Dieselpark West, when the hoodoo comes

Part of the Hoodoo Forest


A small but nice hoodoo area is located within the Rimrocks, on the southern edge of the GSENM very close to the highway. In addition to the well-known Toadstool Hoodoo, a filigree brown giant, there are rows of such structures here, but with a "white vest". This highly interesting area stretches for a few miles along Highway 89, forming a series of side valleys. Almost small microcosms due to their isolation. The Toadstool Valley is only a narrow area, roughly in the middle. From the road you can always see the "heads" of the largest specimens high up in the rock face. Nevertheless, only very few get the idea to take a closer look at this area. You can find plenty of information about the Toadstool Hoodoo and its immediate surroundings, but almost nothing about the western part. It is just as easy to reach, at least from the south ...

The topography of the Rimrocks runs in terraces. In the rock face and on the wide ledge below there are tons of large and small hoodoos. This variety leaves little to be desired and ranges from the "small fat one" to the "thin giant". The highlight of the region is well hidden in the hinterland and is shielded from prying eyes by high rock walls. There is a group of hoodoos there, in such enormous dimensions as I have never seen them before. The expression Hoodoo Forest describes this area best. Their "headgear" weighs tons, so that some of them collapsed under this load or lost their "hats". Because here, too, the ravages of time are relentlessly gnawing at the sometimes fragile rock.

Directions & Trail (s)

The biggest problem is the way to this intermediate plateau. I only know of two routes where you can do this relatively (!) Safely. Nevertheless, both are a bit "tricky". At the same time a warning! If you are only out here with sneakers or trekking sandals, you risk your health! Because there is a lot of loose rock up there that can quickly slide. I'd better not imagine what happens if you lose your footing in the process ...

version 1

Coming from Highway 89, park the car in a parking bay opposite the junction to Paria Contact Station from. However, this area is not as large and visible from afar as at the trailhead to Toadstool Hoodoo. In order to keep the cattle living in the wild, large areas of the area were fenced off. However, there is a gate in the fence immediately behind the parking lot. After crossing this, turn half-right, in a north-easterly direction and head towards the rear side valley. The goal is the edge on the left. There are tons of hoodoos on a wide ledge about halfway up. However, the rock in the front area is so steep that it is impossible to get up there. Just under a mile from the parking lot, just below the Long Necked Hoodoo (see photo above left), the ascent is located. There is a natural ramp made of red-brown clay, which makes climbing up possible in the first place. If you then march towards the northeast (to the right) at the top, you will reach the Hoodoo Forest. On the west side there are at least as many, although more spread out and not quite as massive, but more photogenic!

Variant 2

With this alternative one achieves the Rimrocks quasi from behind, over the Cottonwood Canyon Road. To do this, turn north off Highway 89 at Milepost 18 and follow the dirt road for about 2.9 miles. In extreme wetness or prolonged rain, however, the piste quickly becomes impassable. The best way to ask about the condition of the slope is to ask the rangers in Big water or at the Paria Contact Station from. If you prefer to do this online, you should have a look here. On this page you will find the current status reports of all larger slopes in the GSENM and every now and then a few chilling photos of some particularly reckless drivers.

However, this variant is only suitable for people with GPS. Because the area has no prominent landmarks. You park your car here: 37 ° 07'19``N, 111 ° 52'37''W (WGS84 / NAD83) and walk to the edge of the Rimrocks to. I have already optimized the position of the parking lot so that the hike is as short as possible (about 0.5 miles). However, the edge also carries a certain risk, because it overhangs a lot in some areas! Better keep a distance of 1-2 meters there! The descent to the underlying plateau is in a crack: 37 ° 06'58``N, 111 ° 53'02''W, a little west of the Hoodoo Forest. This group is really impressive, but it is very difficult to capture photographically. In order to grasp the true dimensions of these giants, it is best to put someone in between. About 100 meters further east, this ledge ends at an insurmountable abyss.

I would on Hoodoo Forest just linger for a moment and instead concentrate more on the western part. Because there are the better photo opportunities. But not only the "self-confessed hoodooist" gets their money's worth here. The view is also fantastic and, with good visibility, extends far into the Pariah plateau and the southern foothills of the GSENM. The trip in the late afternoon is particularly worthwhile. Then, due to the low position of the sun, the hoodoos no longer appear white but golden yellow. You can see the extreme influence that has in my photos. During the Hoodoo Forest was recorded in glaring light (around noon), the others were created for Golden hour. The difference is really huge. By now it should be clear why it is better to use lunchtime for other things. However, with a fully packed daily program, this is probably rather an illusion.


While the hoodoo density in the neighboring Toadstool Valley but looks rather small and manageable, there are dozens here. A short flying visit also only takes about 2 hours. The photo freaks among you should plan the time required a little more generously. Due to the short distances to many other highlights of the region (keyword: Buckskin Gulch, Cobra Arch, Paria Movie Set or Yellow Rock), the trip can be pushed somewhere in between. In any case, it is the perfect addition to any day's program in this area.