Best Friends Animal Society

Hike With New Buddies at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

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By Barb Williamson

Kanab has a whole host of great day hikes, in addition to trails in the national parks and Coral Pink Sand Dunes. Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, five miles north of Kanab, has some fun hiking opportunities. Some are scenic hikes and some of them involve four-footed creatures.

Best Friends Animal Society : Kanab, Utah Area Guide :

A volunteer at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary takes Wookie for a walk. Photo by Best Friends Staff.

The breathtaking Angel Canyon, where the Sanctuary is located, is surrounded by open federal and state land with numerous trails. The sandy road leading to Peekaboo Canyon connects with Angel Canyon Road, which meanders through the Sanctuary. Yet another road that connects with Angel Canyon Road takes people to the trail leading to Hidden Lake. The Water Trail abuts Angel Canyon Road.

Twice a week, one of the free tours Best Friends offers is a one-hour guided hike of a nearby trail. On the hike, people will discover the history of the sandstone walls, learn about native plants and animals, all while enjoying the beauty of Angel Canyon. Hikes are considered moderate.

Please pre-register 24 hours prior online at or call 435-644-2001, ext. 4537. Bring plenty of water. Sunscreen and a hat are recommended. Children and leashed dogs allowed. (Hikes may be influenced by weather, trail conditions and staffing availability.)

But Best Friends is the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals. And with some 1,600 rescued cats, dogs, horses, pigs, etc. these animals crave the personal one-on-one attention that the volunteers give. So, it may not surprise you that there are trails scattered throughout Dogtown where volunteers can take dogs for walks. Along the trail there are benches where a volunteer can sit with a dog for a good snuggle session.

But it may surprise you to learn what other animals like going on “walkabouts” with people. There are cats who love to go on harness and leash walks with volunteers. Walking a cat is not exactly like walking a dog. Some of them are bonafide hiking cats who want to walk and cover ground, while other cats walk just far enough to find a really good sandy spot to roll. Then they will spend the next 10 minutes scrutinizing bugs.

There are other kitties who never got the hang of walking on a harness, but love feeling the fresh air on their whiskers while being chauffeured by volunteers in special screened-in buggies along paved trails in Cat World.

In Horse Haven, volunteers can be seen walking with a horse, gently holding the reins.

At Piggy Paradise, the pigs have their own ideas of a nice promenade. They enjoy strolling along at their own pace, following the bits of treats casually dropped by volunteers who have a stash of goodies.

Interested in a four-footed hiking buddy while visiting the beauty of Kanab? To register to volunteer, visit or call 435-644-2001, ext. 4119.

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