Scenic USA - Utah

Toadstool Hoodoos

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Toadstool Hoodoos - Utah

Photos by Ken Reece
Ken Reece Photography

     Described as a vast and austere land, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument stretches across south-central Utah covering nearly two million acres. This grand wilderness remains one of the last areas of unspoiled public land in America. Although a few backcountry roads penetrate the interior, by and large this remote region is still wild and begs to be explored.
     The western section (one of three stair steps) of this national monument centers on the Paria River and its tributaries. More Toadstool Rocks This seemingly endless desert dazzles its visitors with majestic canyonlands, buttes, mesas, slot canyons and an array of multi-colored sandstone layers. The Paria Rimrock hike, not requiring a long commitment, leads to one of those special Grand Escalante attractions. The Toadstool Hoodoos are found just west of Big Water on Route 89, near Cottonwood Canyon Road. A short hike from a roadside trailhead leads to a group of intriguing natural wonders. Once on the Toadstool Trail you’ll find a variety of sandstone cliffs, a wild mix of rock formations ranging from deep vermillion to almost pure white and a rock garden of hoodoos like no other. A hard caprock layer creates the unbrella on these toadstools, while a softer layer of eroded sandstone makes up the stem.
     Those left with a longing for more of this desert scenery will have to take on Hoodoo Central. The Wahweap Hoodoos trailhead is found north of Big Water, where a four mile trek through Waheap Wash leads to more of these incredible Entrada sandstone sculptures.

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