Top 5 Hiking Trails in the Kanab Area
By Harry Barber
There are many trail opportunities to choose from on public lands in the Kanab area. Depending on what it is you want to do, I suggest you drop by a Kane County or Bureau of Land Management Visitor Center and talk to a knowledgeable employee about your desired trail use. I like to use the trails as a way to get into an area, and then push on to explore even further. A word of caution – do not do something you are not comfortable with. Mother nature can be fickle out here in the desert, so it is important that you know your limitations, be prepared and travel with a friend if feasible. At the very least, make sure somebody knows where you are going and when you expect to be back. These trails are incredible, but can also become dangerous, so take precautions to ensure you have a great hike! Personally, my vice is mountain biking, hiking and trail running – so my focus here will be on five trails that I frequent. Bunting Trail- (Hike/Run) Are you looking for steep? You found it! Located west of The Ranchos subdivision, the trail starts off as a rolling trail following the wash bottom. The trail can be used to access a cool set of dinosaur tracks. Beyond the junction of the Bunting Trail with the wash that accesses the dinosaur track site, the Bunting Trail begins a steep upward ascent. As you continue climbing right through the rim of the mesa, an amazing view awaits your arrival. The trail, particularly the last quarter mile, contains a lot of loose rock. The rock, combined with the steep nature of the trail, makes this a challenging climb. You will gain about 1,200 feet in elevation. From the trailhead to the rim and back again will give you about 3.2 miles of calories burned. And although this does not seem like a lot, what you lack in miles you will make up for in painful elevation gains! Greenhalgh Trail- (Hike/Run/Horse) This trail is located in Trail Canyon, north of town just off Highway 89. The trail can be accessed by parking at the ATV bridge that spans Kanab Creek and walking to the trailhead from there. Named after the Greenhalgh brothers, Harry and Wilford, the trail is moderately steep and offers great views of the surrounding area. A few years ago, the BLM worked with the American Conservation Experience (ACE) to make trail improvements for a safer user experience. Mansard Trail- (Hike/Run) In the last several years, the BLM has made improvements to the trail using the ACE crews. The trail is also used as part of the G2G Ultra Marathon race and will get your heart pounding as you make your way up through the switchbacks on your way to the rim, where once again – amazing views await your arrival. This trail will lead you to an alcove containing an incredible petroglyph panel. Please be respectful of the panel by not touching or walking on it. From the trailhead to the panel and back again will be about five to six miles. Cottonwood Trail- (Hike/Run/Horse) The trail is mostly rolling with some moderately steep grades. The trail generally follows the base of the Vermilion Cliffs west of town. There are some great views of the Arizona Strip to the south. You will be under the rim of the Bunting Mesa with opportunities on occasion to spot desert bighorn sheep. The trail offers a challenge if you take it all the way to Cottonwood Canyon, as you will be putting nearly 10 miles on your kicks before you return to where you started. Catstair Canyon- (Hike) Catstair is the family-friendly trail. This is one of my go-to trails when the grandkids visit. The trail offers an opportunity to hike a narrow canyon bordering on being a slot canyon. The hike to the pile of old cars used for rip-rap against the highway is fairly short but offers plenty for kids to see. The hike from the trailhead to the old cars and back is about one mile.