Last Spring break we did a 3 day road trip to see the Grand Canyon (South & East entrance, Horseshoe Bend & Monument Valley. We scheduled a tour for Antelope Canyon but it got cancelled the night before due to COVID. Monument Valley was literally closing the gates as we were headed out of the park. Who knew it would still be closed up a year later?
This spring break I knew I wanted to explore some slot canyons. I think it was destiny that Antelope Canyon was closed. I wasn’t meant to tour those slot canyons. They are still closed today a year later. There are so many “free” slot canyons in Utah to explore! I heard from others that they were actually more awesome than Antelope and may be right. I can’t compare personally since I never got to go.
Day 1: Coral Pink Sand Dunes
We had 5 days to explore and left on Sunday morning. We drove to Kanab, Utah (6 hours) and went straight to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. This was the warmest, less windy day of the five so we wanted to get this one out the way first. It was the perfect afternoon sand surfing in the sand dunes. Who knew it was this much fun? They offer sand board rentals at the visitor center for $25 per board. It’s a $10 fee to get into the park. If you go on a windy day, wear pants or the sand feels like tiny little needles when you get hit!
We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Kanab, Utah. There is a few great little places to eat. Try the Wild Thyme Cafe for a delicious dinner and the Kanab Bakery for breakfast. Also, there is a nice smoothie shop called, Asava you should check out. If you go up to Bryce Canyon, Ruby Inn is a great place to stop for souvenirs and lunch.
Day 2: Peekaboo Slot Canyon & Bryce Canyon
I researched a few slot canyons to check out while in Utah since our Antelope Canyon tour got cancelled. The first one on the list is Peekaboo Slot Canyons located in Kanab right passed Coral Pink Sand Dunes off the 89. You can also look it up Red Canyon (AKA Peek-a-boo Canyon) on All Trails. There is a sign for the trail off the highway. It is highly recommended to use a 4×4/high clearance vehicle due to deep sand. Our Jeep Wrangler made it but it struggled in some spots. We made it through and didn’t get stuck.
We started about 9am and made it out about 11am. From there, we headed to Bryce Canyon which was about an hour north of the slot canyons. You will pass through a few small towns on the way but the scenery is amazing!! What an incredible drive up to Bryce Canyon. We were able to walk down sunset point for a few shots. There was a ton of ice and snow still on the trails. Some trails were completely closed off due to the snow. I imagine this place is heaven in the summer time.
Day 3: White Pocket
On the third day we set out for another long day to White Pocket. White Pocket is the alternative to the Wave. To experience The Wave you have to enter a lottery system and they only allow 20 people per day to visit. White Pocket is free to experience but you have to get there first! If you take the 89 South from Kanab you will turn off around mile marker 28 onto House Rock Valley Rd. This is a LONG gravel road that turns into deep sand. It’s about 36 miles off the highway so takes a while to get down going 20-30mph. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get there from the highway. We aired down our tires in the Jeep at the turn off. Highly recommend a 4×4/high clearance vehicle to access White Pocket.
There is very clear instructions HERE but it is also very well marked with signs to White Pocket.
We also stopped at the Toadstools (off hwy 89) on the way back (Actually about 5 miles south of House Rock Valley Rd). It was not all that great in my opinion but it was cold and there was blowing sand at the time. It’s a short hike right off the highway if you have some time to check it out.
DAY 4: Wire Pass to Buckskin Gulch
On day four, we made our way back to House Rock Valley Rd. and hiked Wire Pass. This is another slot canyon that is much longer, taller and narrow. It has a small obstacle at the beginning of the trail making your way down into the narrows. This is a great alternative if you have been looking into booking a tour with Antelope Canyon as they are now closed.
Day 5: Back Home
Day 5 we went back home. If we stayed another day we could have revisited Zion National Park. We could have also check out Moqui Sand Caves in Kanab off the 89. It started to snow so we went ahead and made our way back home. We loved visiting Kanab and would love to go back when it’s warmer to camp and explore more. It was an amazing trip to remember.