Consider this the ultimate guide on where to stay in Kanab, Utah. I’m a Southwest local, so I’ll help you discover the best places to stay in Kanab to get the most out of this small and cozy desert town.
Kanab is just an hour north of the Grand Canyon National Park with access to dozens of outdoor activities like hiking and canyoneering. I’ll let you in on where to stay to explore the outdoors, stargaze, and avoid crowds. I’ll also give you a rundown of the best Kanab hotels, campsites, and rentals.
Book a stay in any of these areas to experience the best things to do in Kanab.
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Best Places to Stay in Kanab
Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Kanab? Here are my top picks:
- 🌟 Best Overall Hotel – Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase
- 📍 Best Location – Red Canyon Cabins
- 💎 Best Luxury Hotel – Kanab Suites
- 👪 Best for Families – Deer Ridge Casita
- 💻 Best for Business – Best Western East Zion Thunderbird Lodge
- 🏨 Best Boutique Hotel – Canyons Boutique Hotel
- ⛰️ Best Near Zion National Park – The Farm House Container
- 🛏️ Best Budget – Rodeway Inn & Suites Big Water
Ok, let’s do a deep dive of the best areas and neighborhoods in Kanab:
4 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Kanab
Kanab, Utah is fairly simple to navigate. It’s known as a less-crowded town en route to top Utah national parks and monuments. Kanab has a population of around 5,000 people, and there’s one main downtown area and smaller residential areas on the outskirts.
I’ll cover the top areas to stay in Kanab, as well as smaller desert communities and Bureau of Land Management campgrounds outside of town. Lodging choices include hotels in Kanab, home and cabin rentals, and glamping and camping options.
The Kanab City Center is the most developed area in Kanab, and it’s the best place to stay for a wide variety of accommodations and restaurants.
The Kanab Visitor Center is your one-stop shop for all things Kanab-related. Ask a ranger for advice on hiking trails, get weather condition updates, or shop for Kanab souvenirs.
Little Hollywood Land is another fun attraction in this Western-style desert town. Learn about the cinematography of the Wild West at this film museum and pose with real Western movie sets. Hungry? Grab delicious barbecue and burgers from Iron Horse Restaurant, or get some vegan bites at Rocking V Cafe.
Kanab hotel choices are plentiful in the City Center. Book Kanab Suites, a highly-rated local hotel within walking distance of Little Hollywood Land. I’d also recommend Red Canyon Cabins. These tiny home-style cabins are surrounded by red rock cliffs, making for a very scenic morning cup of coffee.
Pros of Staying in Kanab City Center:
- Close to all the main Kanab attractions
- Plenty of hotels and restaurants to choose from
- Near major Kanab hiking trails
Cons of Staying in Kanab City Center:
- Sky pollution may obstruct a view of the night sky
- Hotels may be noisy at night during the peak season
- No rental cars in the area
📚 Kanab City Center Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for City Amenities
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Kanab
Highway 89 East
Stay on the outskirts of town along Highway 89 East for a quieter Kanab stay. This is the best place to go if you’re looking for solitude because it’ll help you avoid potential crowds in the town’s city center.
It’s also easy to explore some of the top things to do in Utah on Highway 89 East. Visit nearby state parks, slot canyons, and Utah national monuments.
Another perk of staying on Highway 89 East is that it’s an excellent place for stargazing. Step outside in the evening and admire the beautiful starry skies.
Most of the places along this route are prime camping spots, but there are also a few glamping and house rentals to choose from. I’ve personally stayed outside of town on Highway 89 East both in a tent and in my motorhome at sites I found on BLM.gov.
Glampers will adore staying at BaseCamp 37°, a great accommodation with unobstructed night sky views.
Pros of Staying on Highway 89 East:
- Beautiful starry night skies
- On the way to other Utah destinations like Grand Staircase Escalante
- Less crowded than the Kanab City Center
- Closer to hiking trails and slot canyon trailheads
Cons of Staying on Highway 89 East:
- Farther away from main city amenities
- Few restaurants in the area
- Can be boring for small children
📚 Highway 89 East Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Solitude
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
👉 Best Area For Hiking | ✨ Best Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Hotels: Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase • Rodeway Inn & Suites Big Water • Dreamkatchers Lake Powell Bed & Breakfast
Kanab is only 15 miles from the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. The monument spans over 1 million acres and covers five different life zones from low-lying desert to coniferous forest.
Some of the best hikes in Utah are in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. Try the Lower Calf Creek Falls hike which leads to a waterfall that’s perfect for cooling off in the summer. The Spooky Slot Canyon hike is a slightly challenging and technical trek with an incredible payoff.
Under Canvas Lake Powell-Grand Staircase is one of the coolest campsites in the area for glampers. Canvas tents are set up near red rock cliffs and amenities include breakfast and firepits. It’s close to hikes and kayak spots.
Alternatively, book a stay at Dreamkatchers Lake Powell Bed & Breakfast. This adorable adobe-style bed and breakfast is located in Big Water. It’s just under an hour from Kanab on the banks of Lake Powell, one of the top lakes in Arizona.
Pros of Staying in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument:
- Close to some of the top hikes in Utah
- Far from dense tourist crowds
- Closer to other top Utah destinations like Moab and Capitol Reef National Park
- Cheap hotels
Cons of Staying in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument:
- Far from Kanab
- Not many entertainment options are available
- Few hotels to choose from
📚 Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Hiking
Mt. Carmel is the halfway point between Kanab and Zion National Park, and it’s conveniently on the way to Bryce Canyon National Park. This is the perfect place to stay to avoid crowds since it’s more isolated and has even fewer residents than Kanab.
Belly of the Dragon is one of the best Mt. Carmel attractions for the whole family. This roadside cave requires only a short 0.5-mile hike to get to and is completely free of charge.
Elkheart Cliffs Slot Canyon is another top Mt. Carmel attraction. At almost 9 miles, this trail is one of the hardest in Mt. Carmel, but I promise the views and fun narrow slot walls are worth it.
Deer Ridge Casita is one of the best places to stay in the area, especially for families. The rental home’s balcony makes it a top lodging option in the greater Kanab area. Its outdoor firepit and hot tub with sweeping views of the forest and canyon add to the appeal.
Pros of Staying in Mt. Carmel:
- Prime location between Kanab, Zion, and Bryce Canyon
- Few tourists mean a quiet night’s sleep
- Affordable accommodation
- Best cheap hotels
Cons of Staying in Mt. Carmel:
- Farther away from the main Kanab attractions
- Not many restaurant options to choose from
- No entertainment attractions
📚 Mt. Carmel Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Avoiding Crowds
🏠 Apartments – Browse Top Rentals in Mt. Carmel
Tips for Staying in Kanab
Kanab, Utah is removed from a majority of the big city light pollution of St. George and other major southern Utah cities. This means Kanab will have some of the best views of the starry night sky in Utah. This is so if you camp off the beaten path in places like the Grand Staircase Escalante or along Highway 89 East.
I highly suggest taking advantage of the abundance of free public land to camp on in Kanab. Camping in Utah enhances the desert experience and can help you avoid potentially high Kanab hotel prices. Glamping is also available for travelers who prefer a cleaner camping experience.
Bring Hiking Gear
Kanab is one of the best places to hike in Utah and you’ll likely spend a good chunk of time doing so when visiting. Be sure to bring the hiking essentials so you don’t miss out on some of the best trails in the area like Peekaboo Slot and Buckskin Gulch Slot Canyon.
Some Utah hiking must-haves include a water carrier that can hold at least 3 liters of water, extra snacks, high SPF sunscreen, and a sun hat.
Download Offline Maps
Downloading offline maps is especially important if you plan on venturing into the Kanab backcountry. There’s no service in the deep backwoods of the area, so having an offline map comes in handy in stressful situations.
Be Prepared to Stay Outside Kanab
Be prepared to stay in a smaller town on the outskirts of Kanab during peak season. The Kanab hotels you hoped to book may be full if you wait until the last minute in the spring or fall.
There are many fun places to stay outside of the main drag. Stay along Highway 89 East, in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, or Mt. Carmel.
Use Kanab as a National Park Basecamp
Kanab is the best place to stay for visitors on an ultimate Utah National Park road trip. It’s less than an hour to Zion National Park and about an hour and a half to Bryce Canyon. Kanab has some of the best hotels for people hoping to explore and hike during the day and relax in the evening.
FAQs About Where to Stay in Kanab
Is Kanab a good base for Zion?
Kanab is a good base for visiting Zion. It’s less than an hour from Zion National Park and there are many hotels in Kanab to stay in that make it easy to visit the park.
What is Kanab known for?
Kanab is known as a midway point for tourists visiting southern Utah’s biggest attraction. Kanab is close to national parks, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, and Lake Powell. Kanab, Utah is also known for having a wide variety of fun slot canyons.
Does Kanab have a downtown?
Kanab does have a downtown area. Here, you’ll find the bulk of Kanab restaurants, attractions, and Kanab hotels.
Is it worth it to go to Kanab?
It is worth it to go to Kanab, especially if you like outdoor activities. Kanab is a great place for hiking, canyoneering, and stargazing.
Is Kanab Utah a Mormon town?
Kanab, Utah is historically a Mormon town, and there is still a Mormon presence in Kanab today. However, because it is a big tourist town, there are plenty of non-Mormon residents as well.
These are my top recommendations for where to stay in Kanab, Utah. Choose between Kanab hotels, campsites, home rentals, or bed and breakfasts.
Kanab is truly a gem of a town in Utah. However, I suggest reading this complete list of the best places to visit in Utah for even more spots to put on your Southwest travel bucket list!
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