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Kanab Sand Caves/Moqui Caverns

Kanab Sand Caves

(That’s me pointing to my car, in case you were wondering.)

Let’s explore yet another local gemstone in Kanab, Utah! These caves go by the name “Sand Caves”, “Moqui Caverns” or “Moqui Sand Caves”, depending on who you ask. As for me, I just call them awesome.

Location of the Sand Caves

Chances are, you’ve heard of the Moqui Cave Museum. If you haven’t, you should definitely stop there as well. It’s an ancient history museum containing artifacts, dinosaur tracks, and fluorescent minerals. The best part? It’s all inside a cave, which never gets over 65 degrees, even when it’s 110+ in the desert summers.

Click HERE for directions to the museum.

Moqui Cave Museum

Most people stop to visit the Moqui Cave Museum, but few people know another awesome place lies just down the road….the Sand Caves!

To get to the caves, drive north on Highway 89 from Kanab.

Just after you pass the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary turnoff, you will see the Sand Caves on the right.

You’ll park on the left side of the road in the dirt parking lot, walk across the street, and start the hike up to the caves.

See the map below for reference:

Sand Caves Map

Please note that there is no signage at the parking lot and no trailhead signs at the beginning of the trail.

It’s a pretty popular spot, though, so you’re likely to see others at the parking lot or hiking up to the caves.

Lifehack: if you aren’t sure where to go, simply ask someone or follow someone up to the caves. It’s a trail, so you won’t look like a silent stalker.

Anyway, read on to see where to go.

Sand Caves Map

Hiking to the Sand Caves

Getting up to the caves is easier the farther left you go (as you’re approaching the caves). No matter which path you take, this quick journey to these awesome caves is just an easy, 1-mile out-and-back hike that the entire family can enjoy together.

Kanab Sand Caves
Kanab Sand Caves

I actually ended up scrambling up past the caves to get a better view.

And yes, I’m fully aware that it’s a view of Highway 89, but here we are.

Sand Caves Kanab

Experiencing the Sand Caves

When you arrive, you’ll find multiple caves and tunnels to explore.

Bonus: inside the caves, you’ll also find cooler temperatures, which you’ll be extremely grateful for if you’re hiking in the heat of the summer.

Sand Caves Kanab
Sand Caves Kanab

This place is amazing! So many Instagram-worthy photo opportunities everywhere you turn.

Sand Caves Kanab
Sand Caves Kanab


carvings in sand cave

There is an insane amount of graffiti covering these Sand Caves. Please do NOT add to the graffiti.

Do not carve, draw, or leave even a single amount of trash. 

I have seen so many amazing places be RUINED by rock carving and it saddens me more than I can express.

By carving, scribbling graffiti, or leaving trash you are also encouraging others to do the same. That is why these caves look the way they do.

Be an example to others and teach your children young to respect nature.

The best way to memorialize your presence at a location is to take a photo you can keep forever and leave nothing but footprints.

In summary: Don’t be a garbage human.

Sand Caves Kanab
Sand Caves Kanab

You can clearly see the parking area from the caves, so when you’re ready to leave, simply head back down to it!


History behind the Sand Caves

The Sand Caves are actually man-made caves, just like the awesome nearby Belly of the Dragon, except these Sand Caves were originally created when they harvested sand for glass production back in the 1970s. 

We are left with these stunning caves dug out of the Navajo sandstone that has been weathered over time into the awesome formations you now see.

What are you waiting for?

PIN this article for later so you can reference it and GO!

Hike Kanab, Utah

Ready to see some MORE amazing sights in Kanab?

Check out these FIFTEEN mile-long slot canyons HERE!


4 Responses

  1. It’s sad when people desecrate and trash these wonders of nature, man-made or otherwise! It is so disrespectful! With that being said, it is amazing that we have so many wonderful places to explore practically in our backyard! Great posting as always!!