Explore Utah's Yant Flat Candy Cliffs & Yellow Top
In a state with an endless supply of natural beauty and an abundance of geological oddities, Utah's Yant Flat somehow, some way falls under the radar. Situated between St George and Leeds, and about a mile from Yankee Doodle Canyon, Yant Flat is as visually stunning as any place you'll find in Utah. To the north, views of the Pine Valley Mountains and Signal Peak, the range's highest. To the east, the Grand Staircase's White Cliffs and Zion National Park's towering red rock. And to the south, Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness. All well and good, but the main attractions in Yant Flat are Candy Cliffs and Yellow Top, two of southern Utah's most eye-catching geological features. Those looking for a trail loaded with solitude and incredible views look no further. It's also one hell of a sunset hike.
Trailhead elevation 4,573'
Water Scarce puddles after heavy rain
Don't miss The views of Zion National Park to the east, Signal Peak to the north
Hiking to Candy Cliffs & Yellow Top
The first 1.7 or so miles of trail is composed of sand and slickrock, and surrounded by pinyon-juniper pines, yucca, prickly pear, and cholla cacti. The Pine Ridge Mountains tower over from behind and views of Zion can be seen to the left throughout the first mile and a half. It's really gorgeous. The official trail ends at a large open slickrock area about 1.7 miles into the hike and it's noticeable. From here, you'll descend over slickrock about a quarter mile before your first view of the Candy Cliffs. Take some time and explore the area, but use a bit of caution as there are some fairly sizable drops in the area. Nothing overly intimidating, but worth noting.
Named for their swirling candy-like appearance, these pink and white sandstone formations were created around 190 million years ago during the Jurassic period when dinosaurs roamed the region.
Further along the trail, after a steep descent and a bit of maneuvering through a ravine and wash, you'll encounter Yellow Top. Perched along rugged cliffs near the southern reaches of Yant Flat, Yellow Top is one of the most striking rock formations you'll ever lay your eyes on. Its two domes, blanketed in pink, red, white, and yellow, feel like something only science fiction novelist Philip K Dick could have conjured up. It can best be reached by scrambling up the small cliffs nearest the formation, not those immediately after exiting the wash. After exploring a bit simply head back the way you came in.
A few things worth mentioning. The road leading to the trailhead is rough and crosses several small washes, but is manageable for any standard SUV. Low clearance vehicles should not attempt. The trailhead is unsigned, but using Yant Flat Trailhead as your destination in Google Maps will get you there. AllTrails lists this hike as Yant Flats to Candy Cliffs and Yellow Top, and is closer to six miles round trip. You may find some refer to this as Anna's View Point Trail as well. There is very little to no cell phone coverage in the area so downloading offline Google Maps and the trail map on AllTrails is highly recommended. There is also very little shade once you begin the slickrock descent to Candy Cliffs, so plan accordingly. Lastly, avoid both the road and hike if rain is in the forecast.
If you're planning a southern Utah adventure make sure to check out our Ten Days in Southern Utah: The Mighty Five & Beyond adventure guide. Enjoy and make a ton of memories!