Kanab Christmas light parade

Light Parade

Ending the Thanksgiving weekend we have the Christmas Light Parade and Festival. This is the best kickoff to the holiday season you will find anywhere in Southern Utah! Starting at 7 pm in Kanab join us on Center Street where we will shut down the highway and begin our unique Christmas Light Parade. Anyone can enter a float in the parade. If you wish to enter the parade show up at the Kane County Visitor Center at 6 pm to sign up. This year’s theme will be the “I’ll be Home for Christmas”. Bring the whole family as you watch the beautifully crafted parade entries float down Center Street, then turn around, just to be seen a second time.

Lantern Festival

After the parade, join us on Main Street for hot chocolate and donuts provided by the Volunteer Center and Kanab Chamber of Commerce, and lastly, a magical paper lantern wishing launch. Purchase your wishing lanterns ahead of time, or at the event; write messages or wishes on your paper lanterns and send them to the sky. Watch your lanterns float to the heavens with a message to a loved one, or to the cosmos with your wishes attached. You may purchase your lanterns ahead of time here.
All paper lanterns are 100% biodegradable and there is a local bounty on all lanterns found throughout the town and the surrounding area to encourage a quick clean up. If you find lanterns and wish to turn them in for a $1 bounty, you can take them to the Events and Volunteer Center (at the airport). These lantern sales are a fundraiser for our local Sub 4 Santa program to help families in need at Christmas time to ensure their children have gifts under the tree. Most gifts are items children are in need of, if you wish to donate to Sub 4 Santa you can contact the Volunteer Center at 435-644-3696.

Decorate your home for Prizes!

Local homes can enter the light decorating contest by contacting the Volunteer Center 435-644- 3696 The public can vote on their favorites between Nov. 23 Dec. 19th on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/VolunteerCenterOfKaneCounty/ The winners will be awarded $$ off their Power Bill 😃

The POLAR EXPRESS comes to Kanab, Utah

Kanab polar Express

Nov. 25-29th, Dec. 2-5th 2019

Bring the kids for a Magical night and ride on the Polar Express!

Kanab Polar Express event
Last year’s inaugural Polar Express event went beyond all our expectations so this year they have added a lot more days!

When –

The Polar Express will run November 25-29, & December 2-5, 2019. Spots are filling quickly, so sign up today! Cost is $10 per child, 1 parent and children under 2 are free (children must be accompanied by an adult). Donations are appreciated.

What do you get to do –

The adventure on the Polar Express includes: bringing letters to Santa and returning with a letter from Santa, ride and caroling on the train, decorate cookies (sugar and gluten-free available), hot chocolate/hot cider, pictures with Santa, and a printable golden ticket available to take home.

Where –

You will need to arrive 15 minutes before your departure on the Polar Express to ensure you and your child do not get left behind. Departures are from the Kane County Courthouse (76 North Main Street). Bring the kids in their PJ’s, ready for a Christmas Adventure! Get your tickets for the Polar Express here.

Who –

For questions, Contact The Kane County Events Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/VolunteerCenterOfKaneCounty/
60 West Airport Road Kanab, Utah 84741

K-Town Turkey Trot, Thanksgiving Day, Kanab, Utah

Kanab 5K thanksgiving day run

5K Family Fun Run

Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 28, 2019

Kanab Turkey trot 5K race
Sign up Here! Start your Thanksgiving morning with the K-Town Turkey Trot 5K family fun run. Meet us out at Jackson Flat Reservoir 2 miles South of Kanab. The Turkey Trot will take place on the Sherry Belle Trail that encompasses 3 miles of beautiful Jackson Flat Reservoir. The race begins at 8:30am.  Dress up in your favorite Thanksgiving flare! What better way to start your Thanksgiving than with a 5K fun run before eating your delicious Thanksgiving feast!?! Early registration pricing: $5/individual $20/family* Register before November 28th to take advantage of early pricing Price increases after November 28th to the following: $10/individual $40/family* *Family Pricing is for immediate family members only and is limited to 6 per group. (mom, dad and children, etc…, or family members living under the same roof) Extended family members are not included in the Family Pricing. Sign up Here! Contact https://visitsouthernutah.com/ with any questions

The Book Direct Movement – And other Vacation Planning Tips!

Book Direct Movement

Book Direct is simply cutting out the middlemen fees. Simple.

cut the OTA middleman
  • You, the guest, save money when you Book Direct
  • The Hospitality Owner saves money
  • You get better, local (not overseas) customer service
  • The Owner gets better information
  • You get personalized ideas and help with your vacation, plus support local businesses.
  • The Owners get to share their pride in their community with visitors

Hotel vs Vacation Rental? Still Book Direct?

Hotels and Vacation rentals all like book direct

Sometimes a hotel is the perfect way to go. Like a quick one night stopover on your way to somewhere else. But when you are coming to the Grand Circle to do the Parks and explore the endless red rock trails and all that Southwestern Utah has to offer, you are gonna need a few days.

We are all about the beauty of the Vacation Rental experience.

But even Hotels now are educating travelers to Book Direct. From small boutique hotels to large chains like Hilton and Marriot, from Vacation Rental owners to B&B associations, hospitality owners and managers are educating travelers about Book Direct.

The Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals has asked travelers to Join The Movement

Hoteliers have joined forces with Vacation Rental owners for #BookDirectDay the first part of every February to help spread awareness through social media. Not just that one day, but every day.

We understand when putting considerable $$ down on a vacation we all need assurances. Especially in this day of scammers everywhere we turn. I’m sure you have seen them on social media and the news. We all have cause for concern. So how do you plan your next vacation?

Booking Your Vacation

Most travel accommodation bookings happen in one of two ways.

– You the Traver, look online. The first 2-3 pages of Google will be one of the big OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) and their paid ads, such as VRBO, Airbnb, Homeaway, etc. You find a great place to stay and book through that middleman platform.


– You do a little more research and find a great place to stay and book directly with the owner of that VR (or Vacation Rental) Property. (Go to the bottom of this page to find ideas on how to do that “little more research”!)

Let’s talk about those two differences –

Why Book Direct?

 Pricing and Payments –  Let’s get the biggie$ out the door first!


Straight up – the best price will always be when you book direct – no service fees or commission added on for the middle man!

So here is the deal on why the price varies – Airbnb and VRBO/Homeaway charges each guest a variable service fee on each booking.

  • – As owners, we can not even tell you what that service fee is going to be. They do not show us. All we know is they have “Algorithms” that determine your fee according to “the current dynamics”

logo From Airbnb Help Page: “This fee is typically under 13% of the booking subtotal. The fee varies based on a variety of booking factors and is displayed to guests during checkout before they book a reservation.”

Great. So most folks can plan on somewhere under 13% in extra service fees from Airbnb…..?

As an owner, I also pay Airbnb an additional 3-5%.

avoid the middleman, book direct.

In December 2016, VRBO and HomeAway were both purchased by Expedia for 4 BILLION dollars.

Now, Expedia needs to earn back that money. Open your wallet, that commission is coming from you.

Prior to 2017 Owners paid a flat rate to Vrbo for listing on their site. Now owners pay a flat rate or a Pay-Per-Booking rate AND our guests get to pay a fee. Don’t know how much.

logo From the Vrbo help page “How is the fee calculated? The service fee is a percentage of the total amount of the reservation, excluding taxes and refundable fees. The percentage rate may change from time to time. Generally, the higher the reservation amount, the lower the percentage of service fee.”

Great. So most folks can plan on between 6-12% in extra service fees from Vrbo…..?

As an owner, I also pay Vrbo an additional 8-9%.

Booking.com has no traveler fees, Yay! Oh wait, Booking.com charges owners a 15% commission. I promise you are paying that. Owners must add that commission to your price or they are not going to stay in business.

As an owner, I pay Booking.com 15%


– The large, OTAs will tell you that theirs is the ONLY safe way to rent a Vacation Rental.

safely pay to book direct

Please rest assured, all of our Credit Card processing is safe and secure, done by Stripe or PayPal. You enter the info and submit on our easy, professional reservation software. We never see your number and only use the most secure portals.

Would you rather send a check or Venmo and get a 3% discount? We can do that!

Want to split your booking in two separate payments? We can do that.

We have even been known to take cash at the door (gasp 😀). Whatever makes you the most comfortable. (After your initial deposit to secure your dates)

  • Owners do not receive your OTA payment until the day after you check in with Airbnb, and VRBO has recently changed to 3-7 days after you check-in instead of “at time of payment”!? (I promise this has owners on edge, yikes! What are they doing with your/my money all that time?)

Extra Fees

Most homeowners will try really hard to keep all those add-ons to a minimum. There are a few we may not have control over. Taxes or HOA resort fees are a couple. We may have some say over cleaning fees and pet fees, but for us remote hosts, we are in the hands of those good housekeepers that we want to keep.

  •   – The price advertised on the OTAs is SELDOM the price you end up with. And we owners have no control over that! They love to give you an “average” price that often includes high season and low season rates. Plus those ambiguous “Service” fees that mysteriously go up and down….
  •   – Most Short Term Vacation Rentals will charge a separate cleaning fee. Why do they do that and Hotels do not? Argh, a pain point for all of us!

Cleaning fees

Hoteliers have many rooms to keep up so can keep a full-time staff and often pay housekeeping extremely low wages and roll it into their rates. Vacation Rentals have far fewer turnovers, yet still need to keep good, reliable housekeepers.

Housekeepers in our area get $25 hr. for VRs. How long do you think it takes to REALLY clean a two-bedroom, two-bath house? I have done it many times and I promise it is NOT happening in less than four hours! My housekeeper and I pride ourselves on “Super Clean” and our reviews show it.

Can I negotiate?

If someone were to ask to negotiate the cleaning fee – as I recently saw recommended in a Washington Post article – I would just ask them which toilet they prefer not cleaned or which floor they would rather not have mopped or which sheets they don’t want washed…? It really does take that long. But still, I know how we all HATE added cleaning fees. I tried rolling it into the rate for a while, but it put my rate so much higher than all the other area properties I was not even in the competition. So I met guests halfway! My cleaner charges $100 for a turnover, I charge guests half and I pay half. Because I really do want you to have “all the way” clean! And a reasonable rate.

If you find a VR with no cleaning fee, then the owner is doing it themselves and not getting reimbursed, or have rolled into their nightly cost.

did you know  – Our tax rate includes sales tax and TRT or transient room tax. Taxes for the city, county and state. Ugh. Death and taxes…… What more can I say. The “added fee” that none of us can do anything about.


OTAs insist on all communication through their site, for your safety. I think it’s to make sure they don’t lose any of their cut of the proceeds. How does talking to me make you less safe??

What it does do, is keep me from calling you to let you know there is a real person here.

It keeps you from calling me to see what are the best tours in our area, or what’s my favorite hiking trail. Communication is essential for your perfect vacation!

  • did you knowIf you send me your phone number or email address the OTA will redact/remove the number or email from the note you wrote.
  • did you know  – If you contact me on an OTA, I am bound to book you on the OTA. And I am fine with that. That is the bargain I have made with the OTA for advertising on their site. We made a deal. So please do not email me from their platform and ask to Book Direct once you see the fees. I cannot do that. I will get kicked off the platform🙁.


Some good, some bad, just educate yourself on possible scenarios. Admittedly, there are some bad owners out there. Just remember there are two sides to every story. (Spoiler: Most of those 5-star reviews, are for great hosts with lovely homes, not the VRBO corporation 😀)

My Guarantees

  • did you know – If you have a problem or a question with the home or area, It is myself, my husband or our housekeeper that will help you with every question and make sure you have everything you need. It will never be someone in a call center on the other side of the world, it will not even be someone in a nice corporate office (even if they did know the best restaurants in Kanab, and they don’t. It’s Escobars by the way.)
  • did you know we have a basic Short term Rental agreement we both sign. You promise to treat my home nice and I promise to have everything nice as promised.
  • did you know – I will ask for a copy of your photo ID at the time you sign the rental agreement. That way I’m guaranteed you are who you say you are. And you are guaranteed someone didn’t just take your credit card and try and go on vacation with it!
  • did you know My home is not “an Airbnb” or “a VRBO”. Even if I do advertise on their site. (But sometimes they like to act like they own it, when they dictate who I may or may not rent to and under what conditions…..sheesh. I wish they would pay their share of the mortgage then….. Sorry, I digress.)

So how do you know if WE are Guaranteed owners with your best interests at heart!?

Good question. Here are some ideas – 

  • Go to  https://www.visitsouthernutah.com/ The Kane county tourism website, you will find The Western Star Bungalow and The Star Garage Studio in their listings. Call and ask to speak to Josie if you would like to ask questions about us. 1-800-SEE-KANE
  • Call Kanab city offices 435-644-2534 ask them if John and Sherene McClellan have a current business license for My Star Vacation Rentals.
  • Go into Honeys Marketplace (largest grocery store in Kanab, 260 E 300 S). Ask for Susan Honey the owner, ask her about The Western Star Bungalow or The Star Garage Studio. 260 E 300 S, Kanab
  • Call me, Sherene McClellan at 435-262-6119 or
  • My husband John McClellan at 435-262-1000

We would love to answer ANY questions you might have.

Help me find a “Book Direct” property. Or, how to do that “little more research” we talked about!

teach me
  • Look for LOCAL area rental sites. Search for “whatever my destination is”, “vacation rentals” or “Book direct”. Scroll down past the OTA paid ads.
  • Search on fee-free sites such as VacationSoup.com or Houfy.com
  • Find a place you like on an OTA, then search the name of the property or owner in search engines and social media. Do an image search. Savvy owners can leave you clues, but direct info is banned from the listing sites. (I had a guest recently follow my breadcrumbs to my website and saved $500 on her family’s stay!)
  • Search Local area Tourist information sites
  • Search for Facebook groups dedicated to vacation rentals by owners, fee-free or VRBO/Airbnb alternatives. There are quite a few.
  • I have a small list of other trusted great owners from around the world. Might spark your next great adventure! https://mystarvr.com/stays-around-the-world/

So here is a break down of “Booking your Vacation Rental Direct” Pros – 

  • Cheaper, it really is
  • More space than a hotel room for your group
  • Kitchens for meal prep if you want
  • Real owners, no middle man
  • Localized knowledge. We can recommend some AWESOME places
  • Flexible payments
  • Direct communication
  • Some of the nicest properties are not on the OTAs (Some of the great experienced hosts are fed up with OTA greed. Some of us little guys just can’t make it alone quite yet…)

You cannot replace an Owners personal passion with the Corporate process.

Personal passion vs corporate process. book direct

Cheers and Good luck when planning your next vacation, wherever you might stay! -Sherene and John


Everybody loves the new Skate Park! Bring your wheels, or just come and watch. Kanab, Utah

Everybody loves the new Skate Park! Bring your wheels, or just come and watch. Kanab, Utah

Kanab has a new hybrid Skate Board Park/Pump Track.

Such a beautiful setting! We love to just go watch the kids, and with some luck you just might see Bamboo the dog when he visits Kanab.
Check out this video from our local Facebook page. You’re gonna love this dog – and the red rocks – and the song – and the rainbows!

Bamboo Skates Kanab

A morning skate session at the City of Kanab Skatepark.#skateboard #skateboardingdog #skate #skateboarding #dog #rescuedog #kanab #kanabutah #utah #vanlife #roadtrip Music: “Desert Wind” byPerry L. JacksonThe Fremont TroubadorGuide, Hunter, Fisherman, and Philosopher

Posted by Bamboo on Wednesday, August 29, 2018

The community really came together to create this awesome park, the FLOW of a pump track with the challenging terrain of a skatepark. From young kids on scooters, to those on longboards, and even bike riders all enjoy the terrain. And we enjoy the spectacle!

A Favorite Restaurant in Kanab Utah

where to eat in Kanab Utah

You have spent the day at one of the nearby National Parks. (Zion, Bryce or Grand) You had an amazing time, and now you want to top it off with an amazing meal. Where to eat??

I often recommend my guests to try out one of my favorite places – Wild Thyme Cafe

I love their tag line – “Like it should be. Small batches cooked in a scratch kitchen.”

 And they use ingredients from their own organic gardens, including one on-site!
Fresh on site garden, Wild Thyme cafe, Kanab Utah

Wild Thyme has options for all. High-quality beef, fish and chicken dishes, including gluten-free entrees. Plus ample selections for vegans and vegetarians.

My sister and I had the Pistachio Chicken and Tropical Piggy on our last visit. Nom Nom
Fresh food, Wild Thyme cafe, Kanab Utah


Every day they pick greens for the salads. Either on-site or their off-site greenhouse. Now that is super fresh! 

Entrees focus on local Southwestern flavors, with an occasional nod to the Cajun. 

But let’s not forget dessert. Viki the owner is our renowened “Dessert Queen”. The cheesecake Sis and I had was “melt-in-your-mouth” wonderful!
Fresh cheesecake, Wild Thyme cafe, Kanab Utah


Wild Thyme Cafe has a great location right downtown

198 S 100 East, Kanab, Utah

On Highway 89, just across from the Holiday Inn and a block South of the visitors center.

Open for lunch and dinner every day

12 pm to 9:00 pm

Phone: (435) 644-2848


You can check out their website and full Menu Here

They believe in making your next meal your best meal.

Here is a sample of how the current menu looks (9/2019) – 

Menu –

Wild Thyme Entrees Served after 5 pm

Pistachio Chicken $18 We grind pistachios and rub them into a chicken breast with Southwest spices, then grill and serve with sage-buttered smashed potatoes, fire-grilled broccolini and a light poblano cream

Ribs $19 Half rack dry-rubbed with spices, slow braised and char-grilled. Glazed with house BBQ sauce and agave mustard. Served with sage-buttered smashed potatoes and fire- grilled broccolini

Salmon $23 Fresh, house-cut salmon dusted with lime pepper, then grilled and served with coconut rice, baby tomatoes, sweet peppers and fire-grilled broccolini, over sweet pepper cream

Pork Chop $27 Garlic, rosemary and fennel-rubbed 12 ounce bone-in pork chop, served with sage- buttered smashed potatoes and fire grilled broccolini

Lasagna $15 Asiago, parmesan and ricotta layered with pasta, tomato fennel ragout, garlic and fresh herbs. Topped with a parmesan crisp. It’s Chef Dan’s 4’8” tall Sicilian granny’s recipe.

Baked Penne $14 Sauteed broccolini, baby tomatoes and spinach baked in a creamy Alfredo sauce, topped with asiago and parmesan. Pure comfort!

Filet Mignon $29 Garlic-rubbed 7 ounce house-cut beef tenderloin topped with blue cheese-bacon-chive butter. Served with sage-buttered smashed potatoes and char-grilled broccolini

Ribeye $31 Chargrilled to order, 14-ounce marbled ribeye, seasoned with our own garlic-herb blend Served with sage-buttered smashed potatoes and char-grilled broccolini. are cooked with love! 

Wild Thyme Bowls All-Day Menu 

Sicilian $14 Garlic-herb shrimp sautéed with Italian sausage, served with pesto risotto cake, fennel ragout, sweet peppers, pepperoncini relish, fresh basil, spinach, ricotta salata and parmesan crisp

 Beef filet $16 Seared beef tenderloin medallions, sage-buttered smashed potatoes, sweet peppers, fire roasted corn and black-eyed pea salad 

Tropical Piggy $13 Slow-braised Jamaican-spiced pork, house jerk sauce, coconut rice, mango salsa, fresh spinach, pickled carrot and scallion served over rice. Keto? Substitute cauliflower rice 

Sesame Tofu $11 Sesame-crusted tofu drizzled with miso glaze, coconut rice, sprouts, sweet peppers, toasted almonds, pickled carrots, scallions, a ginger-soy-lime sauce and a crispy wonton

 Yellow Curry $13 House-made white bean-turmeric cakes, mildly spiced yellow curry, coconut rice, toasted chickpeas, fresh spinach, sweet peppers, pickled carrots and fresh lemon-mint tzatziki 


Mediterranean $12 Wild Thyme greens, quinoa, feta, ricotta salata, cucumber, tomato, toasted chickpeas, sweet peppers, spinach-herb-yogurt dressing 

Caesar $9 Romaine lettuce, tangy caesar dressing, shaved parmesan, garlic crouton topped with parmesan crisp. Add chicken $4 

House Salad $6 Wild Thyme greens, heirloom tomatoes, red pepper, cucumber, garlic croutons Choice of White Balsamic vinaigrette, Blue Cheese or Ranch dressing. 

Soup and House Salad $10                 Soup of the Day $5.50 

Watch your speed in Kanab, Utah, This Officer is on duty 24/7!

watch your speed, police in kanab

I’m sure Police Chief Cram had no idea when he “hired” Officer Larry, That he would become a popular tourist celebrity! Watch for him as you drive through town on Hwy 89 (He will certainly be watching you). Chances are, there will be a few folks gathered around his car snapping pictured on their phone.

Already a bit of a local celebrity, Latex Larry started his career as “Polymer Pete” as there was already a “Latex Larry” working in a Fredonia, just over the border in AZ. But I understand Larry the 1st retired and Polymer Pete decided he liked the reputation of “Latex Larry” better. Not sure if it had anything to do with his relationship with “Silicone Sally” working up in Orderville, but one never knows…!

Latex Larry has been on the force in Kanab for about 10 yrs now. The Chief says Larry is his best Officer. Always willing to work holidays and overtime. Never asks for a raise and is never late.
And he is a survivor, literally! Cheif Cram rescued him from the shooting range years ago and yes, he still has multiple bullet holes.

He is kind of a handsome guy, big mustache and all. I have heard stories of his double date with two girls in the convertible who were here for The Greyhound Gathering a while back. They were out carousing all over town. Came back with big lipstick kisses on his cheek. Those must have been some pretty heated kisses as you can still see the remnants today. I tried asking him about that, but you know those strong, silent types. Wouldn’t say a word.  

I tried to find a photo Of Latex Larry and Chief Cram in the 4th of July Parade, Larry is driving.
Sign on the car says  – 

Kanab utah police

Good times. 😁

I would also like to track down the photos of the multiple tourists mooning Officer Larry, which seems to be a favorite photo op. But it’s probably better that I don’t, come to think of it.

We hope you make it Kanab soon and get to interact with the locals. Live or latex, they are a pretty hospitable crowd.

Kanab Tour Company – “jam-packed with fun, thrills and adventure!” Kanab, Utah

Kanab Tour Company, Utah

Sand dunes, slot canyons,  hoodoo’s, a hidden lake, and ancient Indian ruins all in three short hours!

A short time ago John and I were lucky enough to go on the Peekaboo Slot Canyon day tour with one of our local, family-owned tour companies.
Here is a short video of our afternoon with Kanab Tour Company – 

Cory and Tiffany Unsworth moved to Kanab and began their tour business in 2014 . These are some of the nicest folks we have met in Kanab!

Kanab Tour Company

ATV tours are just a part of what Kanab Tour Company has to offer.

-They will help you get the very most out of your day at one of our three nearby National parks.

-They will take you boating on majestic lake Powell and then take you to see the iconic Horseshoe Bend.

-They will take you canyoneering into places only a handful of people ever see. 

  • I just need to make a plug for Nick Smith the Canyoneering guide here – This guy is amazing and I TOTALLY recommend you check/follow his Instagram page –   intotheseldom – beautiful and stunning photos of places you are going to be dying to see!
  • intotheseldom

We had such a great time with our Guide and the other folks on the tour. We have been to Peekaboo Canyon a number of times, but never quite as fun as this. We even got to try some sledding sandboarding at the dunes.

Sand dunes, Kanab

“We share a great passion and joy for showcasing the best of this place we call home to the visitors we receive from all over the world.”

I think Tiffany says it best on their own web page – http://kanabtourcompany.com/

“Taking a day tour with Kanab Tour Company means spending a day or an afternoon with your friends or loved ones that’s jam-packed with fun, thrills and adventure. It means hiking through stunning National Parks, indulging in jaw-dropping views, making new friends and even pushing yourself to achieve things you didn’t think you could. Be that hiking to new heights, or navigating an ATV over rugged terrain!”

Kanab Tour Company has had a change of location in the past year or so. Now they are located just as you are headed out of town East on Hwy 89, across the street from the Bureau of Land Management Visitor Center and Wendy’s restaurant. 

We just can’t recommend these kind folks enough when you are looking for adventure in our part of Southern Utah’s Red Rock Country!

How far is it? 10 destinations that make Kanab the perfect basecamp for your Southern Utah Vacation!

How far is it to the parks from Kanab Utah

3 National Parks, 4 National Monuments, 2 State Parks, and 1 huge National Recreation Area – That is why Kanab is the perfect basecamp for your Southern Utah adventure vacation. All of these and more within a 90 min radius.

When choosing a place to stay when traveling, the obvious question is “How far is it to….?” Here are 10 places probably already on your “must see list”.

I literally took all of these mileage sign photos right downtown Kanab.

How Far Is it? Mileage to and from Kanab, Ut

These are the certianly the biggies –

Zion Canyon national park 30 miles
Bryce Canyon national park 77 miles
Grand Canyon national park/North Rim 80 miles

But don’t forget –

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area / Lake Powell -67 miles
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
-9 miles
Vermilion Cliffs National Monument/ The Wave
-47 miles
Pipe Springs National Monument
-20 miles
Dixie National Forest
-40 miles
Kodachrome Basin State Park
-93 miles
The Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
-18 miles

Where are you coming from? –

Salt lake city to Kanab  -312 miles
Las Vegas to Kanab -199 miles
St. George to Kanab  -80 miles
Moab to Kanab -318 miles
Flagstaff, AZ to Kanab -203 miles
Page, AZ to Kanab -75 miles


Come and discover the Heart of the Parks.

Kanab is the largest of the towns along highway 89 from Richfield, Ut to the north (145 miles) and Page, Az to the East (75 miles). St George, Ut is 80 miles to the West.

There are 9 gas stations, 2 grocery stores, great city park with a pool, a few variety and gift stores, 3 museums, plus tons of lodging.
The Kane County Visitors Center downtown is one of the best I have seen. Tons of info and lots of helpful folks to answer any of your questions. Their website is full of planning ideas.

Also, part of being a great basecamp is an abundance of local and diverse dining options. Kanab offers traditional fast-food options along with an array of sit-down dining experiences, including an artisanal bakery, vegetarian wood-fired pizza, authentic Mexican, New American cuisine with microbrews and craft cocktails.

So in short, these are just few of the reasons why Kanab is the perfect basecamp for your Southern Utah vacation!

We would love to help plan your time and host you in two of the most unique vacation rentals in Kanab.
Visit us at www.MyStarVR.com

Western Star Vacation Rental, Kanab Utah


Weather and The Five Seasons of Southern Utah

weather at Zion Bryce

What is the weather like?

The very first question that generally comes to our minds when planning our next vacation is – Weather!

“ What is the weather going to be like at Zion, Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon?”

When visiting the national parks of Southern Utah it may be an even more important question to ask. Unlike the rest of the state, that has four seasons, Southern Utah has five.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and Monsoons!

Our little town of Kanab Utah sits in the middle of a Grand Circle.
-Bryce Canyon National Park to the North
-Zion Canyon National Park to the West
-Lake Powell/GlenCanyon National Recreation Area to the East
-North Rim Grand Canyon National Park to our South.

Kanab area parks map
We get ALOT of Park visitors. Most are only there for a few days, so our diverse weather can be hard to plan for, and have a big impact on their experience. But every season has its positives. So just be aware, and have a great time no matter what time of year!


Zion Canyon

Spring and Fall are ideal times to visit Southern Utah and the national parks. Oftentimes, as early as March the weather turns lovely. May is a peak season for us in Kanab.
There will be Spring rains, but I always tell my guests to be sure and go in the rain! They will see waterfalls around the canyon that are never there any other time. Beautiful!

Zion flash waterfalls. Weather Zion Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon
September starts cooling down nicely and we have enjoyed beautiful days well into November and often including Thanksgiving. Crowds are thinning out and Autumn colors show in October.

In a nutshell April – May and Sept.- Nov. are just pretty darn fine!


Summer is hot. Beautiful but hot. Makes for great water sports time at Lake Powell and on our own small Jackson Flat Reservoir. 

paddle boarding Jackson-flat-reservoir.jpg
Photo credit of Jackson Flat reservoir and kayak rentals from http://alltournativeadventure.com/

Hiking is OK, just stick to the early morning hours or later in the evening.

The biggest secret to remember here is water! Drink a lot more water than you probably normally would. One gallon a day is recommended – and salty snacks! You need to replace the salt that you perspire out,  keeping the sodium balance up in your blood. Take water everywhere with you. This is a very dry climate that will suck your body of moisture without you even knowing it. July is generally the hottest month.

drink lots of water

Desert dwellers know there’s a very good reason for mid-day siestas, avoiding blasting sunlight and hot temperatures.

National Park visitors don’t always understand the need to avoid the heat of the day, which is why dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and hyponatremia (low sodium blood level) can put a damper on activities, or even send visitors to the hospital.

Perspiration is how your body regulates temperature, so if you don’t have enough water, your body will overheat. Minor dehydration triggers thirst, but as dehydration becomes more serious, the body starts to lose its ability to regulate temperature.
Symptoms of heatstroke include disorientation, combativeness, and hot skin. The remedy is to find some cool shade, rest and re-hydrate.


Zion and Bryce Canyons are both open year-round but North Rim Grand Canyon amenities are only open until October 31. November 1 through December 1 the North Rim will be open for day use only (no overnight parking) unless snow closes Highway 67 prior to that date. Once the snow closes the road, North Rim does not open again until the middle of May.

Zion in winter. Weather Zion Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon

Zion during winter (November- February) months the park is slow but it is still open and draws visitors.  Rain and snow are common so bring plenty of layers and something windproof and waterproof. If you have been to Zion in the summer you know wait times on popular hikes can be long, Not in the winter! It may be chilly, but much more peaceful.

The Park shuttle will generally run thru November. December is the coldest month of the year.

I love Bryce in the winter!

Bryce canyon in snow

White snow on the red rock formations and blue skies. It is a wonderful kind of beautiful!

 Long winter nights show off Bryce’s beautiful dark skies to perfection. Winter Astronomy is growing in Utahs SouthWest. Kanab has recently made lighting changes that have made the city eligible for International Dark Sky Community status!

Cross country Skiing – Snowshoeing- Ice skating and Hiking can all happen on the same trip.

Don’t have your own snowshoes? No worries, The Bryce Canyon Snowshoe Program is designed for all levels of experience, from beginner to expert. These Ranger-guided outings introduce visitors to the wonder of Bryce Canyon in the winter. Check out their Full Moon Snowshoe Hikes and other winter activities here: https://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/winter.htm

You can also rent all your equipment from Ruby’s Inn right at the entrance to the Park https://www.rubysinn.com/

My girlfriends and I have a long-standing tradition of spending several days at Bryce every winter.

Cross country ski bryce canyon

Check out my Post on Cross country skiing Bryce here: 

Kanab does get snow at times but seldom lasts the day. It gets about 14.8 inches of precipitation thru the year, mostly rain.


The most interesting season is monsoons. Late July thru August and the first part of Sept. the climate changes dramatically from the dry arid climate of May and June to one of humidity and seasonal rains. This is what we call The Monsoon Season.

monsoons in southern Utah. Weather Zion Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon

This weather change is important to consider when planning a visit to the Southwest.

During these hottest months of the year, the desert bakes under intense solar radiation. Hot air rises as fast as 50 feet per second, creating an area of low pressure that draws warm, humid air from the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico.

As the hot, humid air rises it comes into contact with cooler, high-altitude air. This forms enormous heavy clouds that grow dark and ominous as they rise thousands of feet. Eventually, the clouds burst, producing torrential afternoon thunderstorms.

This is our rule of Thumb – If the weather report predicts 20% chance of rain – It is really 100% chance of rain, just a 20% chance that you will be standing under it!!

desert flower

Monsoons are vital to the environment in the Southwest. They keep wildfires in check and provide an important water supply to the people and animals who live in the deserts. Visiting the desert during the Monsoon season is a great way to see another lesser-known side to the Southwest. It is the perfect time to adventure and explore with somewhat cooler temperatures and abundant flora and fauna that come to life.

The most common hazards of monsoon storms are lightning strikes and flash floods. Head inside during a lightning storm. Remember: When thunder roars, go indoors. If no substantial shelter is nearby, get in your car and wait out the storm.

  • Don’t forget the 30-30 rule. After you see lightning, start counting to 30. If you hear thunder before you reach 30, go indoors. Suspend activities for at least 30 minutes after the last clap of thunder.

lightning-strikes at Lake Powell. Weather Zion Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon

Storms are most common in the afternoon but they can happen at any time. And they often blow over in an hour or so leaving the ground and the air refreshed, but hopefully not flooded!

Hiking in Grand Canyon, Zion or the many other Utah or Arizona hiking trails near us requires greater caution in monsoon season, but with proper preparation, monsoon weather is nothing to be scared of.


The intensity of the monsoon season varies from year to year. In the last couple of years, we have had several “Two hundred year storms”. Meaning – A storm like this only happens once every Two hundred years. I think we have had three of those in the last two years…..!

Kanab truck in flood. Weather Zion Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon

Flash Floods are for real, but are amazing to see! Just do it from somewhere safe! Just remember – Never, ever be in slot canyons when there is rain in the forecast anywhere in the area.

You can stay out of trouble by never crossing moving water either on foot or in your vehicle (like in this photo!) and always check the weather forecast before hiking into any canyon. It’s important to also check the weather in areas “upstream” or up the canyon from where you will be hiking. It is possible to have blue skies overhead but a canyon may still flood due to heavy rains upstream.

I love this blog post from “Wild Girl Writing” about Monsoon Season

She lists  5 Tips for Surviving Monsoon Season in Southern Utah

1) Be weather aware. 

2) Know where you’re going.

3) Be cautious about where you take shelter.

4) Hire a local guide.

5) Enjoy the show from somewhere safe.

Please check out the entire Blog. Really good advice. I really like #4, as a local guide WILL keep you safe and WILL make sure you see some amazing backcountry no matter the weather.

Kanab Tour Co.
photo credit: Kanab Tour Company https://kanabtourcompany.com/

Know before you go! – Weather and trail Conditions for Zion, Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon

Bryce Canyon National Park Weather updates – https://www.nps.gov/brca/planyourvisit/weather.htm

Zion Canyon National Park Weather updates – https://www.nps.gov/zion/planyourvisit/weather-and-climate.htm

Grand Canyon National Park Weather updates (look specifically for North Rim) – https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/weather-dangers.htm

Kanab Climate Averages

Kanab, Utah Average Temperatures. Weather Zion Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon

Here is a good overview of average temperatures in Kanab, Utah. Bryce and North Rim can be a little cooler. Zion, a little warmer.

Kanab Utah Rainfall chart. Weather Zion Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon

Kanab, Utah gets around 15 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year.

Kanab Utah Snowfall. Weather Zion Bryce or North Rim Grand Canyon

Kanab averages 26 inches of snow per year. The US average is 28 inches of snow per year. Snow in town seldom last thru the day but generally much longer in the canyons.

Kanab, Utah daylight hours

On average, there are 256 sunny days per year in Kanab. The US average is 205 sunny days. That makes Kanab a great place to be, especially in the summer with the extra hours of adventuring daytime!

Things to keep in mind when planning your trip – 

-Springtime the water levels May run very high and some hikes in Zion may be off-limits.

-Zion is the lowest altitude of the three parks, therefore will be the warmest in any season. Bryce and North Rim are both around 8000-9000ft. A jacket is always a good idea, especially in early mornings.

-The road to North Rim Grand Canyon traditionally does not open until May 15th. The past couple of years there has been some soft openings a little bit earlier than that, just depending on the weather conditions.

-Bryce Canyon is always eroding. And that includes hiking trails. It is not uncommon for popular trails to get washed out over a harsh winter. Some Trails may not be open in early spring.

-Zion Canyon shuttle buses run from April through Oct. and sometimes Nov. The busiest times of the year. But you still need to be there early to get parking.

-When hiking anywhere in Southern Utah in the summer months, plan your days around early morning or late evening hikes.

-Late Autumn will have lower water levels, better for hiking Slot Canyons. And lower visitor levels, better for hiking everywhere.

-Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon are considered high Mountain desert. The UV rays are much more intense and sunscreen is always a good idea. Summer, Winter and everything in between.

No matter when you come, you are going to have a great time. And if you don’t like the weather now, just wait 15 minutes!
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