Disc Golf for everyone! Kanab, Utah

Disc Golf for everyone! Kanab, Utah

Remember when your Mom used to say “Go out and Play!” Well, it’s still true, and more and more people are going out to play. What exactly are they playing? Disc Golf. And Kanab, Utah has a great course!

Disc Golfer

Disc Golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, with more than 8,000 courses (most are FREE) and even two professional-level tours.

If you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon it’s time to join the millions of people who are behind the expanding sport of Disc Golf.

Why Disc Golf?

  • Simple to learn. Easy as throwing a Frisbee
  • Inexpensive. Minimal equipment startup
  • Individual or League sport
  • Accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels.
  • Great Community
  • Free to play
  • Play with your family & friends, or even go Pro.
  • Quicker than Ball Golf
  • Challenging to master
  • Most of all, it’s FUN!

In case you are asking “What is Disc Golf?” Here is a brief description

   As the name implies, it is a cousin to the game of Golf, or Ball Golf (talking with Disc Golfers was the first time I heard the term Ball Golf!).
   It is played in rounds with “holes”. Generally, a course is made up of 9 or 18 holes, each with its own Par, or number of shots desired.
Instead of using golf clubs and balls aiming for a hole, disc golf players use
discs, (just like a Frisbee, but a little higher-tech) and aim for a disc golf basket instead of a hole.
Discs come in slightly different sizes and weights. They have the same names and uses as Golf clubs –  Drivers, Midrange and Putters.
   The object is, of course, to complete each hole in the fewest number of throws, starting from a tee area and finishing with the disc coming to rest in the basket.
So basically, t
he sport is played using the same general rules, terminology, and etiquette as traditional golf, just without the high cost of playing.

Jackson Resv. disc golf Kanab Utah

Disc Golf Course at Jackson Reservoir, Kanab, Utah

Google disc golf courses and you will see them springing up all over.

Disc Golf came to Kanab Utah just a couple of years ago. You are going to love this course at Jackson Reservoir!

We recently went out to Jackson to check out the Disc Golf campout and Tournament. What a fun day. We learned so much and had a great time visiting with, and learning from the participants. They all agreed it is easy to get hooked on this sport. It was so beautiful with the sun shining on the water, the ducks flying in and out and the red cliffs as a backdrop.

Jackson Resv. disc golf Kanab

Play with locals

Our Local Kanab Club/League Meets out at Jackson reservoir every Thurs evening at 5:30. They are more than happy to have folks come out and join in.

Kanab disc golf league

New to the idea and just want to try it out?

Rent some discs! Call Steve Howell, at 435-689-0130 (He can meet you in Kanab)  and rent a 3 disc set for just $5!! (plus $10 refundable deposit) What a great deal and what a beautiful place to play.

Now get out there and just PLAY!

Here is the Tournament map from this year

Jackson reservoir, Kanab Campout, Disc Golf Course Map

Want to learn more? Check out DiscGolf.com  https://discgolf.com/

And the PDGA (Professional Disc Golf Association) –  https://www.pdga.com/

We really like the “How To” videos Here –  How to play Disc Golf

Our favorite hiking trail in Kanab Utah, Amazing views and petroglyphs!

Our favorite hike, Utah

So many hiking trails! Kanab has lots of great trails super close by and adding more all the time. We have our favorites, but here is just a quick screenshot of the trails app on our local tourism site www.VistitSouthernUtah.com (best visitors center in the state in our opinion) All of these hiking trails are in, or close to, the town of Kanab.

local kanab hiking trails

You will need to come visit Kanab repeatedly to enjoy all of these cool hiking trails!

But our current favorite right now has to be The Mansard Trail.

This awesome trail starts just 6.5 miles East of town in the community known as Vermillion Cliffs. You will head up this Butte and all the way across its flat, sandy top to end up at some of the most intriguing petroglyphs in the area. The Mansard Petroglyphs.

Vermillion Cliffs area

It is a bit of a climb and one part there is a minor rock scramble, but this old out of shape lady can do it! It took us about 4hrs total last time we were there. But we did enjoy a picnic lunch among the petroglyphs as well.

Mansard petroglyphs
Ancient lunch spot? Napkin, Salt shaker, and Sardine key. What do you think?

You can get a copy of these detailed instructions at the visitors center downtown. Just make sure you get the Mansard “Hike” map, as there is also a map for getting there on ATV roads from the other side of the Butte.

Mansard Trail Map

So next time you are wondering “What is there to see and do around Kanab?” Take a few hours and go and SEE and DO this! A great taste of what Southern Utah Hiking is all about.

Mansard hike near Kanab
Near the top

Mansard petroglyphs
Trail turns here at the sign, to head over to the alcove.

Mansard petroglyph alcove
Petroglyphs are under this alcove

Mansard petroglyphs

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, A Very Special Place. Kanab Utah

Best Friends dog

       Anyone who has been to Kanab in southern Utah can tell you this is a special place. But there is a special place within this special place I want to tell you about.

Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

This is the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the country. They have other locations throughout the USA in New York, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, Houston, and Atlanta, but Kanab is their headquarters. Not only is it huge, over 3,700 acres and they have over 1500 animals to care for each day, but, they can change your life as well. Volunteering at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary is a bucket list item for many of our guests.

Everyday folks from all over the country (and the world) volunteer at Best Friends. And you can too. There are two shifts every day of the year, shift times are 8:15-11:30 a.m. and 1:15-4:00 p.m. You need to sign up early though as each animal area has a maximum number of volunteers it can accommodate during each shift. 

Wanna Come? 

The website for Best Friends   https://bestfriends.org    is super streamlined and very easy to navigate. You can set up your own volunteer schedule there. That gives you the flexibility to volunteer at the sanctuary and still have time to visit our beautiful National Parks.
During the high Spring Break, summer season and holidays it gets super busy. So signing up as early as possible is important. Some slots book out months in advance. But if you are just passing through for a couple of days, don’t despair even if the shifts are all full, you can contact the Volunteer Center and ask about other opportunities such as helping out in their gift shop or Angels Rest and other special service projects like landscaping and maintenance.

What Will I Find There?

Two shifts every day in seven different animal areas; Cat World, Bunny House, Parrot Garden, Dogtown, Piggy Paradise, Horse Haven, and Wild Friends. Opportunities in each of these categories are limited so it is highly recommended that you sign up and schedule your shifts as far in advance as possible!

A nice bonus is the two places to eat at the sanctuary. The Canyon Grill it is open during the summer months but their $5 vegetarian buffet it is served year-round daily from 11:30 AM to 1 PM.

When you arrive at the sanctuary you will have a 10-minute check-in at their Welcome Center. You will be provided with a name badge, your schedule and anything else you need to know to make your volunteer time the best that it can be!

What To Wear

They do ask that all volunteers wear closed toed shoes, even slip-on clog type shoes must have a heel strap. You could be climbing a ladder or walking animals and they are concerned about everyone’s safety. They also strongly recommend long pants when working with the horses or pigs (but please, not the same ones you have worn around horses and sheep at home).

Best Friends horse

Shall I Bring My Own Pet?

Many of our favorite guests at My Star Vacation Rentals are Best Friend volunteers! Of course, these animal lovers all have their own pets at home.
As our home is pet-friendly many want to bring their own pet with them to Kanab.
Just a couple of things to be aware of though, your own pets are not allowed in any of the animal areas at the sanctuary. Pets are also not allowed in the National Parks. Both are a couple of good reasons to consider leaving your own pet at home.


But probably the best reason to leave your own pet relaxing at home is that some of the dogs, cats, and bunnies at the sanctuary are approved to go home with the volunteers for an overnight visit! If you have volunteered at least one shift in that specific animal area you can bring a pet home for the night. How fun is that? We have hosted many sleepover pets at The Western Star and hear nothing but amazing responses from our guests about that great experience.

Can I Bring My Kids?

While you may not want to bring your own pet to Best Friends you will definitely want to bring your kids that are six years old and over!  They must be accompanied by an adult but one adult can supervise up to three minors. For safety considerations, each animal area has its own minimum age requirements:

Cat World = 6+
Bunny House = 6+
Parrot Garden = 8+
Dogtown = 10+
Piggy Paradise = 12+
Horse Haven = 12+
Wild Friends = 18+
Please keep in mind that these age restrictions apply to sleepovers as well. So for instance, You cannot come and volunteer with the doggies and the take home a sleepover if your kids are less than 10 yrs old, but they could get a cat or a bunny.

I have a couple of friends come with their daughters and love sharing that experience. One comes every year as a special mom and daughter project. One came with her daughter and even adopted a bird to take home!

This is Christian, we call her “The Bird Whisperer”.  She puts doll clothes on her chickens and she LOVES her bird they brought home from Best Friends.

I talked with several employees in prepping for this post and they did stress that this is a working sanctuary, not a Petting Zoo for tiny kids!

Want To Sign Up A Group?

You bet, Best Friends has unique programs for 5 to 12 people looking for an integrative service learning experience. Come for 2 to 5 days and leave with unparalleled memories for your group.

Take A Tour

So what if you don’t have time this trip to be a volunteer  –   just be sure and take the free Sanctuary Tour! To schedule a tour, please call the Welcome Center staff at 435-644-2001, ext. 4537.  Or click HERE

Tours are offered every day at 8:30 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. They are two hours long, and you will be amazed at what you get to see and the scope of the sanctuary. You will get to go inside a couple of buildings and drive through many other areas of the property. But again, the tours fill up, so please sign up early!

Again, Their extensive website is  https://bestfriends.org
You can email them at: info@bestfriends.org
or call at 435-644-2001
They are open every day at 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mountain Time.

National Parks in Utah during Gov. Shutdown Jan. 2019

National Parks in Utah during Gov. Shutdown Jan. 2019


A huge question for our guests in Kanab right now. So this week in my “Know Before You Go” post, I have tried to track down the most up to date info possible.
The National Government shutdown has affected a lot of people in many areas. But the Parks are our “nearest and dearest” here in Southern Utah. You can still enjoy our amazing natural wonders, just bring some extra respect and patience (and your own trash bags) with you this month.

We have all seen the photos and stories – Trash and human waste are piling up in some national parks that lack employees in visitor centers, rangers on roads, and custodial workers to clean bathrooms and empty garbage cans during the partial federal government shutdown. But NOT IN UTAH! Rangers are being paid with state and private money and are safeguarding park roads and resources in Arches, Zion, and Bryce Canyon national parks. Hoo-Ray!
I have heard the visitors who have been to Zion have, for the most part, been very careful to do their part by packing out their trash, and some have paid their entrance fees in the form of a donation.

Zion National Park
 The Zion Canyon Visitor Center is open through January 30, 2019 along with one loop of Watchman Campground, the park store and restrooms at the visitor center.

The shuttle service will be discontinued, but cars can travel the shuttle route. Please be aware that the park staffing will be minimal and visitors need to be careful and take responsibility for their own safety.

The Utah Office of Tourism has agreed to spend another $4,275 to keep Zion National Park open through Wednesday Jan 16th. After that, they expect private funding to continue so the park can remain open through the end of January.

Bryce Canyon in winter, Southern Utah
12019 / Pixabay

Bryce Canyon National Park
The park is open with most areas and services available. The main park road and the road to Bryce Point and Inspiration Point are closed to vehicles at the Bryce Junction. The Sunset and Sunrise viewpoints and all the roads below Sunset are open and will be plowed in the event of snow.
Bryce Canyon National Park will remain open for at least the next 10 days (up to Jan 24) due to funding from the Bryce Canyon Natural History Association, though the state might step in with “nominal” contributions to extend that through January, according to the budget office.

Visitors centers are open through:

  • Arches: January 30
  • Bryce Canyon: January 30
  • Canyonlands (Island in the Sky District): January 30
  • Zion: January 30

After these dates, should the shutdown continue, the parks will still be accessible, though the visitor centers will be closed. All other federal welcome centers are closed.

The Utah Department of Transportation plowed snow-covered roads in Arches and Canyonlands national parks last week. The Canyonlands Natural History Foundation has committed to cover the costs for visitor services in both parks for 30 days.

“We want to make sure people can plan out weeks in advance. We know what we can do for the next six weeks, two months if this continues,” said Kristen Cox, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. She told reporters – “If we can’t sustain it after a few months, then we’ll have alternative plans for people to visit state parks.”

The Governor’s office has a weekly update page you can check out here;

Looking for an awesome alternative to Zion? Check here:

Looking for an awesome alternative to Bryce? Check here:

Fun, Interesting, Easy Hike. The Toadstools. Southern Utah

Toadstools_in southern Utah

Want to spend a couple of hours on another planet, or at least feel like it? Welcome to the ToadStools.

Geology takes front and center stage here.

Located along U.S. 89 in the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument (SW Utah), the Toadstools trailhead leads to a series of mushroom-like formations of orange and white rocks. Kids and adults alike will have fun on this “other worldly” trek. The route is .8 miles each way, level, and easy walking.
Like a giant layer cake, the Escalante Staircase was so named thanks to the immense sequence of its sedimentary rock layers ranging from Bryce Canyon in the north to the Grand Canyon in the south.

A toadstool is a spire-like feature with a boulder perched atop a pedestal rock, like a mushroom, which forms when a softer rock erodes away, leaving a column sheltered from the elements. Slightly different from the HooDoos of Bryce Canyon National Park.

You can stretch your legs on the jaunt from Kanab to Lake Powell or stick around and find other trails like the nearby Catstair.

The trail is open year-round and fees/permits are not required. The entire hike is exposed, so avoid going in the middle of the day during the summer. Otherwise, spring through fall are excellent times to hike here. The area is dog-friendly.

Park at the trailhead off of Highway 89, 45 miles east of Kanab, 12 miles west of Big Water. There is a small parking area right off the Highway with an information board.
GPS Coordinates
(37.101310, -111.873169)


A Highly Recommended Slot Canyon Day Trip in Kanab, Utah.

Peekaboo Canyon, Kanab Utah

Peekaboo Slot Canyon! A Southern Utah classic! This is such a great slot canyon. Close to town with cool photography shots similar to the famous but overcrowded, Antelope Canyon. And now even better! Jeff and Julie at Coral Cliffs Tours, an awesome local family tour company has just added a Peekaboo Slot Canyon tour every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday morning. Just $55 per person, about half of the other private tour companies in town. Wow!
Just in case you are wondering – you do not want to try and get yourself there unless you have a HIGH CLEARANCE four wheel drive and KNOW how to drive in deep sand! Just because your Subaru is 4WD, it is to low. Jeff and Julie have to drag someone out of there almost every week. Don’t do it.
A tour guide can drive you right to the mouth of this easy walking Slot Canyon. The morning light is really nice for good photos, you may want a tripod though.
The top photo is me and my sis last summer. We go as often as we can. Different lighting means a different show every time.

The Needle, Kanab, Utah

After you explore this little canyon, come out the the mouth of the slot, go around the corner to the left and up the short trail to “The Needle”.

Awesome formation and more great photos. You are gonna love this place!

Call Jeff and Julie at Coral Cliffs Tours – 435-899-0697 or 801-631-3500

The Worlds Top Ten Amazing Slot Canyons – 5 Are In Southern Utah!!

The Worlds Top Ten Amazing Slot Canyons – 5 Are In Southern Utah!!

We love Slot Canyons around here! What’s not to love? Soaring red rock walls, narrow crevices and looking up into blue skies. There are plenty to choose from around here. But even so, I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this Youtube video the other day –
The Top Ten Amazing Slot Canyons Around the World
Five of the top ten are within 1-2 hrs of us here in Kanab, Utah!

Here’s the list –

10-Oneonta Gorge Canyon,Oregon, United States
09-The Colored Canyon, Sinai,Egypt
08-Spooky Gulch, Utah, United States
07-Buckskin Gulch, Utah, United States
06-Weano Gorge,Western Australia
05-The Virgin River Narrows, Utah, United States
04-Echidna Chasm,Western Australia
03-The Subway, Utah, United States
02-Siq Canyon,Jordan
01-Antelope Canyon, Arizona, United States

Come explore the Slots of Southern Utah, but be warned, they get in your blood, you’ll be back for more!

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