Mushroom Rock is a rock formation found in the middle of Highway 176. The rock is shaped like a giant mushroom. It has also been known as Needle Eye Rock due to the slot in its base.
The story is that several decades ago, a road crew constructing the original scenic drive is credited with saving this canyon landmark. Plans called for the rock formation we now call Mushroom Rock to be removed. Construction staff refused to blast it away. The crew built the road around it instead. Thanks to the determination of the crew to leave the formation intact, we now have Mushroom Rock in the national preserve.
Writing graffiti on the rocks is illegal. We remove the graffiti with sand blasting. Sand blasting deteriorates the rock. If this illegal activity continues, sometime in the future, we will not have this awesome structure in the national preserve.
Across from Mushroom Rock is a series of rock outcrops. This is a great place for novice climbers or children to get their first taste of rock climbing.