Visiting the Toadstool Hoodoos in southern Utah is a surreal experience. Many places in Utah are described as “otherworldly,” but these odd rock formations truly deserve that title! Thin needles of sandstone in every shape, size and color are topped with a layer of dark rock, perfectly balanced to withstand the test of time. As you wander through the Toadstool Hoodoos, you will find it hard to believe these wild rock formations could possibly be naturally made! In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the hike to the Toadstool Hoodoos for an awesome southern Utah adventure.
- About the Toadstool Hoodoos
- Hike Overview | Toadstool Hoodoos
- Hike Details | Toadstool Hoodoos
- Other hikes nearby
Hi there! We’re Sarah and Matt, two nomads road tripping across the United States with our cat, Fitzgerald, making a new place our home month to month while working full time and adventuring as much as possible. We spend any free time we can get hiking, camping, backpacking, and exploring new places! We hope that our experiences will help you plan for your next adventure and inspire you to be an outlier!
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About the Toadstool Hoodoos
The Toadstool Hoodoos are located in the southern section of Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in southern Utah, about 45 minutes east of Kanab, UT and 30 minutes west of Page, AZ. They make for a great stop if you are driving from Page to Zion or Bryce Canyon!
At just two miles roundtrip, the hike to reach the hoodoos is family-friendly and accessible for hikers of all skill levels.
The area features a wide array of mushroom-shaped rock formations in various shapes, colors and sizes. Once you reach them, you can sort of choose your own adventure and explore until you find all the coolest hoodoos! We had such a blast wandering around and photographing the Toadstools as the morning sun rose over the surrounding badlands. We both thought the experience was way cooler than we expected!
From serious photographers to playful kids , the Toadstool Hoodoos are sure to please any crowd!
Fun fact: Toadstool is just another name for a mushroom. Can you see how the Toadstool Hoodoos got their name?!
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument is one of the largest remaining areas of protected land in the United States, spanning nearly 1 million acres across southern Utah. The area is known for being remote and rugged, and gets significantly fewer visitors than nearby National Parks like Zion and Bryce Canyon.
Nonetheless, Grand Staircase Escalante is home to a huge variety of unique landscapes, from hoodoos to slot canyons and other crazy formations like the Cosmic Ashtray, Jacob Hamblin Arch, and Devil’s Garden. Because the park is so huge, the Toadstool Hoodoos are located several hours from many of the other great hikes in Grand Staircase Escalante.
Be respectful to this beautiful place!
The Toadstool Hoodoos and the surrounding area is a remote and rugged place. Please help keep it that way! Do not carve or vandalize the rock or leave behind trash.
Stay on the trail and avoid trampling the crypotbiotic soil (that layer of black or white crust over the sand the dirt) when exploring around the hoodoos.
Remember to Leave No Trace. Pack out what you pack in, stay on trail, be well-prepared, leave nothing behind, take only photos and memories with you, treat the area with respect and help preserve this beautiful spot for generations to come.
Toadstool Hoodoos Hike Overview
- Hiking distance | 1.8 miles
- Elevation gain | 150 feet
- Total time | 1-2 hours
- Epic-ness rating | 6
- Difficulty | easy
Find this hike on AllTrails: Toadstool Hoodoos Trail
How difficult is the Toadstool Hoodoos hike?
At just under 2 miles round trip and only 150 feet of elevation gain, this is an easy hike, suitable for children and hikers of all skill levels. You could easily complete the hike in under one hour, although you may end up spending more time than expected exploring the hoodoos…
- Unique, otherwordly landscape
- If you’re interested in photography, there are tons of unique shots to find here!
- Short, easy hike with minimal crowds
- No shade, can be very hot during the summer
- Less epic compared to other hikes in Grand Staircase
When is the best time to hike?
The best time to hike to the Toadstool Hoodoos is during the spring and fall when temperatures are mild. During the summer, Grand Staircase Escalante gets very hot during the day and this trail offers no shade. If you are visiting during the summer, plan to hike early in the morning to beat the heat.
Winter can also be a good time to hike – although snow is possible. the trailhead is located right off highway 89, so it’s typically accessible year-round. We hiked the day after a big snowstorm in Kanab and had no trouble accessing the trail.
Things to know before you go
Below are a few tips and things to know before you go for the best experience.
- Please do not touch or climb on the hoodoos! They are very fragile and if everyone who visited climbed on them, they would no longer exist. Please help conserve these natural wonders for generations to come!
- Dogs are permitted on the trail.
- There are no entrance fees for Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
- Grand Staircase Escalante is huge! Note that the Toadstool Hoodoos are located quite far from the “main” section of the park, nearly 3 hours from Escalante, Utah and the start of Hole in the Rock Road. This is a great hike if you are visiting or staying in Kanab.
- Be sure to pack plenty of water and sun protection. Although this is a short hike, there is no shade so it can get very hot.
- There are two porta-potties located in the parking lot at the trailhead.
- The Toadstool Hoodoos are even more spectacular in the first light of the day – we highly recommend visiting for sunrise! Just remember to pack your headlamp so you can find your way!
Toadstool Hoodoos Hike Details
Below we will give you all the details about the Toadstool Hoodoos hike so you know what to expect.
We hiked to the Toadstool Hoodoos in February, after a recent snowstorm ruined our initial plans to hike into nearby Buckskin Gulch. Although we didn’t originally intend to do this hike, it totally exceeded our expectations and we were glad that we ended up getting to see it! The thin layer of snow covering parts of the area added an extra element of beauty to this unique landscape.
Parking and getting to the trailhead
The trailhead is located off Highway 89, about 45 minutes east of Kanab, Utah and 30 minutes west of Page. The parking lot is a small gravel area right off the road. Parking is limited, but this hike typically isn’t too crowded so you shouldn’t have trouble getting a spot. From the parking lot, the trail starts to the north, through a barbed wire cattle guard.
The hike to the hoodoos
The start of the Toadstool Hoodoos hike slowly winds through a dry wash with red-striped badlands on either side of the trail. Hiking through the sandy wash may slow you down a bit, but for the trail is mostly flat and easy.
Eventually, the trail will exit the wash, so be sure to keep an eye out for cairns to stay on track. As you head north, a patch of hoodoos will appear high up on a cliff above.
Arriving at the Toadstool Hoodoos
The trail then leads to the base of a tall canyon wall, where you will find the first set of Toadstool Hoodoos. The first hoodoo you will come upon is the largest and most iconic – a large pile of orange boulders with one tall and narrow hoodoo protruding out.
Exploring the Toadstool Hoodoos
Once you arrive at the first set of Toadstool Hoodoos, there is no longer a very clear trail. However, you don’t want to miss out on seeing the other hoodoos in the area! From here you can continue a short way to the left and right to find more hoodoos.
To the right, there are a few sets of hoodoos, some that have thick white bases topped with orange rocks and others that have narrow orange and white striped bases, topped with brown rocks. There are hoodoos of every shape, size, and color imaginable!
If you head to the left, you will come upon a beautiful view of the badlands and round-rock formations that cover the area. Continue around the corner where you find another patch of white hoodoos with brown tops. This little patch was my favorite set of hoodoos we saw – so be sure to continue around the corner to the left!
The return hike
Once you have explored the entire area and taken plenty of pictures, head back to the first set of hoodoos to return to the trail and continue back to the trailhead.
Other hikes nearby
Looking for other great hikes in the area? Below are a few options nearby:
- The Nautilus | 1-mile hike, located 10 mins from the Toadstool Hoodoos Trailhead
- Wire Pass & Buckskin Gulch| 5.6 mile hike, located 30 mins from the Toadstool Hoodoos Trailhead
- Moqui Caverns | 1-mile hike, located 45 minutes from the Toadstool Hoodoos Trailhead
- Red Reef Trail | 2-mile hike, 2 hours from Toadstool Hoodoos Trailhead
- Fairyland Loop | 7.8 mile roundtrip hike in Bryce Canyon, 2 hours from Toadstool Hoodoos Trailhead
For all things Utah: Utah Travel Guide
Have you been to Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument? Questions about hiking to the Toadstool Hoodoos? Let us know in the comments below!