USA 2018 (EN)

Day 3 – 16.09.2018 – Yant Flat and Zion Sunset

It’s day number 3 and the real road trip was about to begin. After a short and simple breakfast we left our hotel room and drove to St. George, Utah. Today’s destination was going to be the Zion National Park, including a detour to the Yant Flat, also known as Candy Cliffs.

Before we really started, we had to visit another Walmart, afterall, we didn’t have a tent yet… But just like on Saturday, we were still out of luck. They only had the big tents for up to 12 people, but those were way to big for us. From the previous year I knew, that there is a Walmart on the SR 9 near Zion. We visited that one on the late afternoon.

To get to Leeds (a few miles after St. George) we had to drive the Interstate 15 (I-15). The first part in Nevada is quite unintersting, but once you get into Arizona the landscape changes drastically: You’ll be driving through a Canyon following the Virgin River. For being a highway it’s a really beautiful road.

Leeds wasn’t new to me, I stayed in the local RV Park a year ago and I still recognized the Streets, even would have gotten to the RV Park without a navigation system. Thankfully, this year we had a tent site directly outside of Zion.

Yant Flat

The road to the Yant Flat is actually a dirt road for several miles. For our SUV this was – of course – not a problem, I’ve already driven worse dirt roads. After a short time of driving we had great views on the landscape near Leeds.

On the way to the Candy Cliffs. During dry weather this road can also be driven with a sedan.
A view of the amazing landscape of the St. George/Leeds area

After some time, you’ll get to the Trailhead, which is basically only marked by a small parking area. We had to look for the actual trailhead and started a couple of meters next to the real trail. Thanks to the cell phone and a hiking app we found the real trail, which is actually not hard to miss, if you’re looking in the right direction.

The trail itself is quite unintersting and an easy hike. After a couple of hundred meters the trail is becoming sandy, making the hike a bit more “diffcult”. Every once in a while you get some great views of the landscape.

A look back to the start. In the first parts of the trail the view back is way more interesting than the view forward.
You’ll find many cactuses along the trail.

After about 2 kilometers you’ll reach the cliff. The first thing we saw, were just some sandstones. Once you’re in, we saw why this area is also called “Candy Cliffs”. The colors of the sandstone do remind of some candy.

Walking or hiking on the stones is no problem and without doing that, you won’t be able to see the beautiful landscape. The Candy Cliffs are really an amazing area. We actually stayed for at least an hour and had a small snack on the cliffs.

The amazing panorama of the “Candy Cliffs”, the view was worth the drive!

The way back to the trailhead is the same one as the way to the cliff. This time we stopped several times to see the landscape. In the following gallery you’ll find several more photos.

Zion National Park

After leaving the Candy Cliffs we finally got to Zion National Park, but not without visiting the next Walmart, you might remember, we were still missing a tent. This time we were in luck and got a 4 people tent.

We wanted to see the sunset inside of Zion, there is one – for photographers – popular site: the view on the Watchman. So we parked our car right after the crossway of the scenic drive (which is only allowed to be driven by the park busses), I got my camera and tripod, and set it all up.

The camera is looking at the Watchman, …
…, and next to me were already several other people. During sunset you’re not alone.
The watchman during sunset with the Virgin River in front.
The Watchman in close-up.

During late fall this area is looking a bit different as the leaves are getting yellow and red.

After sunset we still had a couple of things to do: Going to the Zion Adventure Company to book a trip to the East Rim Trailhead, which was planned for the second day. But we were too late, all seats were already reserved for tuesday, but we had the chance to do the trip the next day.

Afterwards we still had to set up our tent (during darkness!), take a shower and find dinner. Normally getting dinner isn’t that hard, but it was a sunday evening and quite late. Most restaurants were already closed or were closing up in the next couple of minutes. In the end we ended up at a mexican restaurant (the only one still open, a recommendation by another restaurant) in Springdale and we didn’t regret it. The food was really good.

After dinner we directly went back to the campground and at least I fell directly asleep. Unfortunately we had to get up quite early (start at Zion Adventur was at 6:30!). But that’s going to be the story for the next post 😉

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