Distance: 1.8 miles | Time: 40 min. – 1 hr | Level: Easy
Toadstool Hoodoos Trail is an incredible trail we just happened to stumble upon. I’m a planner, and almost never stray from the well-researched and extensive itinerary I create for each destination.
However, something that morning compelled me to say, “Toadstool Hoodoos Trail? What’s that?! Pull-over!” The trail had not been recommended, nor had I come across it on AllTrails, but man am I glad we stopped.
Toadstool Hoodoos Trail is extraordinary with its canyon views and gravity-defying geology. The trail is quick, easily accessible, and sure to be one of the most unique trails you explore in Southern Utah.
In this guide, I cover why you don’t want to skip Toadstool Hoodoos Trail, what to expect, how to get there, close-by camp spots, and nearby adventures.
Complete Guide to Hiking Toadstool Hoodoos Trail
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What is a Toadstool Hoodoo?
A toadstool hoodoo is a pinnacle-shaped rock formation carved out by years of weathering and erosion. Their unique and odd shape is the result of two different types of sandstone stacked on top of one another.
The top layer of rock, Dakota Sandstone, is a much harder stone than the bottom layer, Entrada Sandstone. The result? A tall, mushroom-shaped spire.
Please keep in mind that these toadstool hoodoos are very fragile. Do not touch, climb on, or stand directly under the formations.
As always, admire nature and all its greatness from a distance.
How to Get to Toadstool Hoodoos Trail
We serendipitously happened upon Toadstool Hoodoos Trail because of a last-minute, “pull-over!” direction I gave Cole.
The trailhead is located right off Highway 89 — there’s a sign, you can’t miss it. The trail is 45 miles east of Kanab, Utah, and 29 miles northwest of Page, Arizona.
There’s an unattended, small parking lot at the trail entrance. There is no entrance fee for the hike and it’s open 24/7. While there are no official bathroom facilities at the trailhead there are porta-potties available for use.
What to Expect Hiking Toadstool Hoodoos Trail
When people hear the word “hoodoo” their mind most likely goes to the enchanting hoodoos of Bryce Canyon National Park. Bryce Canyon is absolute magic and hands down the mecca of hoodoos, but it’s not the only place to see them.
Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument
Toadstool Hoodoos Trail is located in Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument. The monument spans 1.87 million acres across Southern Utah.
So, in short, it’s massive.
Don’t make the same mistake I did and think that because you’re in Grand Staircase–Escalante National Monument you must be close to all the trails in the monument you want to hike.
For instance, Toadstool Hoodoos Trail is in Grand Staircase–Escalante, but might be six hours from another trail in the same monument.
Keep this in mind when planning your Arizona-Utah road trip route.
Toadstool Hoodoos Trail for Sunrise
We started Toadstool Hoodoos Trail just after the first light. We hadn’t intended on stopping to hike, but rather were just preparing to drive into Page.
Stumbling upon this incredible trail before sunrise was serendipitous in more ways than one. When we pulled into the parking lot there wasn’t a car in sight.
The sky was just beginning to change colors and the air was still crisp from the night. We started the trail right from the parking lot, having no idea what to expect.
The trail began mellow and remained that way for the entirety of the hike.
The path winds hikers alongside canyon walls and through a scrambly wash. While the hike is not difficult, much of the trail is sand. The sandy terrain wasn’t too bad but it does slow down your pace a bit.
We had perfect weather during our visit but I’ve read that during rain the ground gets extremely muddy and slippery. Likewise, during direct sun and especially at midday the trail gets extremely hot. There is no coverage.
Keep this in mind before you set out on the trail and dress appropriately.
While the path is pretty straightforward, keep your eyes peeled for helpful rock cairns. These stacks of rocks are common in Utah and are littered along many trails to indicate the correct path. We always have AllTrails downloaded, just in case.
The trail culminates in a wide-open canyon. Scattered all along the canyon floor are toadstool hoodoos. Hikers on AllTrails described reaching this point as being in a “playground on Mars” and exploring a “life-size sandcastle.” I couldn’t agree more.
Standing alone, amongst such giant rock sculptures was eerie and beautiful. Cole and I sat down in front of one of the hoodoos and waited as the sun made its appearance.
During this time a few hikers came and went but despite their presence, the magic of the toadstool hoodoos trail remained.
Camping Near Toadstool Hoodoos
While there is plenty of camping in Kanab and Page, those interested in primitive camping can find an incredible and secluded gem just minutes from the Toadstool Hoodoos trailhead.
During our Arizona-Utah road trip, we heavily relied on FreeRoam to find free campsites, which is exactly how we stumbled upon this spot.
Located right off Highway 89 is a secluded field. The field is surrounded by looming red rocks on all sides. Scattered about the area are several unmarked tent sites known as Cat Stairs (37.127, -111.966) on FreeRoam. We were lucky enough to be the only ones camping here for the night.
We spent three weeks camping in Utah and this was among one of my favorite spots from the whole trip.
Keep in mind, this is a primitive camp spot, meaning there are no facilities. Please remember to leave no trace during your visit. You can check out the full rundown of the seven LNT principles here.
Camping in Page, Arizona
Another option is to camp 30 minutes from Toadstool Hoodoos Trail in Page. Below are some of our favorite places to camp in the area.
Beehive Campground is a BLM camping area that is first come, first served. There are only a handful of spots and they do fill up quickly.
It is $14 per night to camp here and you pay your fee using the envelope deposit honor system. While there are no facilities, the views of Lake Powell can’t be beaten.
Lone Rock Campground
Another option is to camp along the shores of Lake Powell while gazing out at the iconic Lone Rock. Camping is $14 per vehicle (excluding Lake Powell entry fees).
Camping areas here are not designated and are again, first come, first served. There are vault toilets spread out along the beach but that’s it as far as amenities go.
Oh and, Lake Powell is notorious for wind. You’ve been warned.
If having warm showers and flushing toilets is more your vibe, I recommend sleeping at Wahweap Campground. Tent sites are $30 (RV sites are also available) and include a variety of facilities such as coin laundry and an on-site camp store.
As a bonus, the campground is also within walking distance of Lake Powell. We luckily snagged a last-minute site but I recommend reserving a spot ahead of time here.
Adventures Near Toadstool Hoodoos
From the moment I saw photos of Lake Powell I knew I needed to see it with my own eyes. With most everything, the lake is even more beautiful in person.
Lake Powell is just 30 minutes from Toadstool Hoodoos Trailhead towards Page, Arizona.
There are several ways to enjoy Lake Powell from walking along the sandy shores, swimming, kayaking, or even boating. Regardless of how you choose to enjoy the lake, it’s sure to leave you speechless.
My only piece of advice, do your research and know what to expect. Learn from my mishaps in my detailed guide: Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Lake Powell.
While I can’t speak from personal experience (Antelope Canyon was closed due to COVID restrictions during our trip) I’m certain that Antelope Canyon is a must-see while near Page, Arizona.
Antelope Canyon is 40 minutes from Toadstool Hoodoos Trail and absolutely worth the drive. Keep in mind that all areas of the canyon are only accessible via a guided tour, and they book up quickly.
You can reserve a tour of Antelope Canyon through Navajo Nation.
Horseshoe Bend is a Page icon and a view that simply can’t be missed. Just a 30-minute drive from Toadstool Hoodoos Trail and a short hike will bring you to the rim of the jaw-dropping canyon.
Despite Horseshoe Bend’s popular reputation, it is absolutely still worth the hype and 100 times more beautiful than any Instagram photo you’ve previously seen.
Pro tip: hike Horseshoe Bend for Sunrise for dramatic lighting and fewer crowds.
If you have any questions about exploring Toadstool Hoodoos Trail or nearby Page, Arizona, drop me a message in the comment section below.
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