Yant Flat Hike to Candy Cliffs

Hurricane, UT

After doing a bit of research on hikes in the St. George area, the nimble hiker discovered a great spot in the foothills just a few miles to our west.  Yant Flat (also referred to as the Candy Cliffs) is a large expanse of reddish-orange sandstone protruding from the mountains of Red Cliffs National Conservation Area to the north of St. George.  The sandstone formations are remnants of ancient petrified dunes which over time have been pushed up and exposed. The forces of nature have slowly carved them into all sorts of fascinating shapes and patterns.

To get to Yant Flat we drove through the tiny town of Leeds (exit 22 on I-15) to the north end of Main Street.  We turned left (west) onto Silver Reef Road and followed it for 1.2 miles to where it turns into a dirt road (Oak Grove Road).  We continued up that road for another two miles to where the road forks.  We turned left toward St. George on Forest Road 31 and drove about seven miles to a small parking area on the south side of the road (across from the junction with FR 903).

Oak Grove Road

Forest Road 31

The trailhead

The trail begins with a mile long hike across Yant Flat on a sandy path through an area of low vegetation.

At the end of the mile trek the world opens up into a wide area of colorful sandstone formations known as Candy Cliffs.

Things begin to open up ahead of us

Now this is Utah!

A trail follows the rim of the sandstone with great views of the Candy Cliffs to the south.  But we couldn’t resist going down into the rocks for a better look.  It’s a bit steep but sandstone provides great traction.

Heading down

We could use a handrail!

A bit of “butt sliding” was necessary in some spots

At the base of the slickrock we were surrounded by colorful rocks crisscrossed with interesting erosion patterns.

We looked up to the top of a rock formation in front of us and spotted a lone hiker enjoying the view.  It looked like a perfect spot to enjoy lunch.

As we climbed, we stopped often to enjoy the interesting formations along the way.

Approaching our lunch perch

Made it to the top!

Time for a snack

Lunch with a view

Cool little arch

After lunch we climbed back down into the little valley while continuing to marvel at the beauty all around us.

We then began the steep climb back up to the canyon rim.

OK, it’s a bit steep

The nimble hiker climbs up . . .

. . . and up . . .

. . . to the very top. Time for a bit of reflection!

While hiking back through the flat, we noticed a couple of interesting cactus varieties we have not seen before.

Long needle prickly pear

Some sort of cholla

Heading home on FR 31

This hike has something for any level of hiker.   The dirt roads leading to the trailhead are easily driven in any vehicle.  The one mile hike over Yant Flat is sandy but not that difficult.  If you’re not into a strenuous hike, the view from the rim of Candy Cliffs is well worth the hike across the flat.  Up for a bit more challenge?  Then make your way down into the cliffs and do some further exploration.  Either way, you’ll love the experience.

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25 Responses to Yant Flat Hike to Candy Cliffs

  1. Sherry says:

    Glad you put so many pictures. This is a really gorgeous hike. Possibly the best boot view picture ever. Looks like you had this fantastic place pretty much to yourselves. Color me green. Thanks for the info on getting there, length and conditions. Putting this in my wish folder.

  2. Laurel says:

    What a beautiful and fun hike! I love hiking on sandstone, and the landscape is just spectacular, with the interesting rock formations and gorgeous colors. Cool photos of each of you in the vast expanse of sandstone. And the views are outstanding. Thanks for sharing this one — I’m planning our fall trip to Utah right now! :-))

  3. Sandy says:

    Always looking for good hikes. Where do you get your info?

    • placestheygo says:

      Sandy, I just Google hikes in the area we will be staying. I also have a Pinterest account that I pin any hikes that I see on other blogs I follow. Alltrails is another great resource.

  4. Steve & Dianne Colibaba says:

    Such stunning scenery! The landscape and colours absolutely amazing! Utah is our favourite!

  5. Jim and Barb says:

    Was that hike really only an hour? What a beautiful spot with great formations and colors!

  6. Those were some beautiful views!! We love Utah and we’ve at times even considered property in St. George as it’s so close to our Montana home.

  7. Mary says:

    That looks great. I had a friend that lived in Silver Reef, so I’ve driven down the road, and we’ve camped in the area. I had no idea there was a hike like that there though.

  8. That one goes on our list for the next time we’re in the area. We’ve camped and hiked from the Red Cliffs campground but hadn’t heard of Candy Cliffs. Looks like a great area to just wander and explore.

  9. Sue says:

    Wow, your description of that area didn’t do it justice…..the pictures are wonderful. It’s on my list for next time for sure. We’ve noticed more cactus with really long thorns around this area also, they almost look like they have hair.

  10. Dick and Melinda says:

    What a perfect hike. Thanks for showing us this hike It is definitely on our list of Utah hikes now. Beautiful pictures.

  11. Incredible! I remember tooling around out Oak Grove Rd a few years ago but had no idea that something so spectacular was just a little beyond there! What a find!

  12. Alicia Baker says:

    Now THIS looks familiar 😉 Next time you go I’ll tell you about the much cool, “secret” area with more cliffs/colors.
    Alicia @ GirlonaHike.com

  13. Shannon Cheesman says:

    If you ever make it to Oregon, head to the Painted Hills (if you haven’t been). They’re absolutely gorgeous. Here’s some info – https://traveloregon.com/things-to-do/destinations/parks-forests-wildlife-areas/painted-hills/.

  14. pmbweaver says:

    This is one of the most beautiful hikes I have seen you two do. I just love all the colors, and the formations are ones we have never seen…outstanding. The “butt sliding” photo is terrific! Hiking through that sand makes my legs ache though. What an amazing day y’all had. Awesome!

  15. Box Canyon Blogger Mark says:

    I like your Zion-like hike!

  16. Jodee Gravel says:

    Wow!! That’s definitely Utah. The cliffs are stunning, and for once the camera really captured the steepness of the rock.

    You stop for reflection where I stop to gulp vast quantities of oxygen, and probably sit down (or wait for the helicopter).

  17. Erin says:

    Beautiful … nothing quite like the vistas of Utah. Not sure we’ll get to any of the Utah parks this year, but at least we’ll get to see some of our old haunts around SLC.

  18. Gay says:

    What a great, beautiful and fun hike ! Awesome photos…love the colors and erosion mark said.

  19. geogypsy2u says:

    Oh yea, that’s Utah! Similar to the hike to the Wave. Goes on my list also. Awesome photos.

  20. LuAnn says:

    Yep, I’m thinking we need to get a Jeep. When I see the areas you get back into and all the beauty that surrounds you, I want a 4-wheel drive vehicle. That landscape is surreal.

  21. howard says:

    How are the roads to the trailhead?

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