Candy Cliffs are a unique and spectacular series of rock formations near St. George, Utah. They are situated just within the boundaries of Red Cliffs Desert Reserve, in the Cottonwood Canyon Wilderness.
The hike starts at a small parking area off the unpaved Danish Ranch Road (FR 031). It then follows Anna’s View Point Trail across Yant Flat and down to Candy Cliffs.
Sunset at this destination is an incredible sight to witness. The stark rock landscape lights up and becomes colorful as it shows off brilliant hues of red, orange, white, and gray. Into the bargain, are unusual geometric patterns that include swirls and checkerboards.
- Distance: 3 miles out and back
- Hike Time: 1-2 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 250 feet
- Fee: Free
- Dogs: Yes
- Difficulty: Easy
There is a superabundance of strange and interesting geological phenomena close to St. George, Utah. To name a few, there is the Lava Flow in Snow Canyon, Checkerboard Mesa in Zion, The Wave in Coyote Buttes, White Pocket in Vermillion Cliffs, and Antelope Canyon at Lake Powell.
A lesser known gem is Candy Cliffs. Locals often refer to it as Yant Flat, but on a map, Yant Flat is just the sandy plateau you hike across to get to the main attraction. If you find a desert rat and show them photos of this place, they will guess that you went to Coyote Buttes or somewhere similar.
Unlike the aforementioned attractions, Candy Cliffs is still relatively unknown. You probably won’t have the place to yourself, but you won’t be elbow-to-elbow with other tourists.
If you go, make sure to be respectful of other people’s space. This is a special enough place that some may find it spiritual. When speaking, try to keep it at a whisper. It is astonishing how far voices carry when they reverberate off the rocks here.
Most will find the hike to Candy Cliffs to be undemanding, but when the road is wet it can be muddy, slippery and requires 4WD. Otherwise, it is well-maintained and passable with 2WD.
The fastest route to Candy Cliffs from St. George is to follow I-15 northbound and take exit 22 in Leeds. Head north on Main Street for 1.5 miles, then take a left onto Silver Reef Road. Continue straight for about a mile, then take a right onto Danish Ranch Road (FR 031). Continue on this road for 8.5 miles.
- Water: Carry 2-3 liters of water. There is limited shade on the trail and zero at Candy Cliffs.
- Best Time to Travel: April through October. Danish Ranch Road (FR 031) becomes impassable when there is snow.
- Safety: Watch for rattlesnakes.