Toadstool Hoodoos are balanced rock formations that look like toadstool mushrooms.

The Toadstool Hoodoos are located in Southern Utah in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in an area known as The Rimrocks, just off Highway 89.

When it comes to seeing natural wonders, it is rare exception when you can park your car and walk a few feet to see the attraction. Toadstool Hoodoos is not an exception, there is a short (less than a mile) hike through hot duty terrain on a sandy trail but I think the reward is worth the effort.

The Hike

To reach the toadstools, the trail from the parking lot travels through a sandy wash towards the northern rim of a small canyon. In some areas the sandy trail disappears over a rocky area and the trail is a little confusing. There are cairns (small rock piles) to guide the way if you know to look for them. The distance is 0.8 miles long one way or 1.6 miles round trip. The total gain in elevation is only 100ft but the sandy soil can sap your strength.

What is a Toadstool Hoodoo?

A toadstool hoodoo is a spire-like feature with a boulder perched atop a pedestal rock, like a mushroom of “toadstool”. It forms when softer rock erodes away, leaving a column sheltered from wind and water. These toadstool hoodoos were created with Dakota Sandstone boulders perching on top of Entrada Sandstone pedestals. When the softer Entrada Sandstone erodes, the Dakota Sandstone forms a cap, like a mushroom. An example of a group of toadstool hoodoos is in the photo below.

There are three small groups of toadstool hoodoos and other single toadstool hoodoos scattered around so keep a look out for isolated hoodoos because some are a little hidden from plain site.

The first group of toadstool hoodoos you will see is the impressive giant red toadstool hoodoos that is about 0.6 miles from the parking lot. This toadstool hoodoo is often featured in advertising the Toadstool Hoodoos trail because it is probably the prettiest of them all.

The second group of toadstool hoodoos is to the right of the initial hoodoos. This group of toadstool hoodoos is also red colored but not as visually striking as the first hoodoos although the stem rock is pretty with the horizontal light colored streak passing through the red rock.

The third group of toadstool hoodoos is located near the end of the trail. These hoodoos are different from the others because the stems are white with brown cap rocks.

There are other toadstool hoodoos scattered around the area ranging in size from very large to very small. These hoodoos are a mixture of red stem hoodoos and white stem hoodoos with mostly brown cap rocks. Make sure to look up because there are some hoodoos at the top of the cliffs.

Sedimentary rock layers

Most people visiting the Toadstool Hoodoos are focused on only the hoodoos. They are unique formations and very interesting to look at but there is more to Toadstool Hoodoos Park than the hoodoos. I felt like the sedimentary rock layers were beautiful and I enjoyed looking at them almost as much as I did the hoodoos.

Sedimentary rocks are layered when particles of rocks and minerals settle out of water or air. Sedimentary rocks are identified by their minerals and texture. The colors seen in these rock layers are red, white and brown.

Other interesting rock formations

While the Toadstool Hoodoos are unusual looking rock formations and the sedimentary rock layers are beautiful, I think the entire area is also fun to explore. Some of the areas that I felt were worth sharing are shown in the photos below.

The Dust on My Shoes

Most people that visit the Toadstool Hoodoos are specifically there to see the hoodoos but there is much more to see than the hoodoo formations. Some of the hoodoo formations are very impressive but I also thought the sedimentary rock layers were beautiful and some of the other rock formations were interesting.

I am one of those people that tends to stays at sites longer than the average visitor. We spent about 3 hours wandering around the park which is 2 to 3 times longer than the other people that we saw while we were there. I felt like I wanted to get the total experience and not just take a few photos of the hoodoos and leave.

The Toadstool Hoodoos is not an unknown location but the fact that we only saw 4 to 6 other people at the park while we were there makes me believe that the Toadstool Hoodoos is not really on the tourist radar and could be considered off the beaten path.

Two big bonuses for visiting the Toadstool Hoodoos is that it is free and there are no crowds!

When visiting places for a specific feature (like the hoodoos), make sure to notice the other feature nearby. You may be missing out on other features that are just as enjoyable.

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