Toadstool Hoodoos is perhaps one of the most popular destinations within Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, located just east of Paria, UT, along US-89.
Hoodoos is an actual geological term referring to tall, thin spires of rock worn down by winds and rains. Toadstool Hoodoos are those where large rocks that fell from higher cliffs landed on softer, older sandstone below, and then over the millions of years, that sandstone eroded away into a hoodoo with a boulder on top.
The Toadstool Hoodoo hike runs only 0.8 miles up curvy wash with just a 100 foot elevation gain. A small sign along US-89 marks the location of the dirt parking lot.
You actually start the hike in the older Carmel Formation of earth, and then slowly wind your way up into the reddish Entrada Sandstone. Once you reach the Hoodoos, you can see the newer Dakota Formation of rock on the cliffs above.
While the hike itself is relatively short, and the elevation gain is minimal, the walk through the wash is sandy and can be exhausting for those not in the best physical shape. The elevation at the trail head is 4,456 feet, keep that in mind for those with respiratory issues. Definitely bring a snack and bottle water.
The Paria Contact Station is only a mile to the west of the trailhead. This is a BLM field office with maps, pamphlets, and staff. Visit the station first for tips and information when visiting Toadstool Hoodoos.