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.