"King of the Hoodos"

"King of the Hoodos"

The Wahweap hoodoos have become very well known and many make the 4.5 mile hike up the wash from the nearest trailhead to photograph these spectacular towers. While probably a hundred or more hoodoos can be found in the three main coves, the hoodoo pictured here is likely the tallest of the entire group. We estimate a good 35 feet from the lowest point of the base, perhaps even more.

So what is a "hoodoo?" Though they may come in a variety of shapes and sizes, a hoodoo is usually a spire of some form of sandstone or softer rock, often capped by a harder rock. The harder rock erodes at a slower rate than the softer rock below. Centuries of mostly water erosion and freeze-thaw cycles erode away the surrounding softer rock layer leaving a spire that's protected by the harder caprock, delaying its erosion.

Photo taken September, 2009. Wahweap hoodoos are located near Page, AZ, in a section of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Hoodoo You Think Made These?

Hoodoo You Think Made These?

The Wahweap hoodoos have become very well known and many make the 4.5 mile hike up the wash from the nearest trailhead to photograph these spectacular towers. While probably a hundred or more hoodoos can be found in the three main coves, the hoodoos pictured here are located in the main cove that sports the tallest of all the hoodoos.
When you look at these unique formations, they present the appearance of being very deliberately made. It’s as though someone precisely shaped each pedestal/column and then selected a caprock and carefully placed it atop the pedestal. So how did they actually come to be? Though they may come in a variety of shapes and sizes, a hoodoo is usually a spire of some form of sandstone or softer rock, often capped by a harder rock. The harder rock erodes at a slower rate than the softer rock below. Centuries of mostly water erosion and freeze-thaw cycles erode away the surrounding softer rock layer leaving a spire that's protected by the harder caprock above, delaying the erosion of the column below.
Photo taken September, 2009. Wahweap hoodoos are located near Page, AZ, in a section of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

"Imagination"

"Imagination"

Let your imagination run wild. What do you see here?

This unusual formation was found in the Cottonwood Cove section of Coyote Buttes. It was only a little over a foot tall and is completely natural - a fantastic demonstration of the forces of erosion. One can't help but wonder how this formation came to be. It's amusing shape reminded us a little bit of an abstract elephant, but like laying on your back with a friend alongside and watching clouds, each may see something different.

Photo taken September, 2009.

"Sandstone Stegasaurus?"

"Sandstone Stegasaurus?"

In the same Cottonwood Cove area as in the previous photo, which is a part of the southern section of Coyote Buttes, there are any number of fantastic shapes to be found. Hiking far back into the "cove" and then beginning a climb out, we found this formation. For some reason, erosional processes caused this one particular layer of sandstone to erode into this series of scalloped plates, less than an inch thick but protruding out well over a foot. It reminded us a little of the plates on a Stegosaurus.

The old saying, "truth is stranger than fiction," seems to have some application here. Who would imagine something like this?

Photo taken September 2009.

"Hoodoo You Think You Are?"

"Hoodoo You Think You Are?"

No other place we've been can rival Goblin Valley State Park in Utah for its collection of incredible formations referred to as "hoodoos" and "goblins." The main valley is littered with them and one could spend days trying to photograph all the unusual shapes.

This HDR image captures one such hoodoo with a hint of the Henry mountains in the background, still holding some late spring snow, and a beautiful, blue, Utah sky with wispy clouds.

Image was taken in the early morning, April, 2011.

"Five Little Goblins"

"Five Little Goblins"

Still in Goblin Valley State Park in central Utah, we found this collection of "goblins," standing neatly in a row, just like they wanted their picture taken. So we obliged and took this HDR image in the later evening after the sun had set. The high gray clouds added a surreal effect to the stark scene. One could easily spend days photographing these shapes here, many of which border on the bizarre.

Photo taken April, 2011.

"A Delicate Evening"

"A Delicate Evening"

One of the most recognizable symbols of Utah's canyon country, Delicate Arch, in Arches National Park, rises from the surrounding sandstone slickrock defying logical explanation.

After a warm winter's day exploring a technical canyon route in the "Fiery Furnace," we headed over to the Delicate Arch trail to see if we could obtain some evening photos. But we didn't want just the standard view that uses the arch to frame out a section of the distant LaSal Mountains. Instead, we explored around and found a position across a ravine on the west side of the arch that would provide a less seen angle. High, dark clouds were obscuring the evening sun, but we knew from experience that just before the sun set, it might break below the cloud deck and briefly illuminate the arch. As you can see, we were not disappointed and the result was this HDR image that gives the golden slickrock an almost liquid appearance, enhanced by the gray cloud background.

Photo taken late January 2015.

Double Cap Hoodoo

Double Cap Hoodoo

The Wahweap hoodoos have become very well known and many make the 4.5 mile hike up the wash from the nearest trailhead to photograph these spectacular towers. While probably a hundred or more hoodoos can be found in the three main coves, the hoodoo pictured here is located in another area outside of but close to Wahweap Wash. That area is called “White Rocks” and is located north of Big Water, a small settlement NW of Page, AZ.

Most of the hoodoos observed throughout this region usually have a single caprock/stone, pitched at an angle that represents the slope angle at the initial stages of erosion leading to the eventual formation of the hoodoo. This particular hoodoo has two caprocks, one precariously perched on top of the other. It felt a little dangerous to approach and stand at the base of this 30 foot-tall hoodoo. The large caprocks above seemed to teeter and left us with a certain apprehension that we might be crushed if something should shake them off the pedestal.

Photo taken February 2014 by Carrie Cooney.