It’s a name that just rolls off your tongue, Kanarraville. Millions of people pass it every year, comment about the name, and keep on driving. It is located close to Zion National Park, just off of I-15. Kannarraville has two claims to fame. The first and not well known is that it is home to the only all women’s volunteer fire department. At least it was a few years ago. The second, is well known and it is the major reason you will find people exiting I-15 here, Kanarraville Falls!
My first trek to Kanarraville Falls was almost 10 years ago. I found out about it from a local who lived 10 miles north of Kanarraville in Cedar City. Kanarraville Creek begins its descent into the valley from inside Zion National Park. The most impressive parts are the waterfalls which lie just outside of the park boundary. It has become one of the most photographed spots in the southwest.
Ten years ago, there was hardly anyone there. We had the creek and waterfalls all to ourselves. Today, it’s impossible to visit without seeing several other groups. On any given day, the population of the Kanarraville is doubled by people visiting the waterfalls. During the year an estimated 40k people visit the falls, and most of them come in the summer months. All this traffic has led to lots of litter and maintenance. The greatest concern is the human waste which flows into the creek.
The creek is the towns’ water supply. So please practice (leave no trace.) The city has shouldered this responsibility on its own but it’s a financial responsibility they can no longer endure. The city has instituted a permit system for those who want to visit it.
Starting May 1st, 2018 permits will be required. They have several options to purchase them. The first option is online at http://kanarrafalls.com/. You can also purchase them at the trailhead, but cash transactions will not be allowed. For non-profit groups you can purchase group passes for $25. All group passes must be purchased online and proof of non-profit status must be provided.
The permit allows you to park at one of two locations, “The Sweet Spot”, which is closer to the falls, or the town hall parking lot. Remember to only take pictures and only leave footprints. Take a garbage bag with you and pack out any garbage you may see.