Is Kanab Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On July 3, 2024
Kanab, United States
Safety Index:
79
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Kanab, Utah, is a small town with big adventures surrounding it, located in far southern Utah at the Arizona state line.

The city is often referred to as “Little Hollywood,” due to the numerous Western films and TV shows shot here during the mid-20th century.

That includes TV shows like The Lone Ranger and movies about the Old West and even the Bible!

Kanab’s history stretches back much further, with Native American tribes, including the Paiute, Anasazi, and Fremont, having called the region home for centuries.

The town itself was settled in the 1860s by Mormon pioneers, and many historical buildings from this period still stand.

In a larger landscape, Kanab (“kuh-NAB”) serves as a gateway to some of the Southwest’s most stunning natural attractions.

Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, both within easy driving distance, offer breathtaking landscapes of towering cliffs, intricate rock formations, and extensive hiking opportunities.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument provides a more rugged, less-traveled wilderness experience, while the nearby Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park showcases shifting dunes of vibrant coral-hued sand.

Kanab is also the starting point for visiting The Wave, a world-famous sandstone formation, and Buckskin Gulch, a spectacular slot canyon.

Riding off-road vehicles is a popular activity here, with trails that are treacherous or tamed.

You are also in a great position to enjoy the Arizona attractions, like the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and Lake Powell.

While Kanab is a little off the beaten path, it is quickly growing in popularity, much like St. George and Cedar City have done in recent years.

Visit while it’s still one of the best-kept secrets of the Southwest.

Warnings & Dangers in Kanab

Overall Risk

OVERALL RISK: LOW

Aside from the inherent natural risks of a wilderness area, there's a low risk in Kanab and experiences for all interests and experience levels. Your decisions while visiting will largely impact how big the risk really is, so don't go beyond your limits.

Transport & Taxis Risk

TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW

Visit the website nationalparkexpress.com to get information about the shuttle that runs between St. George and Kanab (in addition to several other cities). By and large, you'll need a rental vehicle to get here and explore the nearby areas. Even if you have a taxi or rideshare waiting for you, the costs will add up quickly. With hardly any mobile service outside the city, you don't want to risk being stuck at a trailhead because you don't have a signal.

Pickpockets Risk

PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW

No pickpockets or purse snatchings have been reported in Kane County or Kanab in the past five years, giving this a low risk. However, you should never leave your stuff lying around on a trial or while using the restroom. Keep up all the standard safety practices, even when there's a low risk.

Natural Disasters Risk

NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM

Kanab faces several natural disaster risks, including earthquakes due to its proximity to fault lines, flash floods from intense desert storms, and wildfires exacerbated by dry, hot summers. The region's rugged terrain and canyons can amplify these hazards, making preparedness crucial for residents and visitors.

Mugging Risk

MUGGING RISK: LOW

Robberies are almost unheard of in Kanab and Kane County, with the biggest incident involving a large-scale scheme to steal gas. The suspect was arrested. The risk is low, but as always, keep your guard up to avoid creating a crime of opportunity.

Terrorism Risk

TERRORISM RISK: LOW

This is another low risk, as the town is remote and surrounded by public land. You can always read the Terrorism Advisory Bulletin of Homeland Security to see the overall terror concerns in the nation.

Scams Risk

SCAMS RISK: LOW

Check local law enforcement social media sites for the latest scams. The local Better Business Bureau office and the state Attorney General’s office will have common scam tactics and protection advice. Several phone and gift card scams have been reported here, but those largely target locals.

Women Travelers Risk

WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW

From a crime standpoint, women don't have a greater risk than anyone else. When it comes to wilderness risks, everyone should be trained in first aid, self-rescue, and desert survival and have at least a moderate level of experience hiking in remote areas.

Tap Water Risk

TAP WATER RISK: LOW

The U.S. has strict standards for tap water per the Safe Water Drinking Act. Communities are required to provide a Water Quality Report (Consumer Confidence Report) once a year by July 1. The 2022 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. The tap water here is well water, and you can learn more about that by reading the report or calling 800-426-4791.

Safest Places to Visit in Kanab

VisitSouthernUtah.com is the tourism website for Kanab and Kane County.

Read the section from the Chamber of Commerce welcoming guests to Kanab, where you’ll get a list of lodgings and restaurants.

When looking at the things to do on that website, you should realize that “close” is a loose term in this region.

For example, the Grand Canyon is listed as a possible adventure, but the North Rim is 80 miles away on a winding road that takes almost two hours to drive.

If you plan to visit the South Rim, that’s almost four hours on the road.

There is no easy way to get from the North Rim to the South Rim by car or hiking.

Within Kanab, there are several great places to explore.

The Kanab Heritage House Museum showcases Victorian-era life and local history through its beautifully preserved 1894 home.

For film enthusiasts, the Little Hollywood Movie Museum provides a glimpse into Kanab’s role in the golden age of Westerns, displaying movie sets and memorabilia from films shot in the area.

The Moqui Cave Museum, housed in a natural cave, presents an eclectic collection of Native American artifacts, dinosaur tracks, and fluorescent minerals.

When looking for outdoor adventures, Kanab Dinosaur Tracks is one of the shortest hikes and has the biggest payoffs.

Since this trail isn’t well-marked, get information at the visitor’s center.

Even if you try it without advice, it’s less than a mile round trip and passes by prehistoric dinosaur footprints.

Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park offers vibrant dunes perfect for hiking and off-roading.

Hiking The Wave is one of the most amazing adventures here, but the popularity and delicate nature have led to a lottery system to get a permit.

Use the Recreation.gov website to apply for a permit. Search for “Coyote Buttes North Advanced Lottery (The Wave).”

The name comes from the undulating, colorful patterns of the mesmerizing sandstone formation in Coyote Buttes North.

It resembles a wave in rock form.

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument spans a vast landscape of canyons, arches, and waterfalls.

The “staircase” holds the geological layers that start in Bryce Canyon and go to the lowest elevations of the Grand Canyon.

If you plan to head into Arizona, you can take Highway 89A to reach Fredonia, where the Red Pueblo Museum and Heritage Park offer donated Indian artifacts to view.

Some date back 1,000 years.

Pipe Spring National Monument, located in Arizona 20 miles from Kanab, offers a glimpse into the lives of Ancestral Puebloans, Kaibab Paiute Indians, and early Mormon settlers.

Visitors can explore historic buildings, ancient artifacts, and lush springs, highlighting the area’s rich cultural and natural history.

This is in a region known as the Arizona Strip, covering all land north of the Colorado River in Arizona.

Places to Avoid in Kanab

There are no bad neighborhoods or dangerous parts of town in Kanab.

You can explore freely and people here will be more than happy to help you plan a safe adventure.

The most important thing you can do when choosing a place to visit in Southern Utah is to be realistic about your skill levels, physically and mentally.

Kanab is a basecamp for those who can experience strenuous to extreme adventures, with little need for things like park rangers or law enforcement nearby.

Most of the land in this region is run by the Bureau of Land Management, which is to say there’s very little presence of other people.

When visiting a national park, you’ll get a more hands-on experience with visitor centers and park rangers in the more popular areas.

If that’s your cup of tea, try staying in a place like Bryce Canyon City or Hurricane.

If you do want to test your skills, I highly recommend spending the money on a tour guide.

Anything you want to do here comes with a tour company that offers excursions.

That includes rock climbing, OHV riding, hiking, and horseback riding.

During the hot summer months, avoid hiking between 10 am and 4 pm to avoid the searing heat of the day.

Aside from the slot canyons, there is little to no shade in this entire region.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Kanab

  1. Kanab has a local police department, and you can follow them on Facebook @Kanab-City-Police-Department-100080692236654. Call (435) 644-5854 if you have specific safety questions.
  2. You also want to follow the Kane County Sheriff’s Office @KCSOUTAH. Their headquarters are also located in Kanab. You can call (435) 644-4916 with more questions.
  3. Sign up for the Kane County Emergency Notification System through the county’s website. You will need to enter a local address, so I recommend using your hotel. Out-of-state phone numbers are accepted. The program is free and will allow you to receive weather and public safety emergency information as long as you have a cell signal.
  4. You will want additional ways to get emergency information if you plan to go into remote areas. You can get a NOAA battery-powered weather radio or use a local AM station for emergency information. This should be available by calling the county or National Weather Service.
  5. You can text 911 in this area, which could be a lifesaver if you have a low mobile signal. Be sure to use the SMS text format, not MMS. Only use text, and do not try to send images or video. Be as descriptive as possible in one message, just in case only one can get through. Keep your phone in airplane mode while in canyons to save the battery. Always try to go as high as possible to attempt to use a phone.
  6. Since Kanab is at the Arizona state line, you need to know about the time zone oddity in Arizona. Utah is in the Mountain Time Zone and will adhere to Daylight Saving Time from March through November. Arizona is in the Mountain Time Zone but doesn’t spring forward or fall back for Daylight Saving time. That means from March through early November, Arizona will be in the Pacific Time Zone, one hour behind Utah. After early November, Arizona will be in Mountain Time until early March. That means it will be the same time as Utah. If you’re going through Nevada on this trip, that state is always in the Pacific Time Zone, one hour behind Utah.
  7. Aside from the main highways that go through town, many connecting roads to parks and public lands range from gritty pavement to gravel roads to sandy routes. Looking at Google Maps, it might look like a road goes as far as you’d like, but a good chunk of that could be through sand. You’ll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle and training on how to deflate tires to perform on sandy surfaces.
  8. The region around Kanab is known for its OHV trails. OHV stands for Off-Highway Vehicle. It is a larger category that includes ATVs, which stands for All-Terrain Vehicles. You need a license and registration for an OHV in order to use it, and local vendors can help get you squared away or give you training on how to operate the vehicle. Given the number of accidents involving OHVs in this area, I would recommend taking a guided tour if you’re not experienced in operating these vehicles in primitive and challenging conditions.
  9. When visiting the Pink Coral Sand Dunes, you should know that the sand will absorb the temperatures of the day. That means in the summer, sand can become hot enough to burn your skin or melt the thin soles of your shoes. With the winds that can rip through this area, be sure to bring a face mask or a bandanna to wrap around your nose and mouth. This will help you avoid ingesting sand.
  10. Do not go hiking in a slot canyon if rain is in the forecast. These canyons fill with water quickly, which can sweep you away and carry dangerous debris within the flow. It doesn’t take a lot of rain to create a torrent of water. In many slot canyon spots, there is no quick and easy way to escape.

So... How Safe Is Kanab Really?

The violent crime rate in Kanab is 12% lower than the state average and 46% lower than the national average.

Over the past five years, not a single violent crime has happened against a stranger, further solidifying the safe nature of the city for tourists.

On top of that, 69% of violent crimes happen in private homes.

That is all as of the 2022 official crime data reported to the FBI.

Theft is half the national average, and the raw data shows an average of two to three thefts per month.

Most of those are lumped into the “Other” theft category, which can mean items stolen from a yard or construction site.

It’s also worth mentioning that thefts or crimes that happen on federal lands fall under the jurisdiction of the land management agency, not the local police department.

Across Kane County, the numbers largely follow the patterns of Kanab.

Nothing stands out that would make the county safer or more dangerous than Kanab.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to understand the geology and environment of this desert landscape.

In March 2023, two men were killed, and a dozen were trapped when a flash flood went through the popular Buckskin Gulch.

“We encourage everyone to be safe as they recreate in the many beautiful areas of Kane County,” the sheriff’s office said in a March 2023 news release.

“As this week has shown, the beauty can turn to tragedy in an instant.

Careful preparation and understanding our complex weather are essential in your trip planning.”

In September of that same year, a man was killed while riding a UTV that flipped over.

He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt or a helmet.

Otherwise, he might have survived.

In 2021, a 3-year-old died after a 4X4 vehicle he was in with his family rolled over, climbing a steep hill.

The list of examples could go on, but you can see that the risks and safety level of Kanab greatly depend on how many risks you take and how well you know the landscape and safety measures.

Whether it’s a freak accident or a preventable tragedy, safety should come first in every aspect of this wild Utah desert.

How Does Kanab Compare?

CitySafety Index
Kanab79
Las Vegas62
San Francisco61
Philadelphia60
Houston59
Atlanta58
St. Louis58
Brussels (Belgium)60
Shanghai (China)66
Belize City (Belize)37
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43

Useful Information

Visas

Visas

All international visitors need either a visa defining the purpose of the trip (tourist, work, school, etc.) or a visa waiver. Start the process using the Visa Wizard module on the U.S. State Department website. Also, your passport must be valid for at least six months after your trip, or you’ll need to apply for a new one.

Currency

Currency

Only the U.S. Dollar (USD) is accepted in the United States. International airports usually have a currency exchange desk on site, while regional airports won’t. Your home bank offers the lowest fees. For those using credit cards, check to see if there’s a foreign transaction fee before you start racking up charges. Don't wait until you get to Kanab to get cash.

Weather

Weather

The highs and lows of the day can fluctuate between 30 and 40 degrees on any given day, but it's especially noticeable in the summer. For example, in June the average high is 89°F and the average low is 52°F. You'll need layers of clothing to adapt to the changes. The average low temperature never gets above 60, so a jacket or hoodie is needed throughout the year. From November through April, lows can get at or below freezing. Wear sunscreen year-round.

Airports

Airports

Kanab is 104 miles from St. George Regional Airport (SGU), which is the closest commercial option. If you're flying in and out of Las Vegas, plan for three-and-a-half hours on the road, but it is a beautiful drive!

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Comprehensive insurance offers the best protection and peace of mind. Make sure you have car rental insurance to cover roadside assistance. Before you book, ask if you are covered for off-road accidents or damage. If you're doing daring activities, there is such a thing as adventure insurance, which can help recoup the costs of injuries and rescues.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Kanab Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 2° C
Feb 5° C
Mar 9° C
Apr 11° C
May 16° C
Jun 22° C
Jul 25° C
Aug 23° C
Sep 20° C
Oct 14° C
Nov 7° C
Dec 3° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
High
°C
9121620253234322922159
Low
°C
-5-3127111514105-1-4
High
°F
485461687790939084725948
Low
°F
232734364552595750413025

Utah - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Bicknell81
Brigham City82
Bryce Canyon City82
Cedar City86
Green River83
Hurricane83
Kamas79
Kanab79
Layton81
Lehi74
Moab84
Ogden72
Orem82
Panguitch78
Park City78
Provo94
Salt Lake City55
Sandy93
St. George94
Vernal83
West Jordan94
West Valley City65

Where to Next?

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