Toadstool

Rating: 
Round Trip Distance: 1.6 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation: 4430- 4531 feet
Cellphone: 0-3 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Highway 89 MM ~19
Fee: none
Attractions: Very scenic geology




The Toadstool trail is located in the Paria Rimrocks area of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument off of Highway 89 in south central Utah. The trail leads up a wash to a hoodoo garden surrounded by beautiful pink and white cliffs. The trail gains about 100 feet of elevation between the trailhead and the toadstools. Most of the elevation gain comes as the trail climbs out of the wash and steps its way up to the bench where the various rock formations sit.


The trailhead is on the north side of Highway 89 just past mile marker 19 if you are coming from Page or Big Water and just before it if you are coming from the direction of Kanab.


From the parking area the trail passes through a fence and then cuts across the sparsely vegetated flats within a little broad mouthed valley before dropping into the sandy wash.


As the wash meanders its way northward the valley becomes narrower and the wash gets a little deeper.


During the spring and early summer months various wildflowers like these sego lillies form colorful bouquets along the trail.


In several places there are forks in the trail where hikers have an option of which one to follow. This particular fork leaves the wash to get around a spillover and then reenters it as it continues toward the hoodoos.


The final climb comes as the trail approaches the almost snow white cliffs where it leaves the wash behind until the return trip to the trailhead.


The toadstools are spires of entrada sandstone that are capped by a harder type of rock from the dakota formation that slows the erosion of what sits under it.


The white cliffs belong to the dakota formation. In the picture a toadstool can be seen that is white with a capstone sitting on it.


The colorful contrast between the two formations of rock makes for a most beautiful setting. Once hikers reach the entrada bench and have walked among the hoodoos they can either return to the trailhead by the same route or explore one of the various side trails first.


This photo is just a look down the wash from the hoodoo garden. The red and greyish-white colors of the hills below the toadstools are composed of different siltstone members of the dakota formation.


The toadstools are fragile and care should be taken to protect them. They help to make a wonderland out of an area that is already naturally pretty. It can get pretty hot here during the summer months so bring plenty of water even though the hike is short. It is sometimes more difficult to see the beauty around you when you are suffering from exposure to the elements. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.