Candy Cliffs at Yant Flat
Candy Cliffs at Yant Flat
The Candy Cliffs at Yant Flat are an out-of-the-way, incredible geological feature with views that rival (and maybe even surpass!) Snow Canyon State Park. The cliffs sit at the base of Pine Valley Mountain, at the north end of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. Accessible on a well-groomed dirt road and a hike a little over a mile long, this is one activity you won't forget!
|Elevation Range:||100 ft|
|Low Elevation:||4600 ft|
|High Elevation:||4700 ft|
|Area:||Red Cliffs National Conservation Area|
The Candy Cliffs are almost a stones throw from I-15, and visible from most of the St. George area - but getting to them is not as simple as some of the other activities in the area. While there is no official named trail, the cliffs are accessed from Forest Service road 31, and then via an old Jeep ttrail that has since been closed to motorized use. The two dirt roads used to access the cliffs are the Oak Grove Road (Forest Service road 32) and the Danish Ranch road (Forest Service Road 32). Both roads are generally in good condition, and barring any recent rain, the trail head can be accessed by just about any vehicle.
Since this is not an official or named trail, the trailhead isn't completely straightforward to find. The easiest way is to watch the Forest Service road markers posted at each intersection, and watch for #903. Park in one of the appropriate spots (make sure not to park on any vegetation), and be ready to start hiking.
Since the trail was once used by vehicles, it is wide and makes for an easy hike. The hike stays in familiar Pinyon-Juniper woodland, with rabbit brush, sagebrush, yucca, and prickly pear cactus to add some variety. The bike goes starts out as standard dirt going over the occasional set of lava rocks, but gives way to sand as the trail works over and around small dunes. As the trail comes to its destination, it turns to sandstone slickrock. Don't keep your eyes on the trail too long - there are some great views of Zion to be seen.
After 1.2 miles, the trail starts to approach a noticable crest, and once over the cliffs become visible. In addition to the cliffs themselves you can see down over much of Washington County including Sand Hollow Reservoir. The trail ends at this point, but there hours of exploration still ahead.
There are a lot of different ways to go from here. Different views and features are in place wether you go to the east, to the west, or make your way directly forward and downward. There are several depressions that collect water, some petroglyphs, and amazing colors throughout the richly-textured cliffs. Take your time and check it all out!
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Going Northbound on I-15:
- Take exit 22, and turn left at the stop sign
- Travel north through Leeds for 1.7 miles
- Make a left on Silver Reef Road, quickly going under the freeway
Going Southbound on I-15:
- Take exit 23.
- Turn right at the stop sign, going West on Silver Reef Road
- Keep travelling west through Leeds
- At about 1.5 miles, the road will turn to gravel and cross the creek
- After about 1.5 more miles, the road will fork. Stay left towards St. George.
- Slightly more than than 7 miles from the junction, stop at Forest Service Rd 903 on your right
- The trail will be on the left, behind several boulders to stop vehicles entering this former road.