With a start to a new day, Boomer and I would be visiting Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM). I stopped in at the GSENM visitor’s center in Kanab Utah and I briefly checked out the displays. As I milled around I walked into a room packed with people. A sign hung on the door stating “lottery full”. I later found out that the room was full of hikers who were all wanting to visit the “The Wave” a popular hiking spot in Arizona. I had no chance of throwing my name in for the lottery as it fills up months in advance. Just a side note, dogs are allowed to visit The Wave for a additional small fee if you are lucky enough to get a spot for The Wave.
I checked in with the ranger and asked him about the weather forecast along with the potential for flash flooding for the day. It appeared this was not the first time he had to deliver disappointing news that morning. The two hikes I had planned were for sure off the list. They were in slot canyons and would make for a perfect flash flood setting. The roads were also impassable even with my 4X4 truck. I was disappointed however he did offer up a “more safe” hike. He would not commit to saying it was completely safe however. Eh sometimes you’ve gotta live life on the edge. The Toadstools Hike, just off of Utah Highway 89 was his recommendation. I took his advice and Boomer and I headed out to The Toadstools.
Boomer and I arrived to a small parking lot and gathered our supplies for the 1.5 mile (2.4 km) hike. There was no true trailhead that I could find so we followed along the mountainside as it seemed to be the least squishy. Walking alongside the mountain worked out well for us, however there was some tricky side traversing that Boomer seemed a little panicky about! Maybe because it was muddy and he was slipping down the hillside … just maybe…
We reached the main toadstools area and they were interesting to see but I thought there would be a few more toadstools. There was just a handful sporadically placed about.
I snapped some photos of the toadstools and we began our way back to the truck. Along the way we were greeted by a group of French hikers who were pleased to see Boomer. One of the hikers indicated that they had been “tracking” the dog prints along the trail and hoped they got to meet the dog that the tracks belonged to! Boomer of course enjoyed the attention and posed for a photo as one of the hikers had a dog who looked just like Boomer at home. A French version of Boomer, I can only imagine! Plus chien traite s’il vous plaît.
If you would like to hike The Toadstools Trail it is located off of Utah Highway 89 about 48 miles from the Kanab GSENM visitor center. There is a small parking lot near the trailhead and no facilities at this location. Leashed dogs are allowed on the trail (thank you BLM for your dog friendliness). Access to this trail is free.