I'll tell you right up front, DO NOT go the way I went to Yant Flat. There are several websites with good directions, Google-it.
I've been trying to up my running mileage, so I decided to park at the Cottonwood trailhead in the Red Cliffs Reserve near I-15 and run/climb up to Yant Flat from there. The run up Cottonwood Canyon was great, but the thousand-foot scramble to the top edge of Yant Flat was super sketchy. It's pretty much vertical except for a few narrow creases of broken rock, many of which are not climbable. After considerable trial and error I finally found a safe route to the top. It took so long to get up there, I had little time for photography. I'll definitely be back.
|Sunrise at the western edge of Yant Flat. Best to approach the flat from the west.|
|There's a lot of interesting geology going on at Yant Flat. First, the texture of the Navajo sandstone in some places is reminiscent of Checkerboard Mesa in Zion. The cross-hatch pattern is a result of horizontal cross beds being cut at roughly right angles by closely-spaced vertical joints. In other places, the surface of the Navajo sandstone forms polygonal cracks resulting in a "cauliflower" look--similar rocks can be found at White Pocket and Snow Canyon.|
|Coloration bands are not completely uncommon in the Navajo. For example, the Zebra Slot and the Coyote Buttes/White Pocket area exhibit stripes, but they are pretty simple and typically follow bedding. I've never seen such widespread Liesegang bands at this scale. Scientist still don't completely understand exactly how Liesangang bands form. I see Yant Flat as yet another mystery that will see much more study in the future.|
|Liesegang bands cutting across both vertical joints (cracks running up and down in photo) and bedding planes (cracks running right-left across photo).|
|Climbing giant piles of elephant skin at Yant Flat.|
|View from edge of Yant Flat into the Cottonwood Canyon area of the Red Cliffs Desert Reserve.|
|Another great example of the color bands completely ignoring both bedding and joints.|
|These were probably the the most impressive bands I found. Incredible.|
|Irregularly shaped iron concretions at Yant Flat.|
|View from near the Cottonwood trailhead looking west toward Yant Flat and the Pine Valley Mountains.|