#TalleyYourMiles Hiking @Toadstool Hoodoos in Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument

In 2019 Clinton and I set a goal of 219 miles hiked in a year, under the “campaign” slogan of #TalleyYourMiles. To encourage you to #GetOutdoors I’ll highlight a few of our favorite hikes and hope you’ll go out yourself and find your own connection to these amazing public lands!One of our favorite spots is a unique, easy hike in Utah called the Toadstool Hoodoos. It is over 1.5 miles out and back to a beautiful opening with many hoodoos dotting the landscape. We’ve only begun to explore the area though as there are infinite possibilities when viewing the landscape and exploring. The hike starts right off US 89 between Big Water and Kanab Utah. A parking lot right at the trail head along with a wayside gives you plenty of information and a safe place to start hiking, even with a group or dogs. Make sure to keep the doggies on the leash! We brought both of our dogs and they loved it. There are usually plenty of people hiking the trail so if you want to be alone schedule your time for winter – we’ve even encountered people in the middle of the night. Not that this is a bad thing! But this hike is pretty easy, and when combined with the beauty and uniqueness everyone is able to view this incredible landscape. If you planned to come out and take professional looking pictures be aware that people will be in the way, and will not understand flashlight rules in the dark. 🙂

Hoodoos, also called a pedestal rock, is not necessarily in the same family as a balanced rock. A balanced rock is a naturally occurring geological formation resting on other rocks, bedrock, or glacial till. Because no single definition exists the term balanced rock has been applied to many formations of rock features, one being the pedestal rock. The pedestal rock is a single continuous rock form with a small base leading up to a larger crown, looking much like a mushroom. How did the rock get this way you ask? Wind, moisture, and the combination of chemical weathering (don’t think for a second that chemicals in the air don’t affect our lovely rock structures!) easily help erode these sand structures. 


The hike itself only takes about an hour and the elevation is minimal. Starting at the trailhead, you head straight back through walls of white sandstone before the area opens into a large flat plane…except for the amazing hoodoos that seem to be hidden everywhere! A large impressive set meets you after about a mile, but keep walking back and around to see the many different views from different angles. Each glance will bring you a whole new perspective! The area is immense and if you walk back further you’ll get away from the possible crowds and have a few hoodoos all to yourself!

When traveling through the west make sure to take your time when traveling from point to point. You don’t want to drive by a quick hike that will leave you with amazing, lasting memories! This hike may have only added a few miles to our #TalleyYourMiles adventures, but it is one of our favorites. Keep here to read more amazing hikes and places to visit while driving across the country!

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