The Candy Cliffs at Yant Flat

Categories: Utah

A place that has become very popular in the last few years are the Cany Cliffs at Yant Flat. Or the Taffy Cliffs, or just Yant Flat. The majority of the hike is across Yant Flat, a long gradual uphill slope of rocks and sand that breaks away at the top into a swirling sea of colorful sandstone. It’s a very scenic but small area in the foothills of the Pine Valley Mountains behind St. George and Leeds, Utah.

There are several ways to get there but the easiest on your car way is by taking Silver Reef Road out of the back of Leeds and turning onto FR 031, also called Danish Ranch Road. The small, unmarked parking area is another 8-9 miles down the road. Along the way you will pass Yankee Doodle Canyon. It’s a fun technical canyon with a deep slot canyon right next to the road. I could have sworn I wrote a blog post about it but I guess not. Don’t drive into it.

Near the end of the trail looking back at Pine Mountain.

There are three main areas that I know of so far. The NW area is on the other side of this deep gorge.

Some amazing polygon quiltwork leading into the Cottonwood Wilderness.

The cliffs are very steeply tilted in places. Be careful and don’t get vertigo and definitely do not trip or stumble!

From the parking area you’ll walk along an old jeep trail 1.5 miles to the cliffs. From the cliffs… go wherever you want! Most of the interesting areas will be to your left. A map of the area is available here.

The Candy Cliffs, as I mentioned, has become much more popular in just a couple of years. While it’s not crowded I have rarely been there alone. One time the parking was full when I arrived. It gets seriously hot and there is very little shade, if any, so bringing a lot of water is mandatory in the warm months. Also, if you wander far to the east (left) it’s advisable to return the way you came or along the rim rather than looking at your GPS and attempting a straight line short cut. It may look easy on the map but the route will be endless up and down across sand dunes and sudden rocky gorges.

The sandstone in the area is unusually textured and colored.

A swirly wave.

A wavy tunnel.

Scattered around the cliffs are alien like protrusions of harder rock. Be very careful not to let  your kids play on these and absolutely do not sit or stand on them or they will break. When they say “leave no trace” they are talking about not breaking these kinds of delicate formations.

There’s a fair bit of climbing between one area and the next.

The SE area is the easiest and safest area to explore. If the main area looks too steep you can get here by walking along the rim to the left for another 1/3 of a mile or less.

Another wave of rock.

Eventually the fantastic features break apart into more mundane cliffs.

Heading back along the last leg of the trail before the road.

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