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Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

Escalante - Grand Staircase Area, Utah

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Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks

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  • The layered cliffs at the beginning of the trail.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • The layered cliffs at the beginning of the trail.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • Looking ahead at the landscape before the canyon begins to narrow.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • Desert plant life along the trail.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • Wildflowers along the trail.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • The trail narrows along the wash as it curves through the canyon before opening back up right before the Toadstools.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • The trail narrows along the wash as it curves through the canyon before opening back up right before the Toadstools.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • This photo shows the delicate cryptobiotic crust. Remember to avoid breaking this crust because it takes years to form.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • A view of the surrounding desert near the toadstools.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • The final approach to the main toadstools. Be sure to stay in the sandy wash and trails to avoid disturbing this delicate landscape.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • A view of the toadstools as you approach the rock formations.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • This is one of the most photographed toadstools in the area- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • Another view of the most popular rock formation in the area.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • Another view of the most popular rock formation in the area.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • Other toadstools in the distance just above the main set of toadstools.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • As you explore the area at the end of the trail you will see that there are many unusual rock formations.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • The rock formations take on an array of strange and interesting shapes.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • Standing next to the main toadstool looking back at the trail.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • The surrounding landscape has many layers with noticeable changes in color.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • A view of the surrounding desert and rock formations.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • Another view of the nearby rock formations and layers.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • You'll see toadstools perched all around as you look up at a cliff face at the end of the trail.- Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
  • - Toadstools Trail through Paria Rimrocks
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Amazing scenery and rock formations.
Cons: 
Trail is exposed and sandy.
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Region:
Escalante - Grand Staircase Area, UT
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes, with restrictions
Net Elevation Gain: 
100.00 ft (30.48 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.60 mi (2.57 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,449.00 ft (1,356.06 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

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The Toadstools, also known as Hoodoo's or Paria Rimrocks, are unique rock formations where a boulder is perched atop a column or pedestal rock.  According to a sign posted at the start of the trail, toadstools are formed when boulders of the Dakota Formation fall down-slope onto softer Estrada Sandstone, sheltering the rock directly below from erosion. The area surrounding the Toadstools is full of cryptobiotic or biological soil crusts that appear as tiny bumps in the sand. These bumps consist of living organisms such as lichen, fungi and moss, and take years to create a crust. These crusts help plants by absorbing water, providing nutrients and stabilizing the soil allowing plants to grow. Due to the extremely fragile environment, it is imperative that you stick to the trails and sandy washes to avoid damaging the cryptobiotic crusts or rock formations. Remember to Leave No Trace!!!

The trail to the Toadstools is an easy out-and-back trail starting from the parking lot located between mile posts 19 and 20 on Highway 89 in Utah.  The trail is easy to follow because it runs along and sometimes through a sandy wash. There are many trail markers and signs pointing the way and reminding people to stick to the trails. About a half mile into the hike you will see your first toadstool. There are many side trails in this area leading to different rock formations. The main attraction is straight ahead on the main trail. The trail will end at a cliff face, but the entire area is full of amazing layers of color and rock formations. Feel free to venture around the area, but please do not climb on these delicate rock formations as it can cause considerable damage. The trail is rather exposed for the entire hike, so be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, especially in the summer months.

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