No Frogs or Princes, But Yes, Toadstools!

This has to be the most interesting in rock formation and  strata of any of the places we explored. There is so much diversity in such a small area. One can only surmise the occurences of many millions of years ago that has resulted in this geological treasure.

This area is called the Toadstools Trailhead. According to the BLM information pamphlet, “A toadstool is a formation which has a boulder perched on a rock column, like a mushroom, or “toadstool”. It is formed over millions of years when the softer rock under the boulder erodes away, leaving only the rock pedestal supporting a capstone.”

While this area is predominantly known for the toadstools, every inch is a geological gem. Apparently, there are even more toadstools on top of the mountain which we did not climb.

The cap seems to have fallen from this column. You can see how quickly the strata varies from one point to another…there is no easing or blending into it…it is a sudden change from one type to another. You can even see the texture of the red stone differs from that of the white. The red is smoth and wavy where the white is lumpy, clumpy, and rough. You can also see tumbleweed throughout. Notice the mountain base…you can see the cracks and openings, like small slot canyons and small caves or caverns.

I thought is was fascinating. The back mountain is white with a concave formation in front that is white with a lower level of red strata…and then the ground is the same red rock with streaks of the white running through it. I am so curious as to what caused this.

These are some of the smaller toadstools.

And this reverse to a red upper and white lower with all sorts of hoodoos, peaks and other odd rock formations.

The cap on this toadstool looks like a coyote or dog head.

This appears to be a stone skeleton which I’m guessing is the fallen cap of a toadstool.

These appear to be toadstools in progress.

This looks like a candy cane mountain to me. You can see that there are canyons ripping through the ground at various places. This was an easy hike but did involve a bit of climbing and jumping.

More toadstools and formations.

We’re sitting at the base of a clump of toadstools.

As I was exploring the ever changing ground formation, I felt like I was exploring a crater and thought this must be somewhat what the moon looks like up close…don’t ask me where that thought came from…it was just a passing fancy with I’m sure no accuracy at all.

Another candy cane mountain with scattered tumbleweed.

This shot allows the enormous size of the toadstools to sink in.

Pretty amazing, huh? Now, you see why I am so intrigued by them.

**This area is just a small expanse of the 1.9  million acres of  the Bureau of Land Management’s first National Monument, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

30 thoughts on “No Frogs or Princes, But Yes, Toadstools!

  1. What an amazing place. You saw so many interesting places I have never heard of. Did you research and plan all of these hikes before you left? Or, did you just happen upon some of them as you traveled?

    • The hubby had scoured Google earth for months before we left…we had song big hikes planned, and then he injured his leg. We had to do smaller ones, and lucky us because of his research, he knew exactly where to go!

  2. What a strange land. So fascinating, like something out of Alice in Wonderland. (Toadstools & all!) The one really does look like a coyote head. Have you read A Sand County Almanac? You would love it if you haven’t. Reminds me of your posts. I’ve really enjoyed these!

  3. Wow! Cool. I didn’t know that those toadstools were called toadstools and that they were formed. I’ve never thought about it, I guess.

    I love that picture of you and Dirt Man. Its colors are striking!

  4. As I was looking at these beautiful photos, I couldn’t help but think that the terrain reminded me of photos I’ve seen of the surface of the moon!

    Love the photo of the concaved mountain – amazing!

    Thanks for sharing, Suzi! Muchly enjoyed!

    Have a grrrrrrreat Sunday!


    P.S. Great shot of you and Dirt Man. You look like professional hikers!

  5. Those must be impressive in-person and thanks for the education on toadstools. With my luck, I would be trying to photograph one of the balanced rocks, sneeze, and it would all crash at my feet.

  6. What beautiful shots. They carry your sense of amazement. This is a great promotion for the monument.

    I’ve seen some great rock scenery in Utah but I missed this area. Guess I’ll have to go back.


  7. These are truly interesting. The first pic reminds me of a women carrying a basket on her head. I love that you can completely leave this your own’s mind’s interpretation. Love the pic of you and Dirt Man too!

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