The Toadstools: An Amazing Array of Balanced Rock Formations

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A land of balanced rock formations which look like mushrooms, The Toadstools is an enchanting wilderness area accessed via an easy to moderate 1.5-mile round-trip hike.

Located in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, this precious area is a great place to play and explore. You can stretch your legs on the jaunt from Kanab to Lake Powell or stick around and try to discover the more than a dozen toadstools beyond the largest, and first, one. This hike is free, unlike many destinations in the area, and makes for fun and interesting photos.

What Makes it Great

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From the trailhead, follow the trail north through a wash towards the northern rim of the small canyon. You will come upon the first toadstool, a giant red one that you will have likely seen in guidebooks and on posters.

Climbing on the rocks here is easy and fun, and kids love the sprawling desert environment. Be sure to continue your hike past this impressive balanced rock, because you will find more mushroom patches along the trail. Towards the end of the hike, you will come to a lone white stem with a red cap and breathtaking views of the Paria River Valley. And beyond this, even more toadstools. So. Many. Toadstools.

Return the way you came, but don’t go back in a hurry. The longer you stay in this natural playground, the more you’ll seem to get out of it. This hike is short and mellow, leaving you with lots of energy left to explore other destinations along Highway 89 between Kanab and Lake Powell.

What You’ll Remember

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Giant toadstools jutting into the sky and dotting your imagination with awe and wonder, and the remote setting that makes for a natural play area.

Who is Going to Love It

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People who don’t consider themselves “hikers” but enjoy nature, because this is a very mellow, short hike. Kids love playing on the rocks and looking upon the fairy-tale-like toadstools. And it’s free, who doesn’t love that?

GPS Coordinates, Parking and Regulations

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GPS Coordinates: (37.101310, -111.873169)

Park at the trailhead off of Highway 89, 45 miles east of Kanab, 12 miles west of Big Water. 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.

Difficulty: 1.5


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