Shane Burrows in Little Eygpt

Little Egypt
Henry Mountains
Desert Hiking

 

           Little Egypt is a playground for children of all ages. The area contains thousands of twisted and mushroom shaped pinnacles. You will experience an overwhelming desire to wander through the labyrinth of hoodoos and admire the beauty.

          Numerous rocks and coves offer unrestricted hiking. A vivid imagination will make your visit even more fun. Add year-round solitude in a remote desert setting and you have a great family destination.

General Information:
Click Here for Map          Little Egypt is a fun place to visit for an hour or two. Children will enjoy playing on the numerous hoodoos in the area. Photographers can spend hours waiting for the right light to obtain the perfect picture. The area is little known and you will most likely have complete solitude while visiting. Little Egypt is often used as a base for hiking and canyoneering in the region. The area is similar to Goblin Valley State Park but does not require an entrance fee.

          This geologic area showcases strange and sometimes grotesque stone hoodoos that bring to mind the magnificent temples of ancient Egypt, hence its name Little Egypt Geologic Site.

Amazing Hoodoo's Marc Olivares stand on top of a hoodoo.

Trailhead Information:
          Any vehicle can access the trailhead during good weather. The area is criss-crossed with roads. Stay on the road described until told to turn off of it.

          From the Utah town of Hanksville drive south on highway 95 for 20 miles to mile marker 20.3 (N38 05' 50", W110 37' 17"). At this point a well-maintained gravel road crosses Highway 95. Turn west onto the well-maintained gravel road and follow it for 1.7 miles to a small spur road heading west (right). Follow this small spur road 100-yards to where it ends overlooking Little Egypt. This is the Trailhead (N38 04' 42", W110 37' 39"). Primitive camping is available in the area.

Little Egypt

How Hoodoos are Created:
          Weathering and erosion carves hoodoos (i.e., Egyptian temples, goblins, and cathedrals) into the Entrada Sandstone. This is the same formation that also erodes to arches, fins, and spires in Arches National Park.

          Joint sets (fractures) within the Entrada’s fine-grained sandstone beds play an important role in hoodoo development by creating initial zones of weakness. Unweathered joints intersect to form sharp edges and corners.

          These edges and corners are more susceptible to weathering because they have a greater surface-area-to-volume ratio than the faces. As a result, they weather more quickly, producing rounded hoodoos through a process called spheroidal weathering.

          Spheroidal weathering helps shape the hoodoos, but it is only part of the larger erosion process that forms and exhumes the hoodoos.

          Interbedded and underlying shale and siltstone beds are less resistant to weathering and erosion than the hoodoo’s sandstone beds. Combined with spheroidal weathering of the sandstone beds, these softer shale and siltstone beds can give the hoodoos a stacked appearance, elongated shapes, and flat bottoms.

          Additionally, variation in the amount and type of cementation (between grains in sedimentary rocks) may act as a secondary control on the unusual shapes of individual hoodoos.

          Similar to rocks all across southeastern Utah, the Entrada’s reddish hue comes from minute quantities of hematite (iron oxide). The whiter areas result from bleaching by ground water that chemically removed the hematite (or rendered it colorless) before the rocks were exhumed by erosion.

Little Egypt

Copyright 2000-, Shane Burrows