mama don't take my Kodachrome away
This 47-mile long drive between Kanab and Cannonville, Utah, is one of changing scenery and colors. Roughly paralleling the East Kaibab Monocline (commonly known as the Cockscomb), the drive begins (or ends) about 32 miles east of Kanab on Route 89.
Starting off amid light gray badlands the road takes you down into the Paria River valley. Keep your eyes open for pronghorn (and cows).
After getting into the valley you’ll find yourself driving past white, pink, tan, rusty red, and yellow sandstone and crumbling clay-like formations. Occasionally you’re offered views of distant peaks and ranges. Along the way are several hikes, Grosvenor Arch, and the beautiful Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Most of the road is graded gravel and is passable by most any 2WD vehicle. Note that there are some steep sections, the road is often barely wide enough for two vehicles, and there are many blind turns. So, be aware. Also, it may be impassable when wet. Once into the metropolis of Cannonville the valley widens and you’re back on pavement.
Google Maps will route you on a big C-shaped drive from Kanab to Cannonville when, in fact (given good road conditions) it’s just as fast to drive up Cottonwood Canyon. But then, it’s not about the time or the destination. It’s about the journey.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.