It was immediately apparent why Kane County Utah has long served as the perfect setting for innumerable Western films as soon as we walked into the storied Parry Lodge in Kanab. The hotel lobby is covered in photographs of well-known actors. Also, some of the room entrances bear the names of famous people who have stayed there during the course of their stay, such as Frank Sinatra, Rock Hudson, or—as in my room—the illustrious John Wayne.
Sandstone Landscapes That Are Magical
For outdoor enthusiasts like me, the scenery in Kane County, Utah is definitely unique. The region is home to a number of magnificent slot canyons, including the well-known Peekaboo slot canyon just outside Kanab. I’m rendered speechless as we approach the entrance of the slender, colossal canyon walls. The canyon’s sides can be found at spots where they are only a few meters away from one another. We enter a natural labyrinth of graceful sandstone walls that stretch out in front of us, the surfaces of which appear to have been painted with curved patterns by nature using a very large brush. Depending on the time of day, different angles of light impale this canyon’s orange-red sandstone with a magnificent glow. You nearly have the impression that you are on another planet. I have never witnessed anything like this.
I can only characterize the landscapes in the Kanab area as truly stunning. In addition to “The Wave,” a bizarre and wonderful structure whose wildly twisted sandstone can only be seen by a select few who win the daily lottery, I heartily urge you to explore White Pockets, a lesser-known but no less stunning region of petrified sandstone and volcanic landscapes.
Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park ATV Tour
At the nearby Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, we continue our journey. More than 13 square kilometers of coral-pink sand dunes make for a sizable playground for adventures. We immediately start having fun after renting ATVs. We are rewarded with breathtaking vistas of the nearby valleys as we zip up and down the tall dunes. I hoped I wouldn’t have to return my ATV because this was so much fun.
At the Little Hollywood Museum Utah, Western History
We return to Kanab in the late afternoon, exhausted but ecstatic, and explore the town’s numerous stores and eateries. We then go to the Little Hollywood Museum of Utah. Many of the authentic structures and backdrops from Western movies that were filmed in the area are on show in the backlot. This location, together with the rustic Chuckwagon Cookout Restaurant nearby, serves as the stage for the nearly nightly performance of “How the West Was Lost.” In front of these authentic sets, visitors play out Western scenes in a variety of costumes. I enjoyed donning my cowboy boots and acting like a genuine Western sheriff as I pace through the arid highways.
The following morning, we proceeded on to additional southern Utah natural wonders like Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks along the beautiful Route 89. The ideal starting point for a tour of southern Utah’s unspoiled natural beauty and opportunities for authentic Wild West adventures in Kanab.