Kanab lies south of Zion on the east side and is most famous for the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary (435) 644-2001, the country’s largest sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals. The sanctuary is open for tours. Its isolation has become a drawing point for outdoor enthusiasts and filmmakers who appreciate its historic beauty.
Western writer Zane Gray lived in Kanab in 1912 when he wrote his most famous novel, Riders of the Purple Sage.
Snow Canyon State Park
Almost half a million visitors visit Snow Canyon State Park each year, and it isn’t for the snow. (It got its name from early settlers Lorenzo and Erastus Snow.) With 15 miles of trails through coral-colored Navajo sandstone interspersed with snow white cliffs, dark lava flows and bright red sand dunes, the five-mile park draws rock climbers, photographers, spelunkers, RVers and hikers. The traditional southwest blue green foliage and sporadic water feature add to the scenic beauty. Between 200 and 1250 A.D., the Puebloans lived in the area leaving numerous signs of their inhabitation.
Red Cliffs Desert Reserve
Just north of St. George on both sides of I-15 lies the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, 62,000 acres of Great Blue Heron; eagles, hawks and kestrels; roadrunners; hummingbirds; songbirds; kingbirds; lizards, geckos, chuckwallas and Gila monsters; snakes, sidewinders and rattlesnakes; deer, jackrabbits and squirrels; as well as fox, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions.
Springdale is another popular cultural center and serves as the entry to Zion. The O.C. Tanner Amphitheater serves as the home for concerts, symphony performances and dances. The Bumbleberry Inn Playhouse offers a variety of gay musical productions and the Native American Center showcases drumming dancing and story telling native to the area.
Hurricane is becoming known for its superb mountain biking and as the entrance to Toroweep, the Grand Canyon’s wild northern rim experience.