About Kanab

About Kanab City
Kanab is the commercial center of a large farming, ranching and recreational community. The city of Kanab, county seat of Kane County, is often called "Little Hollywood" because of its film-making history over the years.

This town of 4,300 sits at the hub of the southwest's national parks and offers exciting vacation opportunities year round. Kanab is located 7 miles north of the Arizona border on U.S. Alternate 89, and is centrally located between Las Vegas, NV, Phoenix, AZ, Albuquerque, NM, Denver, CO and Salt Lake City, UT.

Kanab is surrounded by a variety of western geologic scenery ranging from coral pink cliffs and sand dunes, volcanic craters and lava flows to deep canyons, majestic mountains and plains. The natural beauty and consistently good weather of the Kanab area has made it a popular place to visit. Kanab is considered a popular hub location for visits to Zion, Bryce and Grand Canyon National Parks, Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monument and Lake Powell NRA (National Recreational Area). Other close-by national monuments and colorful state parks make Kanab a natural center with quality services for a week-end-get-away or an extended vacation to experience these exciting destinations and typical "Southwestern" recreational activities.

Named for a Paiute word meaning "place of the willows," Kanab was settled in 1864 when Fort Kanab was built on the east bank of Kanab Creek for defense against the Indians and as a base for the exploration of the area. Indian attacks forced the abandonment of the fort in 1866. In 1870, ten Mormon families moved into the fort and began to establish the present town. That same year Brigham Young, Prophet and President of the Mormon church, visited the area twice, making suggestions and supervising the town planning.

For many years Kanab was one of the most isolated cities in the nation. It was cut off from the east by the Colorado River and could only be reached with difficulty by rough dirt roads stretching over the rough terrain of the Arizona Strip west toward Las Vegas, NV. A twenty three mile journey north to Orderville, UT took nearly four days. Perhaps this isolation is why Zane Gray lived in the town while writing his Riders of the Purple Sage in 1912. Today, Kanab is a scenic tourist town with a friendly western spirit where tens of thousands of tourists stop to enjoy the "Old West" quality of life each year. The history in Kanab comes alive in the architecture of the old homes and buildings of the community.

For more Kanab, Utah facts, points of interest and visitor information, visit our Tourism website.