Want to spend a couple of hours on another planet, or at least feel like it? Welcome to the ToadStools.
Geology takes front and center stage here.
Located along U.S. 89 in the Escalante Grand Staircase National Monument (SW Utah), the Toadstools trailhead leads to a series of mushroom-like formations of orange and white rocks. Kids and adults alike will have fun on this “other worldly” trek. The route is .8 miles each way, level, and easy walking.
Like a giant layer cake, the Escalante Staircase was so named thanks to the immense sequence of its sedimentary rock layers ranging from Bryce Canyon in the north to the Grand Canyon in the south.
A toadstool is a spire-like feature with a boulder perched atop a pedestal rock, like a mushroom, which forms when a softer rock erodes away, leaving a column sheltered from the elements. Slightly different from the HooDoos of Bryce Canyon National Park.
You can stretch your legs on the jaunt from Kanab to Lake Powell or stick around and find other trails like the nearby Catstair.
The trail is open year-round and fees/permits are not required. The entire hike is exposed, so avoid going in the middle of the day during the summer. Otherwise, spring through fall are excellent times to hike here. The area is dog-friendly.
Park at the trailhead off of Highway 89, 45 miles east of Kanab, 12 miles west of Big Water. There is a small parking area right off the Highway with an information board.