A few miles east of Kanab is an alcove containing petroglyphs (rock art) that is believed to date to the Anasazi period (0 AD to 1250 AD). The number of petroglyphs here is amazing and it is very cool to sit and ponder the meaning of each piece of art. We have also wondered if the Anasazi people lived in this alcove, was it just a gathering site, a place for kids to play, or someone’s home?
There are two ways to get to the Mansard site. (It is also sometimes called “Island in the Sky”.) You can hike 4 miles round trip or get there on your ATVs. We enjoy riding, and so that is how we have always visited.
To hike – Drive 6.5 miles east of Kanab. Just past milepost 59, turn left on Vista Drive Road. Turn right on Grande Vermillion Avenue. Turn left on Coyote Canyon. Turn left again on Rocky Ledge Lane. Go through the gate onto road #105J. Stay right at the “Y” in the road and you will see parking at the trailhead. The hike is steep and requires some rock scrambling and some areas of deep sand. But it is not overly difficult and the views at the end are worth it.
To ride – Drive 9.5 miles east of Kanab. Just past milepost 55, turn left on Johnson Canyon Road. Travel 7.5 miles to the Crocodile / Hog Canyon Trailhead on your left to a large staging area. The trail starts on road #100 for approximately 4 miles, then turn left onto road #104 and follow it to the Mansard trail sign. On the last couple of miles of this ride, the road becomes challenging, with some deep sand and rock crawling.
Be prepared with water, food and sunscreen. Although you can see Kanab from the alcove and it doesn’t look that far, you will be riding or hiking through wilderness area and the desert gets extremely hot.