Peekaboo Canyon and Windows on the West Tours

After our failed attempt to rent a jeep, Tom and I decided to take a tour to one of the places everyone says is a must-see in Kanab.  Peekaboo Canyon is one of the local slot canyons, similar to Antelope Canyon.  But, because it is on BLM land in the deep sand outside Kanab, it doesn’t get the huge number of tourists.

We booked a tour with Windows on the West (WOW) Hummer Tours, one of the outfitters in Kanab.  I’ve never ridden in a Hummer before, and if we got stuck in the sand it would be someone else’s problem.  Peekaboo Canyon is their main destination and we bought the add-on tour of the White Wave.

We met our guide, Ken, at the Kanab Visitors Center.  Turns out we had a private tour for the day.  Score!  During the day we learned a lot about Ken.  He has been leading tours like this for years and started the WOW business when he saw that Kanab was going to become a tourist crossroads.  He leads tours most days of the week, calling his sons in to help when things get really busy in the summer.

We started the tour at the Peekaboo Canyon staging area.  This is a parking lot where people can park while they hike into the canyon.  They can also leave their tow vehicles when they drive ATVs into the area.  We saw two ATVs with their guide and heard them roaring up and down the sand dunes.  Ken let air out of the tires while we were in the staging area – necessary to negotiate the deep sand terrain.

We headed to the White Wave before going to Peekaboo.  Ken said the light would be better at Peekaboo Canyon later in the day and we wanted to hike the White Wave before it got too hot.  The White Wave looks just like its name:  a wave of white rock with peak rock waves at one end.  We hiked up the wave, around the curve, and then headed back down a very sandy slope.  Tom says the angle on the slope was about 45 degrees, but it sure looked steeper than that to me.  Ken said to dig in with our heels and ride the sand down.  Once the sand started flowing, it was so deep that it flowed over and into my hiking boots!  No pictures of the slide down – I was too busy hanging on to anything not flowing.

The White Wave
Tracks in the sand
Boots full of sand
Wash into Peekaboo

Ken showed us a panel of petroglyphs, and then we headed to Peekaboo Canyon.  The mouth of the canyon begins at a wash and we drove right up the wash to the canyon.  Ken pointed out the debris left from the recent flash flooding.  Because of flash floods, he said, the canyon changes every time he goes.  We walked through an open area of the canyon, and then headed into the deepest part.

Peekaboo Canyon is a slightly rougher version of Antelope Canyon.  Not as deep, not as smooth, but with the same gorgeous glowing rocks.  The best part is that we were the only people in the canyon.  We took our time walking through.  Ken says visitors to Peekaboo average 300 pictures and we were very close to that.  Because the camera doesn’t capture the same thing the eye sees, I never know which picture will turn out great.  We admired the rocks and played in the shafts of light that came down from above.  Peekaboo is less than a mile long and comes to a rather abrupt end at a rockfall.  We passed several debris piles stuck above us and left by the last flash flood.

Entrance to Hidden Lake

After checking out the canyon, Ken also took us to Hidden Lake.  Because Ken is born and raised in Kanab, he knew all the local legends.  Hidden Lake is an entrance to a cave system.  No one knows how deep or long it is because legend has it that no one comes out alive!  When I told Ranger Benn we had been to Hidden Lake he told us that no Paiute would go in there because of the spirits trapped in the cave.  Looking at my pictures inside the cave, I couldn’t see the lake because of lots of objects in the air.  Things that I had not noticed when we were in the cave.  Spooky!

We enjoyed our day with Ken very much.  We learned some history and saw some really cool places.  Ken was a fount of knowledge about local history and Mormon culture.  We recommend this tour to anyone who is staying in the Kanab area.