Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Best Friends was established in 1984 when the founders, in a mission to save as many unwanted animals as possible, bought a canyon north of Kanab, Utah and started building facilities for the animals. The sanctuary cares for about 1,700 animals daily, finds new families for many of them and provides a lifetime home for the ones that can not be adopted for various reasons. Dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits, pigs and an assortment of other animals all live at the sanctuary. It’s an amazing place where the animals receive excellent care.
Free guided tours are given four times a day. We went on a general tour which is a two long bus tour through the gorgeous scenery of the canyon with two stops at animal facilities. Other tours center on individual areas of the sanctuary Advance registration is recommended. Because of the large amount of visitors there is not a lot of interaction with the animals but arrangements can be made for people who want to volunteer or adopt an animal.
The sanctuary is not completely accessible. Two short, accessible parking spots are located at the visitor center. We were given a private tour in a shuttle bus with a wheelchair lift. We visited the center for newly arrived dogs which is not a regular stop and we did not visit the cats.
A RV parking lot is next to the car parking lot. The easiest way to get to the ramp to the visitor center is to exit the lot and wheel up the paved road. There’s also a drop off loop at the visitor center but it may be too tight of a turn for RVs.
We ate lunch at the sanctuary cafe which serves an all-you- can-eat buffet featuring a main dish, salads and desserts. Everything is vegetarian or vegan and very good. There are no directional signs to the cafe and the website does not have much information but it is opened to staff and visitors. The entrance has a step up and there isn’t a ramp. Vehicles are limited to 30’ due to short parking spots.
We boondocked a few miles north of the sanctuary on BLM land. Dirt roads along Hancock Road provide great boondocking spots but the ground is sandy and it’s very easy to get stuck. If you’re unsure park and walk in first. The road we chose is solid as long as you stay on the main path and don’t go in very far.
An added bonus of our visit was the chance to meet a long time internet friend and CRVL member who is lucky enough to work at the sanctuary. Thanks Steve, it was a pleasure to spend time with you!
Sanctuary 37.12513, -112.54352 Boondocking 37.1431, -112.58482