Red Cliffs National Conservation Area – Babylon Arch

This is one of our favorite hikes in the area. Not only was the drive on the dirt road to the Sand Cove primitive camping area where the trail begins beautiful but the hike was fantastic. We actually did the hike 3 times, almost. We just could not find the arch. We hiked down the mountain almost to the Virgin River looking for the arch and couldn’t find it so we went back up and then took another trail down and then repeated that again. The trail was unmarked in many areas or marked too much in other areas. Too many options and too many trails. Oh well. We enjoyed ourselves immensely and now have a good reason to return to this trail so we can find the uniquely shaped Babylon Arch.

 

Confluence Park – La Verkin, Utah

La Verkin Utah Confluence Park

Confluence Park in La Verkin, Utah

Confluence Park is in La Verkin which is just north of Hurricane and where the Virgin River and La Verkin Creek join up.  The park has two different areas for parking, one on the north of the Virgin River and another one to the south of the Virgin River. We parked on the south side of the Virgin River and hiked both the Tortoise Trail and the Virgin River Trail, at least the part of the trail on the south side of the river. The Virgin River trail is quite long and requires crossing (by wading or swimming depending on the time of year) the river about 8 times depending on how far you hike. Since the water was flowing fast and it was cold we decided not to SWIM across and just hiked until the trail ended into the water.

 

The Tortoise Trail takes you past a tortoise care facility fully equipped with razor wire to ensure you don’t disrupt the tortoises. I guess this is serious business and some people must have been interfering with the tortoises. Weird but I guess people do these things.

 

Yant Flat – Dixie National Forest

 

Wow! We had read about the Dixie National Forest Yant Flat (AKA Candy Cliffs) as it is rated by some as the number 1 hike in the St. George area and many say it is the most beautiful area in all of Utah. The hike did not disappoint.  After a long 10 mile drive on a mostly dirt road with some steep drop offs and no guard rails and where you pass a small tree lined road and go through a few streams, you arrive at a small unmarked parking area which has room for 4 or 5 cars. The trail head is at the intersection of Forest Road 031 and 903.  The trail is also known as Anna’s Viewpoint Trail.

 

You start the easy hike by heading south on an old road (Anna’s Viewpoint Trail) for about 1.2 miles when you arrive at the rocky plateau called Yant Flat. Then you need to figure out how to get down to the rocks so you can explore the area for a few hours. There is both an east and a west section to the plateau and we read that the east is more extensive so that’s where we headed. If you continue east on a somewhat marked trail you will eventually get to a steep incline which will take you down to the rocky plateau so you can play the day away.

 

We were there by ourselves and had a great time!!  We highly recommend this area to explore.

 

Red Cliffs Desert Reserve – Yellow Knolls Trail

A lovely knoll trail which descends down into a valley and then back up via sand, slickrock and lava rocks with beautiful sandstone formations along the way. You can either make a loop out of it by continuing on to High Point Trail west and back around (which is what we did) or just return the way you came. A great hike with great views.