Hoodoos may have a somewhat eerie-sounding name — reminiscent of voodoo. But the only spell cast by these eye-catching columns of rock is one brought by their fantastic forms.

You can find them in abundance around the Hoodoo Vista Point at mile marker 15 on the Catalina Highway northeast of Tucson.

Parking pullouts at the vista point and elsewhere along the highway afford an opportunity to take a closer look at the formations and photograph them.

Several national parks in the West have far greater expanses of hoodoos than the limited numbers along the Catalina Highway. One of the best hoodoo sites anywhere is Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, where the tall, narrow, reddish spires dominate the landscape.

Geologic and weather factors contribute to the formation of hoodoos.

The origin of the hoodoo name is uncertain, but dictionary definitions describe “a body of practices of sympathetic magic” and “something that brings bad luck.”

Contact reporter Doug Kreutz at dkreutz@tucson.com or at 573-4192. On Twitter: @DouglasKreutz

Outbrain