An Expert’s Guide to Kanab Photography

We get asked a LOT about taking picture in Kanab, Utah. So we created this guide to Kanab photography listing our favorite locations.

The Kanab area is a stunning place to visit in Utah if you enjoy landscape photography. Since we live so close to Kanab, we’ve been able to take pictures during every season and all types of weather and light conditions.

Kanab Photo Guide

In this guide we share our experience through the years with you: photo tips, a list of best photo spots, and the camera gear you’ll need to take pictures all around the Kanab area!

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We have a printed Camera Gear Checklist to help us pack all the equipment we need – that way we don’t forget anything!

  • Cameras for Landscape Photography
  • Lightweight Travel Tripods
  • Camera Bag: Protecting your camera from the sand and dust in Kanab is essential. Using a camera backpack is so nice for hiking too.  
  • Neutral density filter: There can be extreme differences in light around the various rock structures. To compensate for this variance of light you’ll need to use a neutral density filter. 
  • Camera cleaning kit: You’ll want to remove dust that WILL get on your lens – this is NOT for cleaning the sensor.  
  • Memory cards
  • External hard drive: Don’t forget to copy the photos to a portable external hard drive ‘just in case’.  
  • Headlamp with a red lightFor the best sunrise, sunset or night sky shots, you’ll be navigating in the dark. Use a headlamp to light your way from the parking lot to your spot. Wearing a headlamp allows you to set up your equipment without having to hold a flashlight. Remember to use the red light setting and keep the beam pointed on the ground in front of you to avoid disrupting other photographers in the area taking long exposure shots.

Camera Gear at B&H Photo

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A Photo Tour of Kanab, Utah

Take a visual tour through the Kanab, Utah area to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

National and State Parks Near Kanab

Kanab is located in southeastern Utah near the Arizona border. The area is surrounded by towering Navajo sandstone cliffs and vistas of sagebrush. You’ll find so many things to see, do, and photograph in the Kanab area!

Zion National Park is about 30 miles from Kanab. Zion is the most visited national park in Utah. You’ll want to plan ahead to know all about the services offered, the shuttle system, best time to go, where to stay and more!

Bryce Canyon National Park is known for its colorful hoodoos. There are many ways to explore the park: scenic drives, hiking, biking horseback riding and more!

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is a must-stop destination for ATV fun and photography!

Tips for Taking Sunrise and Sunset Photos in Kanab

Here are a few tips to help you capture amazing landscape photography images in the Kanab area at sunrise and sunset:

Settings for sunrise and sunset photos:

  1. From a tripod: ISO 100, Aperture F/11 – F/13, adjust shutter speed to accommodate changing light conditions. 
  2. Handheld: set shutter speed to twice the value of your lens focal length (ex. Lens focal length of 24mm = 1/50 shutter speed). Aperture F/11 – F/13, adjust ISO to accommodate shutter speed.
  3. Expose for the bright sunlit areas.

Check out these awesome SUNRISE AND SUNSET PRESETS at ETSY!

sunrise and sunset presets at Etsy

Guide to Kanab Photography Locations

There are many iconic photography spots near Kanab. No wonder the area is a photographer’s dream!

Here’s a list of locations we recommend in the Kanab area to capture stunning landscape photos!

Towers of the Virgin Zion Nationa Park at blue hour

Best Zion National Park Photo Spots

We love Zion National Park photography at sunrise and sunset. Here are a few of our favorite spots:

  • Zion Human History Museum – sunrise
  • Three Patriarchs – morning and late afternoon
  • Canyon Overlook Trail – sunrise
  • Pa-rus Trail – sunset
  • Kolob Terrace Road – sunset
bryce-point-hoodoos-bryce-canyon-national-park-photo-jeepers (1)

Best Bryce Canyon National Park Photo Spots

Here’s our list of the best Bryce Canyon photo spots in the amphitheater are and along the scenic drive.

We also have favorite Bryce Canyon sunrise photography spots:

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park Utah

Coral Pink Sand Dunes Photography

At this Utah State Park you’ll find over 2000 acres of sand where you can enjoy hiking, sand sledding, ATV riding, and photography! Our favorite time to visit Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park is during the off-season in the winter.

If there’s snow, the contrast of white against the coral pink sand is a nice addition to the stunning landscape.

Sunset is the best time to take pictures at Coral Pink Sand Dunes. The golden hour light blankets the landscape to produce vibrant color!!

One word of warning: if it’s windy, the sand can damage your camera lens!

peekaboo slot canyon near Kanab Utah

Peekaboo Slot Canyon Photography

The 1/2 red rock slot canyon near Kanab is one of the easiest to access and walk through in Southern Utah. The red Navajo sandstone walls tower about 80 feet over a narrow slot that’s been cared by flowing water.

About 7 miles north of Kanab off Highway 89 you access the road to the slot. Then it’s 3.5 miles driving in very deep sand to get the the entrance. We booked a tour with Dreamland Safari for our photography group. Tripods are allowed here and you can photograph the canyon at your own pace.

Gunsmoke movie set in Kanab Utah in the snow

Johnson Canyon Road Photography

About 11 miles east of Kanab along Highway 89 you can access Johnson Canyon Road. As you drive north stop at pullouts to photograph the colorful cliffs found in this region of Grand Staircase.

The old Gunsmoke film set is about five miles from the turnoff at Highway 89, but note it’s on private land.

At the end of the paved road, you’ll find Skutumpah Road – a dirt road that is accessible for passenger vehicles except when wet!

Kanab is a fun place to visit in Utah in the winter – the snow is a great accent for landscape photography. But it does limit the places you can explore because the dirt roads will be impassable.

Old Pariah Kanab Utah

Old Pariah Photography

From Kanab, drive east on US 89 to milepost 31 to access the Pariah River Valley Road. This dirt road is 6 miles long, with a steep section near the end.

We have seen passenger cars on this road, but we recommend you at least have an SUV. Don’t drive this road when it’s wet!

The colorful striped cliffs here are best photographed at sunset with the golden light! Once the sun goes down the even blue hour light is nice as well. Stop at pullouts along the road to photograph the cliffs. We also like the view at the bottom of the steep section near the picnic area and pit toilet.

Toadstools near Kanab Utah at Sunset

The Toadstools Photography

The trailhead to reach The Toadstools is located off Highway 89 about 45 miles east of Kanab. There are no fees, the trail is open year-round, and it’s dog-friendly.

Hike less than a mile along the easy trail to reach the hoodoo formations. You’ll find the main red Toadstool and other mushroom-like rocks in the area to explore.

We recommend sunset and night photography at The Toadstools. Remember to have your headlamp to hike back the way you came in the dark!

White Pocket reflection

White Pocket Photography

We did an overnight White Pocket tour with Dreamland Safari Tours and LOVED every minute of it. Well…. except for the 1 hour when it rained (down poured).

The rain did us a favor though because we got THE shot with the colorful formations here reflected in pools of water!

You’ll need a high-clearance 4WD vehicle to navigate the deep, sandy roads. We recommend you stop by the Kanab Visitor Center or the BLM office to get detailed instructions and the latest road conditions.

Once you’re at the White Pocket formations you freely walk around, explore, and take pictures in solitude. It’s a must-see destination for photographers!

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