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How to See Otherworldly Toadstool Hoodoos in Kanab, Utah

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Tim and Sarah stand in front of the Toadstool Hoodoos formations on the trail.

The Toadstool Hoodoos Trail promises an unforgettable hike in the remote wilderness of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. And we’ve got everything you need to know to see the Toadstool Hoodoos, from how to get to the trailhead, detailed trail notes, and more to help you plan your hike.

Named for its whimsical rock formations resembling towering toadstools, this trail offers a glimpse into a geological wonderland unlike any other.

Tim and I have hiked the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail twice on our visits to southern Utah and the Kanab area. We think this trail delivers WOW-level views and landscapes with minimal effort. The Toadstool Hoodoos Trail is one of the best easy hiking trails in southern Utah!

So without further ado, let’s dive into exactly how to hike the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail!

Follow the seven Leave No Trace principles: plan your hike in advance, stick to designated trails, carry out all your belongings, dispose of waste properly, leave natural areas untouched, minimize the impact of campfires, show consideration for fellow hikers, and avoid approaching or feeding wildlife.

Toadstool Hoodoos Trail At-A-Glance

  • Location: Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument
  • Length: 1.8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 141 feet
  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • When to Go: Sunrise, Sunset, Spring, Fall, Winter. Avoid summer and rainy days!
  • Fees: Free

What even IS a Toadstool Hoodoo?

Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. What even IS a Toadstool Hoodoo?

A Toadstool Hoodoo is a rock spire with a top like a mushroom cap, hence the name “toadstool”!

These funky rock formations, nestled in Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, have been shaped over a whopping 30 million years!

Picture this: softer Entrada Sandstone eroding away beneath tougher Dakota Sandstone, leaving behind these mushroom-like spires. It’s like nature’s own sculpture garden!

Surprisingly, despite their beauty, these hoodoos often get overlooked by folks heading to spots like Zion and Bryce Canyon. Trust me, they’re worth a pit stop on your next Southwest road trip!

Getting to the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail

Despite being right off Highway 89, a major route connecting Utah and Arizona, many travelers zip past the turnoff for the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail without realizing the stunning beauty that awaits just a short hike away!

From Kanab, Utah: To access the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail from Kanab, head east on Highway 89 for approximately 45 miles.

From Page, Arizona: If you’re coming from Page, take Highway 89 west for about 29 miles.

Tip: For hassle-free navigation, simply plug “Toadstool Hoodoos Trailhead” into Google Maps for direct directions to the parking area at the start of the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail!

The Toadstool Hoodoos are located near many other popular destinations, like Lake Powell, The Wave, Horseshoe Bend, White Pocket, Paria Rainbow Mountains, and so much more, making it a great stop on any Utah/Arizona road trip.

Toadstool Hoodoos Trail Details

After parking in the gravel lot, you’ll start your hike behind a cattle fence. A sign-in sheet at the trailhead helps the Bureau of Land Management monitor trail traffic and provides a record in case anyone goes out on the trail and doesn’t return.

Yes, the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail is short with minimal elevation gain, but it’s also in the desert, with no shade or water access. Never underestimate the dangers of the arid climate.

After signing in, proceed on your hike!

The trail mostly follows a wash along a terrain of cool clay badlands between two cliffs. The ground can be very slippery when wet, as the clay becomes an ultra-goopy mess that loves to swallow hiking boots whole. When dry, the terrain is solid and easy to hike on.

Soon, the trail widens at the mouth of a wide canyon. Here, you’ll arrive at your first view of the Toadstool Hoodoos, scattered like chess pieces throughout the landscape. It’s worth exploring all around the clusters of hoodoos and photographing them from different angles.

Additionally, there are cool alcoves in the cliffs behind the Toadstool Hoodoos, which gives the landscape a Star Wars vibe.

We explored here for hours before hiking back to the trailhead the same way we came. We spent more time here than is strictly necessary, but with such magnificent formations all around us, it was hard not to keep going just a little bit further to see what we’d find.

It would be easy to get lost if you wandered around unaware and without a GPS map. We always have AllTrails downloaded to see our location relative to the trail. It’s saved us so many times!

Don’t forget to sign out when you get back to the trailhead! This is how the rangers know you made it back safely and that you don’t need rescuing.

Tips for Hiking the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail

  • Best Seasons: Optimal hiking times are spring, fall, and winter to avoid the scorching summer heat and the lack of shade along the trail.
  • Footwear: Select sturdy footwear with excellent traction to navigate the rugged terrain comfortably. You’ll encounter rocky surfaces and may need to climb on the rocks to fully appreciate the hoodoos.
  • Essentials: Ensure you’re well-prepared with essential items such as plenty of snacks to fuel your adventure, sunscreen to protect against the sun’s rays, and an ample supply of water to stay hydrated throughout your hike.
  • Safety Precautions: Prioritize safety by packing emergency supplies, including first aid supplies, extra water, food, and a headlamp, especially considering the limited cell service in the area.
  • Respectful Behavior: Show respect for the environment and fellow hikers by refraining from touching or climbing on the hoodoos and maintaining courteous behavior throughout your hike.
  • Weather Considerations: Be mindful of the weather forecast and prepare accordingly. Dress in layers to accommodate temperature fluctuations, especially after sunset when temperatures can drop rapidly.
  • Restroom Facilities: While there are two porta-potties available at the trailhead, for a more comfortable restroom experience, consider visiting the Big Water Visitor Center, located just a short 12-minute drive away.
  • Allow Enough Time: Given the vast size of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, plan your itinerary carefully to allow sufficient time to travel between destinations within the monument.
  • Navigation: Due to the lack of cell service in the area, it’s essential to download offline maps or bring a GPS device to ensure you stay on course during your hike.

Where to Stay Near Toadstool Hoodoos Trail

Kanab and Page are the closest towns, so I recommend looking in those cities for hotel accommodations. We’ll list a few of our favorites where we’ve stayed or recommend on reputation below.

Best Hotels in Page

Best Hotels in Kanab

Camping Near Toadstool Hoodoos Trail

If you are car or van/RV camping, there is plenty of BLM land around the Toadstool Hoodoos Trail. This trail is part of the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. As a result, there are ample dispersed camping options nearby.

Nearby Adventures

Here are some worthy adventures nearby for your Utah and Arizona Road Trip:

  • Take a Navajo-led tour in Antelope Canyon
  • Visit Horseshoe Bend
  • Visit Glen Canyon Dam
  • Check out views of Lake Powell
  • Explore the Paria Rainbow Mountains
  • Hike in Zion National Park
  • Explore the sand at Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park
  • Hike to Yellow Rock

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