Remote and Rugged Red Rocks – Kanab, Utah
Adjusting future stops and extending our stay here in Kanab was a good decision, as it was a place where we wanted to (and still want to) spend more time. The weather was perfect, and fortunately J&J RV Park was able to accommodate our request to extend.
I had initially thought of writing one big post about our adventures here, which would have gotten me caught up more quickly. But all of our explorations during this stop, along with the hundreds of pictures I took, changed my mind.
Prepare for some more red rocks!
Red Canyon – aka Peek-A-Boo Slot Canyon
If we’d been able to synchronize our visit with friends John and Pam or Dave and Sue, who were here just ahead of us, we might have been able to bum a ride to this beautiful place with them in their Jeep. Our Honda CRV would never have made it through the deep sand, and hiking 8 miles round trip from a parking spot to the trailhead was a but much. So we bit the bullet and hired a local outfitter to do the driving and a guided tour. Steve was happy to not have to drive for a day!
We had an early morning tour on a perfect sunny day, and the low-angled sun reflecting off the red rocks made the canyon dramatic and fiery:
Having previously been herded like cows at the spectacular Lower Antelope Slot Canyon in Page, Arizona, we were excited to leisurely explore this gorgeous gem on a tiny tour and see hardly anyone else. Steve and I both had cameras snapping away on this journey!
It was an easy stroll as we followed the twists and turns, straining our necks to take everything in. We were tantalized by a visual array of reds, cool browns and hot oranges on the sandstone walls. Some broken logs and other debris were wedged up high, evidence of past flash floods that had raged through the canyon.
As we rounded a corner, our guide pointed out some Moqui (or Moki) steps. These are alternating hand and toe holds carved into the vertical sandstone surfaces, possibly to allow ancestral Puebloan people access to difficult-to-reach areas:
Hiking or strolling through narrow slot canyons holds a certain mystique for us, and we are always drawn to them. There are other easily accessible slot canyons near here, notably Lick Wash and Water Hole Canyons, which we have explored with friends in the past. But if you have a 4-wheel drive vehicle or can reserve a tour to this one, don’t miss it!
Edmaiers Secret – aka Brown Pocket
Another photogenic spot in this vast wild rugged landscape is little-known Edmaiers Secret. It’s 45 miles east of Kanab and 5 miles south of US-89 off House Rock Valley Road.
The location is named after German landscape photographer Bernard Edmaier, who first identified the formations from the air. The destination is a small area with a grouping of strangely eroded sandstone domes and cones, resembling a brain and crossed by thin rock fins.
We reached the spot after trekking 2 miles downstream, partly through the wash and partly along trails on either side. So what did we discover? I’ll let my camera do the talking:
We also noticed an occasional splash of color:
We would have stayed longer to look for more of the unique formations, but it was getting hot so after a few miles we headed back to the air-conditioned comfort of the car. Edmaiers Secret is definitely an interesting and fascinating diverse landscape with strange eroded sandstone. Try to visit before it becomes a permit-only area.
We capped our day with a sunset at Coral Pink Sand Dunes to see if it’s really pink as advertised and described. In our haste to get there in time for the sunset we made a wrong turn, but still made it to see the low sun bring out an amazing pink color:
We were not disappointed, the dunes presented quite an impressive scene. It is so named for the soft red hues of the sand. Over thousands of years the sand has been collecting as the wind gradually forces the grains from the surrounding red sandstone formations.
And the highlight of our Kanab stop is yet to come!
Next up: A worthy substitute for “The Wave”