Just a few miles east of Kanab is a nice hike to an interesting alcove containing a panel of ancient petroglyphs, called the Mansard Panel. The hike is just under five miles out and back and presents a challenging gain in elevation (more than 1,000 feet).
To get to the trailhead we drove east on US-89 for six miles (just past mile marker 59) and turned left (north) on Vista Drive Road. Looking north you can see the alcove in the distance.
A quick right turn on Grande Vermillion Ave. and then two left turns will lead you to the parking area. Sounds tricky, but the route to the trail is clearly marked on the street signs.
The route begins with roughly a mile slope up a steep grade before arriving at the top of the Vermilion Cliffs. Once at the top, you follow a sandy plateau to the base of the White Cliffs.
The most difficult section is an eight foot scramble up some rocks, but there are enough hand holds and steps to make this a pretty easy climb. The trail is pet friendly but dogs may have a difficult time getting up this section.
Once up at the saddle there is a great view of the White Cliffs, where the petroglyphs are located.
The next half of the hike is a more gradual gain, at times through loose sand.
As you approach the base of the cliffs the path joins a Jeep road for a short time.
A short distance down the Jeep road leads to the end of the road, with the alcove just over a sandy ridge.
A marked path leads you down along the base of the cliff to the alcove.
This site is unusual compared to most sites we have explored. The drawings are not high up on a rock wall, but on a smooth, sloping sandstone rock at ground level. Also, there are two long slides carved into the rock that are very unusual and not found at any other site.
Colorful flowers grew all along the trail, especially the lower section.
We planned to depart Kanab the next day (Sunday) but heavy rain is in the forecast, so we have extended our stay here a few days to let the weather clear. There are a number of adventures we still have to do so the longer stay is not a problem.
More on those adventures later . . .