Toadstools Trail in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is remarkable and doesn’t quite get the attention it deserves. The rock formations on the trail are astonishing and provide lots of eye candy for the nature lover or photographer. For a trail so accessible and family-friendly, I’m surprised it isn’t more crowded. It’s likely due to its location in Southern Utah – an area full of amazing rock formations and spectacular scenery which steal the limelight.
What to expect. No need to hike across the desert uphill for miles in order to take in these unique formations. This family-friendly trail is only 1.5 miles round trip. Even a non-hiker can enjoy these sites with minimal effort. The trail begins with a hike along a dry wash. Don’t let the dry wash fool you. The entire trail isn’t this flat. There are several places where one has to go up and over small hills and rocks. It isn’t that strenuous, but it probably wouldn’t be a fit for someone with a mobility issue.
The end of the trail almost looks like an amphitheater with small cliffs surrounding the main toadstool features. Because there are so many interesting and unique rock formations, plan to spend some time here marveling at them. This is not a place to rush. Rather, slow down and enjoy.
What you’ll see. I immediately noticed the painted-desert-style striated rocks along the trail. I’d seen many while driving through the area. However, this trail provided a good opportunity to enjoy a closer view and take some photographs. The color variation makes for an incredible sight.
Once we reached the area containing the toadstools, I noticed the color of the cliff walls – almost white with a yellow cast. It makes a nice backdrop for the toadstools. My kiddo enjoyed playing in the sand here which afforded us the opportunity to just enjoy the scenery. The toadstools come in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Some of the formations are quite large. On many, the top appears to be purposefully balanced on the base.
Overall, this hike was a win for my family. If you are near the area, it is worth a stop. While I had seen some information about this trail before our trip, I certainly wasn’t expecting a trail which was so accessible to be so amazing.