Enjoy the stunning fifteen-mile drive through Zion National Park. This incredible highway is open year-round, twenty-four hours a day. An autumn drive in Zion Country reveals a wonderful display of fall foliage as leaves transition from green to bright red and shades of yellow.
Posted on 10/5/2012 3:34:51 PM
Because…Why Not? Add a Vegas Getaway to Your Kanab Visit!
Kanab is a stone’s throw from several of the country’s most majestic places. Immersing yourself in their vast, natural beauty will help you to center yourself, to reconnect you with nature, to remind you how insignificant your worries really are. You might even find yourself in the midst of a spiritual awakening.
But, you and I both know: a transcendent, metaphysical experience can only last so long. Once you’ve spent enough time looking deep into your soul, we emphatically recommend that you hit the road and head three hours south to…..VEGAS BABY!
In our humble opinion, no Southwestern adventure would be complete without a stop in Sin City. Larger-than-life, Las Vegas is the perfect contrast to your outdoor adventures in Kanab.
There’s many words we could use to describe Las Vegas, but one thing’s for sure, it’s versatile. You have the option to go full-out: gambling, dancing, partying until the wee hours of the morning! On the other hand, you could spend the day lounging by the pool, maybe add a spa treatment into the mix, and end the day with luxurious, dim-lit dinner. Ahhh…sounds nice right about now, no?
You can also tailor your Vegas trip to meet your budget. If you’re a “high roller,” why not try out the recently-opened Cosmopalitan? For penny pinchers, the The Flamingo Hotel & Casino is a wonderful option. Another fabulous value is The Vegas Pad, a two bedroom, two bath, fabulously-furnished condo located right near the strip. The Vegas Pad is owned by the owners of the Quail Park Lodge and the Willows Lodge. All the wonderful touches you’ve come to expect from these Kanab properties (and more!) can also be enjoyed at The Vegas Pad.
Just a quick jaunt down I-15 from Kanab, you’d be silly not to include Vegas getaway as part of your vacation. Want more suggestions on what to do and see in Vegas? Our staff knows the city well, and would be delighted offer some insider tips.
Posted on 10/6/2012 2:08:28 PM
Historic Kanab: A Trip Back in Time
Most of Kanab’s surrounding attractions are hundreds of millions of years old—of course, that’s what makes the town’s setting so magical. But let’s face it, it can be hard to wrap your head around that kind of history! For a slightly more recent look into Southern Utah’s past, you’ll definitely want to spend some time exploring the history of Kanab and its residents.
One of the best ways to do this is to admire the town’s lovingly maintained historic homes and architecture. Take part in Kanab’s Walking Tour of Historic Sites, and indulge in the rich heritage of a bygone era.
The walking tour will take you past a beautiful display of Victorian architecture, the crown jewel of which is Kanab’s Heritage House. The house was built in 1894, and has been meticulously restored to its original glory. Heritage House is a true piece of American history—it’s even listed on the National Register. If you visit us here in Kanab during the summer, be sure to take a tour inside the home! Within the walls of Heritage House, you’ll find many little pieces of yesteryear—artifacts from previous owners, neighbors, and townspeople.
After you complete the loop of the walking tour—it should take you a little under an hour—you’ll end up in Kanab’s business district. After your peek into the past, you’ll feel as though you’ve traveled forward in time, ready to enjoy all that “modern day” Kanab has to offer!
Along the beautiful streets of Kanab are a large array of restaurants, art galleries, gift shops, and other locally owned businesses. Walk in the sunshine, take a breath of fresh air, and enjoy the shopping possibilities offered by our unique gift shops. Sit down, relax, and have a bite to eat at one of Kanab's great restaurants. Or just relish the scenery of our remarkable little town.
Posted on 10/5/2012 3:35:16 PM
We Recommend: Dreamland Safari Tours
Based in Kanab, Dreamland Safari Tours is an outdoor adventure company and the premier provider of guided Southern Utah Tours. With 30 different day tours, scheduled multi-day tours and custom-designed adventures, Dreamland is your one-stop local outdoor connection. Open year-round, they’re National Parks experts. Whether you’re seeking popular natural wonders, or the best kept secrets of the Southwest, these guys know how to deliver world-class experiences with fun-loving charm.
We recommend using a guide for your hikes, climbs and other outdoor adventures. Without a guide, you might miss out on those “secret” places only the locals know about. Guides can also enhance your experience by sharing the historical significance of a site, by explaining the unique georgraphy of a land formation, and by letting you in on the countless “fun facts” they know about the area. Not to mention, guides can also ensure you are safe and well-equipped during your adventure.
Dreamland Safari Tours offers a wide variety of daytime tours from 2 hours to 8 hours in length in 5 main areas: The Kanab Area, The Paria Wilderness/Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, The North Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park, The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and the Arizona Strip.
Dreamland is home to a team of seasoned, accredited, medically trained, naturalist tour guides. Whether you are interested in touring for 2 hours or 2 weeks, backyard or backcountry, Dreamland Safari Tours will make sure your tour is unforgettable.
Posted on 10/6/2012 2:05:53 PM
Ready, Set, Go! Southern Utah’s Ultimate Endurace Race
With an endless array of hiking and climbing destinations, it’s no wonder Southern Utah draws some of the world’s most dedicated athletes and adventurers. One of the area’s most notable(and grueling!) outdoor attractions is the annual Grand to Grand Ultra Race.
Taking place each autumn, the “G2G” is seven-day, six-stage footrace that begins at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The 166-mile course covers desert terrain, forest trails, shallow river crossings, rocky roads and slot canyons. The course winds into and out of Zion National Park and Dixie National Forest, taking the brave race participants through incredible, panoramic landscapes. Participants cross the finish line on the summit of the Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase.
Racers will hike and run among some of the world’s most unique rock formations, flora and wildlife—coral pink sand dunes, endangered California condors, big horn sheep, wild mule deer, and that trademark Southwest cacti can be spotted along the course.
This probably goes without saying, but we must warn you, the G2G race is not for the faint of heart. The course takes participants to a peak elevation of well over 5,000 feet, and the third stage of the race—a 47-mile stretch—is enough to challenge even the most seasoned endurance athlete.
As if the view from the finish line weren’t rewarding enough, the race week is topped-off with a night in Las Vegas. Drinks and dinner are provided during an award ceremony in honor of the participants. We couldn’t think of a better way to unwind after an arduous but rewarding race!
If you’re inspired to join the 2013 Grand to Grand, now’s the time to register and begin that training regimen. The week begins on September 20, 2013, with check-in in Kanab. We’d love to have you stay with us as gear up for the race of your lifetime!
Registration details can be found here.
Posted on 10/6/2012 2:07:46 PM
Big Love, Small Town: Our Area’s Polygamist Community
Less than an hour West of Kanab lies the fascinating town of Colorado City, Arizona. The inspiration for HBO’s successful hit ‘Big Love’. Colorado City is one of the most remote communities in the Southwest—if not in the whole U.S.—in terms of distance to “civilization as we know it” and in terms of it’s virtual disconnection from mainstream American culture.
The town is the largest polygamist community in the country and was founded in 1913 by members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS), an extremist sect of the Mormon Church. The original settlers sought a remote location where they could practice plural marriage.
Before he landed on the FBI’s Most Wanted List, and consequently in federal prison, the infamous Warren Jeffs controlled most of the land, and day-to-day life, in Colorado City. See an ABC news story here.
The community is known for it’s shunning of outsiders. Residents are known to ignore any visitors who approach them. What’s more, there are no restaurants or hotels (and definitely no bars) in Colorado City limits. You might be thinking, “Well then, why the heck would I want to waste my time there?”
We recommend a drive through Colorado City, because it’s like entering a foreign land without ever leaving the state of Utah. Docile women and girls walk the streets of the town with the long braids and modest dresses most of us would associate with early Western pioneers. Plain, but unusually large homes insinuate families with six wives and twenty-four children. Unfinished construction projects suggest the hard financial times that have been brought upon the FLDS in the wake of the criminal prosecution of some of the sect’s important leaders, although rumor has it is avoids taxes since the homes are considered ‘un-finished’?
Pass through Colorado City on your way to the nearby Pipe Spring National Monument, or Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. It may not be the most exhilarating stop on your itinerary—but we guarantee that it’s like no place you’ve ever been before.
Posted on 10/5/2012 3:35:34 PM
Southern Utah Must-See: Slot Canyons
Some of the most mesmerizing features of the Southwestern landscape are known as slot canyons. Unlike the Grand Canyon—which is a mile deep and ten miles across—slot canyons are narrow formations with walls that are mere feet or inches apart. These narrow openings in the Earth are formed by the wear of rushing water. Deeper than they are wide, slot canyons can have an opening as small as 3 feet, but drop as deep as 100 feet.
While the overwhelming majesty of the Grand Canyon is not to be missed, slot canyons offer a more intimate experience and passing through a slot canyon is a one-of-a-kind, up-close-and-personal encounter with nature.
Utah has the largest concentration of slot canyons in the world and they surround the Kanab area. The majority of them are found at Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument but there are a number of lesser known, yet wonderful slot canyons a short distance from Kanab. The longest slot canyon in the world, Buckskin Gulch, is located right here in Kanab. (see blog on ‘The Wave’ for more information)
Many experienced hikers say that mother of all slot canyons is The Narrows in Zion National Park. At certain points, the walls of The Narrows rise nearly 2,000 feet from the canyon floor and just 30 feet apart from each other. For the adventurous, it’s not to be missed!
These natural wonders are reason enough to plan an adventurous vacation to Southern Utah. If you want to see slot canyons for youself (and why wouldn’t you?) we hope you’ll add Quail Park Lodge to your itinerary. Our staff can connect you with a guide or tour. We’re happy to recommend the best slot canyon adventure for you.
Posted on 10/6/2012 11:31:24 AM
Top 5 Reasons Why The Wave is Worth the Wait
Near the Arizona-Utah border, in the Paria Canyon-Vermillion Cliffs Wildnerness area, lies one of the world’s most striking geologic wonders. Known as The Wave, this sandstone rock formation is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. The sandstone itself is close to two hundred million years old. Over time wind erosion has created unique ribbon-like ridges along the surface of The Wave’s U-shaped troughs.
A rugged, “trailess” hike allows visitors to trek right through the middle of The Wave, giving them the unparalleled visual experience of walking across the surface of a sea of red rock. To preserve the formation, however, the Bureau of Land Management grants only 20 visitor permits per day. Ten of these daily permits are available in advance by an online lottery that is conducted four months before your desired date. The other ten permits are made available the day before your intended hike day. The lottery is held each morning at 9:00 a.m. at the ranger station in the east end of Kanab.
As most of us know, good things don’t come easy. Getting a permit to hike The Wave can be a long and unpredictable process. Here’s the top five reasons we believe The Wave is worth all that trouble.
5. It’s dog friendly. Maybe Fido is lucky enough to road trip with you through the beautiful American Southwest. Maybe you’re a new mommy or daddy to adopted pet from the Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab. Either way, your pooch is welcome.
4. It’s a photographer’s dream! The Wave’s distinct ridges make it sought-after destination for professional and amateur photogs alike. Snap a picture of The Wave at midday to capture it in its full glory, or photograph it in the shadowy morning or afternoon for some high-drama images.
3. It’s only 30 minutes from Kanab. The trailhead to The Wave is located only 30 minutes from the charming town of Kanab, Utah. Stay with us at the comfy, cozy Quail Park Lodge (we’re dog friendly, too!) and our knowledgable staff will do their best to help you navigate the tricky permit process, set you up with a guide, direct you to the trailhead, or answer any questions you might have. At the end of your long hiking day, rest your bones by our pool with a glass of wine. Ahh!
2. Guided Hikes are Available! If this is your first visit to The Wave, we recommend taking advantage of the wilderness area’s expert hiking guides, who will help make sure you’re safe during your hike. They’re also fountains of geologic knowledge and will often point out features or little-known facts you might have missed otherwise.
1. It’s special. Anyone can drive right up to Niagra Falls or the Grand Canyon or Crater Lake, take a picture, and carry on. Only a limited number of people will ever get to see The Wave with their own eyes. Access to this exclusive “club” might take a little strategic planning, and a lot of luck, but we think it’s worth a shot. Crave The Wave, and come visit us here in Kanab!
Posted on 10/6/2012 2:03:00 PM
The Ten Essentials
Many visitors to Kanab and Southern Utah come to hike and visit the National Parks that surround us. Before you head out, please remember that you are in the desert and weather conditions are extreme and can change very easily.
The ten essential items to have in your pack are :
1. Water and electrolytes: Unlike humid climates where you see and feel how much you are sweating, in the desert sweat evaporates so quickly that people often don’t realize how much water they are losing. Sweating also causes you to lose electrolytes like salt, potassium, and magnesium. These electrolytes are necessary for your body to send signals through your nerves to your muscles. If you don’t have enough electrolytes you may experience painful leg cramps, muscles spasms, fatigue, nausea and a generally grouchy attitude. In more serious cases a hiker may experience changes in his or her heart beat and poor brain function. Drinking lots of water with little food or electrolytes can dilute a hiker’s electrolytes and cause similar problems. This can all be easily avoided by drinking enough water and enough electrolytes to keep your body functioning well. During hot summer days plan on drinking half a quart or half a liter of water every hour, along with the electrolyte drink of your choice.
2. Food and salty snacks: Hiking in the canyons uses a tremendous amount of calories so forget about any weight-loss diet you might be on. Go for the junk food! In order to keep your body fueled with enough calories to keep hiking and enough salt to keep sweating, you need high energy salty snacks. As crazy as it sounds, cookies and potato chips are great. Throw in some protein and whole grains for long-lasting energy. Try to eat 300-500 calories every hour while you’re hiking. It’s hard for your body to digest food when you are hiking hard so remember to eat and drink small amounts frequently. Every few hours rest for at least 30 minutes to give your body time to digest the food you are eating and re-fuel your muscles. These rest breaks will also give you time to really take in the beautiful views along the trail. Many visitors report that they saw the most wildlife or took their best pictures on those rest breaks.
3. A Flashlight or headlamp: Trails in the canyons tend to drop off steeply on the downhill side and a fall could cause serious injury. Make sure you bring a flashlight or headlamp to light your way at night. During the hot summer days some hikers prefer to wait to go up the trail until evening and finish their hike after dark. Check the batteries in your light before you go and pack an extra set of batteries just for peace of mind.
4. A First Aid Kit: Loose rocks and steep grades can increase your chances for minor injuries. Make sure your basic first aid kit includes an elastic bandage. Wrapping a weak ankle or sore knee can help support the joint and may prevent an injury. Blisters are another common injury so pack some moleskin. Bring any medications you take regularly, especially if you are diabetic, carry an epi pen for bee stings or have seasonal allergies.
5. Sunscreen: Low humidity and high altitude team up to increase your exposure to sunburn-causing UV rays. Apply sunscreen before and every few hours during your hike. Don’t forget your neck, ears and lips. Wearing a t-shirt with sleeves that cover your shoulders will help to protect your skin and prevent painful burns around your pack straps.
6. A Hat: Wearing a hat reduces the amount of heat exposure to your brain. An over-heated brain can give you a headache and make you dizzy. Wearing a hat shades your head and your eyes from the sun. When water is available, stop and soak your hat and shirt. Evaporation will cool your body and make you more comfortable. Wide brim hats provide the best protection for your face and neck, but a ball cap and bandana can also work well.
7. Sunglasses: A hat will shade your eyes but good sunglasses help even more. Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and glare, as well as dust or flying debris on the trail. While your legs may do most of the work on the hike, your eyes are what allow you to truly enjoy the majestic scenery that makes the Grand Canyon grand.
8. A Rain jacket: Even if the weather forecast is calling for sunny skies and warm temperatures be sure to throw a rain jacket in your pack. Weather changes quickly at the Canyon. Summer thunderstorms are often short, intense cloudbursts and can cause the temperature to drop 10-20 degrees Farenheit, or 6-12 degrees Celsius, in minutes. If you are on the trail after dark a jacket will keep you from cooling down too quickly when you stop to rest.
9. A Spray bottle: Many hikers find that periodically spraying water on their face and head helps them stay cool. Spraying water on your hat and t-shirt in between water sources is a great way to promote evaporative cooling and help your body function at its best.
10. A Good attitude: A positive attitude is priceless! Many times exhausted hikers have been able to finish their trip simply by telling themselves “I can do this!” Optimism is first-aid for adversity. You’re on vacation! This is supposed to be fun! If you’re not having fun, stop for a bit. Food, water and rest are the first steps to relieving a tired body and mind. If you pack your ten essentials you will have enough food, water and light to allow you to finish your hike after sunset if necessary. So take your time, enjoy the canyons. That’s why you’re here.