The Great Chamber at Cutler Point is one of the best things to do in Kanab, Utah. A short hike leads to the beautiful Culter Point cave carved by the wind.
Kanab is known for being a great base to explore nearby Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Don’t miss out on the off-the-beaten-path things to do in Kanab though.
Kanab has many amazing spots to explore that are not part of the national parks. The Great Chamber takes you a little ways out but is worth the drive. Plus, you are likely to have it all to yourself!
Here is everything you need to know about how to get to the Great Chamber near Kanab, Utah, and what to expect on your journey.
Need fuel for your journey? Here are the best places to eat in Kanab, Utah.
For another epic cave to explore, check out Skylight Cave in Oregon.
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Table of Contents
How to Get to the Great Chamber at Cutler Point
The Great Chamber at Cutler Point is part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It is just one of the many amazing things to do in Grand Staircase Escalante.
There are two ways you can get to the Great Chamber at Culter Point, and your vehicle will determine your options.
You can drive out to the Great Chamber on your own. It is about an hour drive from Kanab with much of it on a soft sand road.
There are also several tour options if you do not have the right vehicle or the experience driving in the deep sand. These allow you to see some of the best spots without the risk of driving yourself.
Hiking out to Great Chamber is not a great option. It is a 17.6-mile round trip hike from the main parking area before the soft sand starts. There is no cover along the way, so you are in the direct sunlight the whole time.
Great Chamber Location & GPS Coordinates
The Great Chamber is located about 32 miles outside of Kanab, Utah. If you are looking for the Great Chamber Utah GPS coordinates, Google Maps tends to take you to the wrong spot.
Instead, take 89 to Johnson Canyon Road and make a left. From here you will drive down to a large parking lot and camping area on the left. The exact coordinates are (37.1433163, -112.3937433).
There will be a Bureau of Land Management sign that says Crocodile Staging Area with Hog Canyon OHV Trail System under it. From here you can use the All Trails map or the directions below.
This is the only bathroom you will pass on the trail, so make sure you take advantage of it if you need it.
Continue through the gate and onto the sand road. You will stay straight on this road until it merges at (37.144597, -112.435820). Here you will follow it to the left (remember to make the right turn here on your way back).
From this point, you will go through a section with a lot of paths meeting and converging. Continue on the straightest path until you reach (37.130710, -112.454627).
This is your last turn. From here you will continue straight until you get to the end of the road. There will be two gates you have to open and close on your way. Please make sure to close them after you pass through each one.
There is a circular area to turn around, but you will want to park in this area. From here, you will continue on foot the rest of the way.
The beginning of the trail is difficult to find. We looked around a while before we figured out where to enter. There are footprints everywhere in the soft sand, so that did not make things easier.
Eventually we figured out we needed to climb over the barbed wire fence to get to the start of the trail. If you are facing Cutler Point (the cliff in front of you), it will be to the right.
Once you get on the trail, it is easy to follow from there. It was a 0.3-mile hike (about half a kilometer) with about 200 feet of climbing. The climbing would not have been so bad if it was not all in soft sand.
When you can see the cave, you have a few options to get to it. Stay to the right for an easier path. Then enjoy climbing the sand dune and taking in the view because you made it!
This map includes all of the coordinates here so you have them all in one place.
What Type of Vehicle do You Need to Visit the Great Chamber Near Kanab?
If you plan to drive out to the Great Chamber Kanab location, you need a 4-wheel drive vehicle. The vehicle needs to have high clearance with how deep the soft sand gets. It is an adventure to get there but well-worth the long drive in soft sand.
Even if you have a high clearance 4×4, it is important to have experience driving in deep, soft sand. It is easy to get stuck on this road, and service in the area is limited. We only passed one other vehicle and saw one other group at the cave the whole time.
Our vehicle is a Jeep Wrangler with off-road tires and a small lift. My husband drove us the whole way since he has experience with driving in the soft sand and a lot more training when it comes to driving.
We aired down the tires a little bit once we got off of Johnson Canyon Road. He installed an air compressor on the Jeep, so we just aired them back up once we got back to the same spot.
Be aware of the weather and road conditions before you attempt this road. Too much rain easily makes these roads impassable.
Great Chamber Kanab Tour Options
If you do not have a vehicle that can handle the road or are unsure of your abilities with driving in soft sand, don’t worry. You do not have to miss out on one of the best Kanab hiking trails.
There are a few tour operators who will get you to the Great Chamber at Cutler Point. The one we considered was Dreamland Safari Tours. Thankfully our Jeep was able to handle all of the roads we took.
Dreamland offers a 3-hour tour to the Great Chamber from Kanab with a tour guide to show you the way. The cost is $99 per person ($49.50 for kids 14 or under), and the tour departs at 7 a.m. or 4 p.m. (2 p.m. in the winter). You can upgrade to a private tour if needed.
Another option if they are booked up is Coral Cliffs Tours & Townhomes (Peekaboo Slot Canyon Tours). Their tour runs 2 – 3 hours with departures at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Pricing is based on the number of people in your group, so you can find out more and book the tour here.
Great Chamber Photography Tips (Camera + Drone)
I learned a hard lesson on this hike. I forgot my wide-angle lens. As soon as we got into the cave, I realized that I needed it.
My wonderful husband volunteered to go back to the Jeep to see if it was in there. He came back with bad news – it was in the hotel room back in Kanab.
I had my 24-70mm lens with me, but the 24mm was not quite wide enough to get the entire cave. I use a full-frame camera (Canon 5D Mark IV), so it would have been even worse with a crop sensor.
My other lens is a 17-40mm and would have been fine for it with the full-frame body. Unfortunately it did not make the trip. We are going back in a month though, so I will make sure to take it this time!
Thankfully my iPhone 12 Pro Max has the wide-angle lens. I was able to use it to get some photos of the entire cave at once for the full effect.
Learn from my mistakes. Make sure to take a wide-angle lens with you to the Great Chamber.
We found that visiting in the late morning or early afternoon time frame in May allowed us to catch the sun flare with the shadow of the cave opening sweeping across the cave floor.
To capture the sun burst, start out by setting your aperture to f1/16. I keep my ISO on 100 or as low as possible. Then adjust your shutter speed to get to the right lighting for your shot.
Use the edge of the cave to get the sun to where it is partway behind the cave wall and partway in front of it. You may need to move slightly back and forth in that same area to get the desired effect. More of the sun showing tends to make a bigger flare than less of the sun showing.
I also found that crouching down along the back wall of the cave allowed me to get the best wide shot of the cave with the lens I had.
You can walk all around in the cave, so play around with different angles and views. You can use the sand dune to block out the view beyond the cave opening or get photos showing both the sand dune and the view.
I also loved all of the details on the walls. The designs were amazing, and I found myself taking lots of photos of the patterns I loved.
If you are into Milky Way photography, the Great Chamber is also a popular spot for Milky Way photos. The best time to see the Milky Way from inside the cave is between May and July, but make sure you take lights for the hike in the dark.
We also brought our drone with us. We finished preparing it to fly when a family showed up. They had two young boys who immediately wanted to see it fly.
If there are others around, make sure you either check with them first or do not fly until after they leave. We were planning to wait until the family left, but the boys were so excited about watching the drone and seeing the video that we went ahead and did a quick flight while they were there.
We ended up flying it out from the cave to get photos looking back at the cave. Flying it inside the cave is difficult as the wind whipped it around more. Be prepared as you land it for it to get blown around a lot when it is windy in the cave.
We did not want to land it in the soft sand of the dune, so we ended up either catching it or landing it on the rocky areas.
What to Expect on the Great Chamber Utah Hike
The hike itself is not all that difficult. However, climbing 200 feet in the soft sand made it more difficult than a 1/3 of a mile would normally feel. Coming back down was easy, but you felt like you were taking two steps forward and one step back on the way up.
There are no bathrooms or facilities in the area. Please make sure to practice Leave No Trace. Anything you take with you needs to leave with you as well.
This area is remote. Service for T-Mobile and Verizon were both spotty in the area. Be safe and know your limits when it comes to both the drive and the hike.
I was really surprised by the size of the cave. I saw pictures before we went, but neither of us expected it to so large.
When you first see it from the outside, it does not look all that impressive. Once you are inside though, it is all worth it.
What to Take on the Great Chamber Hike
There is no cover on the hike to the Great Chamber near Kanab, Utah. It is all exposed to the elements. Take plenty of water even though it is a shorter hike. We had lots of extra water and snacks in our Jeep for the full day of exploring Kanab.
Because the trail is so exposed, make sure to wear sun protection. Much of the cave was also in the sunlight in the late morning and early afternoon, so we were glad we had on sunscreen and had our sunglasses.
Inside the cave, you can find shady areas depending on the sun’s path, but you will still be thankful for your sunglasses.
The wind whips around the cave and blows the sand everywhere. While it looks beautiful at times, it also hurts. We wore our sunglasses a lot of the time in the cave just to protect our eyes from the sand.
We wore our hiking shoes for the Great Chamber hike, but sandals made for hiking would have been a good option the day we went. The sand was not too hot, but it did fill up our shoes pretty quickly.
If you are going in the heat of the summer, you may want hiking shoes in case the sand is hot. Being from Florida, we know that walking on hot sand in sandals is no fun.
When to Visit the Cutler Point Cave
We visited the cave around 10:30 a.m. in May, and we found the time to be perfect. We had the cave to ourselves other than a local family bringing visiting friends for a few minutes.
If you are visiting in the summer, you will probably want to go earlier in the day or later in the day. It gets so hot in the middle of the day that you won’t want to be hiking in Kanab in the middle of the day.
Visiting earlier in the morning gives you a chance to get photos with the sun burst effect. I loved the lighting in the morning which was not as harsh as it was by the time we left an hour or two later.
In the winter months especially, pay attention to sunset times so you have time to get there, do the hike, take your photos, and get back out of the deep sand before sunset depending on your comfort level with driving the roads in the dark. While we did some deep sand roads in the dark, it made it a little harder.
If you want to do some night photography at the Great Chamber, plan to visit between May and July for your best chance of seeing the Milky Way in the right spot to capture it from inside the cave.
Where to Stay in Kanab, Utah
We love Kanab. There are so many things to do in Kanab, Utah, that we made it our base for a good portion of our trip. There are also plenty of delicious options for places to eat in Kanab.
We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Kanab and found it to be perfect. The room was large and comfortable. The wifi was fast enough for me to get my work done. Best of all, it was perfectly located to get to restaurants and local attractions and hikes.
Planning Your Great Chamber – Grand Staircase-Escalante Hike
The Great Chamber near Kanab, Utah, is an easy addition to any Kanab trip. If you plan to do a Utah National Parks road trip, plan in a few days in Kanab to explore the area. We thought we would be there for a day or two and stayed for over a week.
For more nearby stops to add to your Utah road trip itinerary, don’t miss:
- White Pocket Arizona is just over the state line, but Kanab is one of the routes to access this Wave alternative
- The best restaurants in Kanab Utah to fuel your hikes
- The Bentonite Hills near Capitol Reef for a unique Mars landscape on our planet
- The Moab Potash Ponds which are the unique bright blue pools outside of Moab
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