Friday, April 12, 2024

How To Plan a Go to To “Mars on Earth” – Bearfoot Principle


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State parks are sometimes underrated, and Goblin Valley State Park close to Inexperienced River, Utah is not any exception. Positioned about an hour and a half from Moab, this state park is a vibrant valley of sandstone rock formations with beautiful hikes and tenting choices.

Whereas you’ll not discover legendary goblins wandering round Goblin Valley State Park, you will notice distinctive mushroom-shaped rock options referred to as goblins, that are hoodoos just like these present in Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park. These goblins are estimated to have been shaped by erosion over 170 million years in the past when the world was close to an historical sea.

One among my former adventurous coworkers had advisable Goblin Valley State Park to me and mentioned she preferred it much more than Arches Nationwide Park or Canyonlands, so I knew it needed to be good! After I visited Utah in my Sprinter Van within the fall of 2023, I finished by this dog-friendly state park to hike with my husband and cattle canine, take pictures, and discover the world.

Whether or not you go to for a day or camp close to the park for a number of nights, use this journey information with sources on the most effective issues to do in Goblin Valley State Park and a 1-day Goblin Valley itinerary that can assist you take advantage of your time right here.

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Goblin Valley State Park Data

Initially found by cowboys in search of cattle, Arthur Chaffin rediscovered the world that’s now Goblin Valley State Park within the late Nineteen Twenties, which he deemed “Mushroom Valley.” And I can see why – the goblins look similar to large mushrooms!

A close up shot of a goblin in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Goblin Valley is characterised by its large mushroom-shaped rocks

Park fundamentals

  • Hours: Open year-round from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • Entrance charge: $20 per automobile
  • Elevation: 5,000 toes
  • Variety of mountaineering trails: 5 established trails and three trailless valleys
  • Paid tenting choices: 1 campground and a couple of yurts
  • Canine-friendly: Sure
A black cattle dog on a leash walking on the Goblin's Lair Trail in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
My cattle canine, Willow, mountaineering with me on The Goblin’s Lair path

Goblin Valley crowds

Goblin Valley State Park averages 500,000 guests yearly. Because of its rising recognition, it will probably get crowded on weekends, holidays, and summer season months.

I needed to wait about 20 minutes in a line of vehicles once I visited on a Saturday in October. To dodge the road, I like to recommend arriving as quickly because the park opens.

Future park plans

Goblin Valley presently spans 3,600 acres. In 2022, the Utah Division of State Parks introduced that Goblin Valley State Park would triple in measurement after receiving 6,300 acres from the Bureau of Land Administration.

The park will probably embody new campgrounds, restrooms, trailheads, and facilities sooner or later. I can’t wait to go to once more to see how the park modifications and go on new adventures!

Goblin Valley State Park Map

A map of Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
A map of Goblin Valley State Park displaying trails, valleys, campgrounds, restrooms, and extra / Supply: Utah State Parks

Methods to Get to Goblin Valley State Park

Should you plan a Utah street journey to the Mighty 5 Nationwide Parks, cease at Goblin Valley State Park. I explored it on my technique to Capitol Reef Nationwide Park after testing Arches.

The park sits midway between Arches and Capitol Reef and is simply a slight detour from the route. I explored it on my technique to Capitol Reef Nationwide Park after tenting in Moab for every week.

Goblin Valley State Park is off UT-24. It’s about 50 miles southwest of Inexperienced River and 30 miles north of Hanksville.

Instructions to Goblin Valley

  • From Salt Lake Metropolis (3.5 hour drive): Take I-15 S > UT-6 S > I-70 W > UT-24 > Temple Mountain Junction > 12-mile street to park entrance
  • From Hanksville (0.5 hour drive): Take UT-24 E > Temple Mountain Junction > 12-mile street to park entrance
Useful Tip

Be conscious of GPS

Should you use GPS, it could lead you to a mud street after you flip onto Temple Mountain Junction. If this occurs, don’t observe the filth street, as that is incorrect. The 12-mile stretch of street into the park is paved.

Entrance sign for Goblin Valley State Park in Utah with an orange rock feature behind it
When you see this entrance signal, you’ve made it to Goblin Valley State Park

Greatest Time to Go to Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park is in a distant desert space with rugged situations. It doesn’t matter what time of 12 months you go to, I like to recommend bringing loads of solar safety and a water reservoir to refill all through the day.

Park rangers advocate consuming one gallon of water each day to remain hydrated. There are quite a few water refill stations all through the park.

Spring and fall

In case you are trying to find nice temperatures with fewer crowds, Goblin Valley State Park climate is finest in spring or fall. Park rangers advocate visiting throughout these instances, because the skies and trails are nearly at all times clear.

After I visited within the fall, I loved the sunny skies and heat mountaineering situations. I noticed different individuals within the park, however I by no means felt too crowded on the paths.

Female hiker posing for a photo on the Goblin's Lair trail in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Having fun with the nice fall temps in Goblin Valley whereas mountaineering in October / Photograph Credit score: @nomadxtom

Summer season

Though the summer season is a well-liked trip season, it isn’t essentially the most effective time to go to Goblin Valley, because the climate could be unpredictable.

Summer season temperatures are typically scorching sizzling and it isn’t unusual for each day excessive temperatures to succeed in over 100°F. The warmth makes for disagreeable and even unsafe mountaineering situations through the day.

Whereas it’s sizzling through the day in the summertime months, the low humidity causes the night temperatures to drop, making for cold tenting situations. Within the late summer season, there’s a danger of afternoon thunderstorms.

Though these storms present a nice breeze, they produce harmful lightning strikes and flash flooding. Examine the present situations of Goblin Valley State Park and a climate report earlier than visiting.

Female hiker with arms spread wide facing an orange rock formation on the Goblin's Lair trail in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
There’s little shade in Goblin Valley, so deliver water and solar safety / Photograph Credit score: @nomadxtom

Winter

Though winter temperatures could also be tolerable through the day, the night temperatures typically drop under freezing. Low temperatures can get as chilly as 16°F within the winter.

Bearfoot Principle founder Kristen Bor visited Goblin Valley State Park in February. It was very chilly, however the park was fully empty, which made it simple to seek out parking and benefit from the clear trails.

There’s occasional snow within the Valley of the Goblins. The bottom was dry when Kristen visited; nevertheless, it will probably get muddy within the winter when there may be precipitation.

The goblins with snow on them during winter in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Snow on the goblins in Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park Tenting

If you wish to expertise Goblin Valley State Park for a number of days or nights, contemplate tenting in Goblin Valley. There’s a paid campground and yurts contained in the park. They sometimes guide 16 weeks prematurely, so reserve your dates forward of time on their web site or name 1-800-322-3770.

Should you can’t safe a reservation or would slightly discover a free campsite for automotive tenting, there are many choices for dispersed tenting in Goblin Valley on the outskirts of the park.

Goblin Valley Campground

The Goblin Valley Campground isn’t within the Valley of the Goblins, however it has lovely rock formations surrounding it and presents handy entry to the park.

  • Fee: The campground prices $45.00 per night time, which incorporates the park entrance charge. Further automobiles value an additional $20 per night time.
  • Variety of websites: There are 25 websites inside Goblin Valley State Park. Of these 25 campsites, 10 are walk-in tent pads, fourteen are RV areas, and one is a gaggle house that may match as much as 40 individuals and 10 automobiles.
  • Particular person facilities: Each campsite at Goblin Valley Campground features a picnic desk, steel fireplace ring, and shade shelter. There aren’t any electrical hookups accessible.
  • Shared facilities: Different campground facilities embody sizzling showers, consuming water, restrooms, and a dump station for trash and sewage. Two showers stay open all through the winter for so long as situations enable. A free disc golf course begins on the campground, together with two mountaineering trails: Curtis Bench and Entrada Canyon.
A green tent at a designated campsite in Goblin Valley State Park campground
Goblin Valley Campground has views of the white and purple layers of hoodoo sandstone rock formations

Goblin Valley yurts

Should you don’t need to camp on the campground, another choice for an in a single day keep in Goblin Valley is a yurt. Sleeping in a yurt is a novel and comfy technique to get pleasure from a night within the park.

There are two yurts in Goblin Valley. Impressed by Central Asia’s conventional nomadic tents, employees constructed the Goblin Valley yurts in 2011 earlier than yurts had been as fashionable or widespread all through Utah.

  • Charge: The Goblin Valley yurts value $200 per night time, and you’ll deliver a most of two canine for a non-refundable charge of $20 per canine (no different animals allowed).
  • Facilities: The furnished yurts embody a bunk mattress with a single mattress on prime and a double mattress on the underside, a futon sofa, a desk with 4 chairs, reclining deck chairs outdoors, warmth and air con, and an out of doors grill with free propane.
  • Issues to pack: The yurts haven’t any blankets, pillows, cookware, plates, and many others., so put together to deliver your personal.
A yurt in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah surrounded by orange rock formations
Should you keep in a yurt, you’ll be able to benefit from the views of the encompassing distinctive sandstone formations

Goblin Valley dispersed tenting

Should you don’t need to pay for the Goblin Valley Campground and don’t thoughts driving outdoors of the park, there are glorious choices for dispersed tenting in Goblin Valley.

Temple Mountain Campground

Anybody visiting Goblin Valley State Park will move this dispersed tenting space heading into the park. Once you exit UT-24, you flip onto Temple Mountain Street and instantly see campsites on the fitting aspect of the street.

This campground is first come, first serve and has pit bathrooms. It’s big-rig pleasant and contains fireplace rings on the websites.

These spots are about 12 miles from the doorway to Goblin Valley State Park. The GPS coordinates are 38.39082 N, 110.38243 W.

A view of Temple Mountain Road with an orange dirt road, green shrubs, and rock formations in the distance outside of Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
You possibly can observe Temple Mountain Street even additional to flee the crowds

Little Wild Horse Street

Another choice is Little Wild Horse Street. This dispersed space sits simply outdoors Goblin Valley State Park to the west.

This dispersed tenting space has filth roads resulting in campsites with beautiful views of the San Rafael Reef and Wild Horse Butte. The street is doable with 2WD and has spots for large and small rigs.

This space has campfire pits however no cell service. Hold a detailed eye on the climate as a result of flash floods can occur on this space when it rains. The GPS coordinates are 38.34550 N, 110.44350 W.

BLM close to Little Wild Horse Street

If Little Wild Horse Street is unavailable, head to this space simply up the street. This space of land has free campsites nestled in opposition to beautiful cliffs. The street is 2WD and big-rig pleasant however is a bit bumpy.

Like Little Wild Horse Street, there are campfire rings however no cell service. Kristen camped right here in her Sprinter Van in 2019 and loved the views of the rock formations round her campsite. The GPS coordinates for this BLM spot are 38.34559 N, 110.46104 W.

Sprinter Van between orange rocks on BLM outside of Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Kristen’s BLM campsite close to Goblin Valley State Park

Lodges close to Goblin Valley State Park

There aren’t any resorts or lodging lodging inside 30 miles of Goblin Valley State Park. Because of this, I like to recommend persevering with in your Utah street journey if you do not need to camp.

Nonetheless, if you wish to reserve lodging to your journey to Goblin Valley, the closest city is Hanksville, Utah. This small city is 33 miles south of Goblin Valley State Park and has restricted choices for lodging.

There’s one motel referred to as Whispering Sands Motel with reasonably priced charges, however it doesn’t enable pets. Another choice in Hanksville is to remain in a wooden cabin at Muddy Creek Mining Firm.

The city of Inexperienced River is 49 miles northeast of Goblin Valley State Park. Though it’s a bit additional away, there are extra lodge choices, together with a Consolation Inn, Tremendous 8, Hampton Inn, and native choices. There are additionally extra eating places in Inexperienced River than in Hanksville.

Should you go to Goblin Valley for a part of a day and proceed driving afterward, the state park is a bit of over an hour away from Capitol Reef Nationwide Park and Arches Nationwide Park. There are extra choices for lodging close to each of those parks.

The outside of Whispering Sands Motel in Hanksville, Utah
The closest choice for resorts close to Goblin Valley State Park is Whispering Sands Motel in Hanksville, Utah

Goblin Valley Hikes

There are solely 5 established mountaineering trails in Goblin Valley State Park and three trailless valleys the place you’ll be able to discover the distinctive panorama and see the goblins up shut. All trails and valleys are dog-friendly, however they have to be on leash.

These trails are uncovered, so put on solar safety whereas mountaineering and convey loads of water. Since there are sandy and rocky trails, I like to recommend carrying closed-toe mountaineering sneakers or boots.

1. The Goblin’s Lair

Path Fundamentals

  • Distance: 2.3 miles
  • Sort: Out-and-back
  • Elevation Achieve: 203 toes
  • Time: 1 hour quarter-hour
  • Issue: Straightforward
  • Map: AllTrails

The Goblin’s Lair is the hottest hike in Goblin Valley State Park. A lot of the hike is flat on a mud path with some scree.

Over the primary mile, you will notice rock formations alongside a cliff wall. Then, the path will lead you to the desert ground with views of Molly’s Fortress and the Gilson Buttes.

On the finish of the hike, you’ll attain the a part of the path in which you’ll scramble down into an exquisite slot canyon referred to as The Goblin’s Lair, from which the hike will get its identify. It isn’t a real cavern and rockfall shields the doorway.

Relying on whenever you hike to the lair, you may even see mild coming into by the ceiling over 100 toes above the chamber ground. This slot canyon requires primary bouldering abilities.

You possibly can stroll additional down the trail to see The Goblette’s Lair, a barely smaller slot canyon. This extension will add one other 0.2 miles to your complete mileage.

Since I hiked with my canine and didn’t need to carry her down into the canyon, I made a decision to skip this part of the hike. I additionally noticed a baby fall and scrape their knee fairly badly.

Female hiker with a dog on the Goblin's Lair trail in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Mountain climbing with my canine on The Goblin’s Lair path / Photograph Credit score: @nomadxtom

2. Carmel Canyon Path

Path Fundamentals

  • Distance: 1.2 miles
  • Sort: Loop
  • Elevation Achieve: 95 toes
  • Time: 25 minutes
  • Issue: Reasonable
  • Map: AllTrails

The 1.2-mile Carmel Canyon loop will lead you across the desert ground to see the Valley of the Goblins from varied angles. Alongside the route, you will notice The Three Sisters rock formation (talked about additional under) and may deviate barely from the loop to see it even nearer earlier than persevering with.

Since this path is a loop, you’ll be able to head clockwise or counterclockwise. Each instructions have the identical elevation achieve, although mountaineering counterclockwise leads to upward climbing by a deep trench in a slender slot canyon on the finish. Should you choose to descend by the slot canyon, contemplate heading clockwise.

The japanese part of the Carmel Canyon loop is similar route you are taking for the preliminary part of the Goblin’s Lair path talked about above. Should you hike the loop counterclockwise, the cut up for the 2 trails happens at 0.4 miles.

A number of hikers have discovered the signage on this hike complicated, even with a map from the Customer Middle. I like to recommend downloading the map in your telephone beforehand for navigation through the hike.

Wish to prolong your hike? You may make it a lollipop form and add an additional half mile to your hike by taking a bit of Goblin’s Lair path to Molly’s Fortress Overlook. You should have the selection so as to add this optionally available extension about midway across the loop.

Useful Tip

Mix Goblin’s Lair & Carmel Canyon

For a good longer hike, take the extension for Molly’s Fortress Overlook and proceed on the trail till you attain The Goblin’s Lair. You may also stroll an additional 0.1 miles previous this cave to see The Goblette’s Lair. Then, flip round to take the Goblin’s Lair path again to the Carmel Canyon path and end the loop. With Goblette’s Lair, this could add roughly 1.8 miles to your hike, bringing the full to three.3 miles.

Aerial view of Carmel Canyon Trail with a dirt path and green shrubs in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Aerial view of the rock formations you see alongside Carmel Canyon Path / Supply: Utah State Parks

3. Curtis Bench Path

Path Fundamentals

  • Distance: 2.0 miles
  • Sort: Out-and-back
  • Elevation Achieve: 108 toes
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Issue: Straightforward
  • Map: AllTrails

Curtis Bench is a simple, 2.0-mile out-and-back hike that follows the Curtis rock formation. It’s a family-friendly hike with views of 1000’s of goblins within the Valley of the Goblins to the east.

The hike additionally options glorious views of the Henry Mountains to the south. Though there are views of beautiful peaks surrounding you, you’ll spend a lot of the hike in a deep wash on this path.

The hike known as Curtis Bench after the grey-green Curtis layer of sand and siltstone within the higher areas of Goblin Valley State Park. Relying on the time of 12 months you go to the park, you may even see flowering vegetation alongside the path. These flowers are mostly discovered through the spring (April and Could).

The hike begins and ends close to the Goblin Valley Campground, making it a handy choice for anybody tenting within the park. For the reason that path is flat and straightforward to observe, you could possibly additionally do that hike at night time and switch off your headlamp to see the Milky Approach.

A view of the mountains along Curtis Bench trail at golden hour in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Views alongside Curtis Bench path throughout golden hour at Goblin Valley State Park / Supply: Utah State Parks

4. Entrada Canyon

Path Fundamentals

  • Distance: 1.8 miles
  • Sort: Out-and-back
  • Elevation Achieve: 150 toes
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Issue: Straightforward
  • Map: AllTrails

The Entrada Canyon path runs parallel to the Curtis Bench path talked about above however sits at a barely decrease elevation. It’s a simple, 1.8-mile path with views of goblins alongside the route. Like Curtis Bench, Entrada Canyon follows a pure drainage wash.

It’s a smooth, sandy path that could be a bit slender. Some hikers describe the wash as having twists and turns just like a mini slot canyon. There are attention-grabbing patterns and salt deposits alongside the partitions of the wash.

Entrada Canyon will get its identify from the layer of sand and siltstone within the Valley of the Goblins. Sure goblins in Goblin Valley State Park are solely viewable alongside this path and can’t be seen from elsewhere within the park.

This hike additionally begins and ends on the Goblin Valley Campground on the group campsite. In case you are staying on the campground, it is a nice route to absorb the morning to heat up for a difficult hike.

Hikers recommend downloading the route in your telephone forward of time, as it may be complicated the place to go, particularly within the preliminary part of the hike.

Useful Tip

Mix Curtis Bench & Entrada Canyon

You possibly can kind a loop hike from the campground by combining Entrada Canyon with Curtis Bench. The Goblin Crawl Path is a marked path that connects the furthest factors of those two hikes on the parking zone for the Valley of the Goblins Trailhead. The entire hike is round 4 miles.

View of the orange hoodoo rock formations along Entrada Canyon trail in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Some goblins within the park can solely be seen on Entrada Canyon path / Supply: Utah State Parks

5. The Three Sisters

Path Fundamentals

  • Distance: 0.14 miles
  • Sort: Out-and-back
  • Elevation Achieve: 20 toes
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Issue: Straightforward

The Three Sisters rock formation isn’t a lot of a hike, however it’s price a cease. It’s a quick 250-yard path resulting in Goblin Valley State Park’s most iconic goblin formations.

Many souvenirs within the Customer Middle characteristic this rock formation. Though you’ll be able to drive by and {photograph} it, I like to recommend getting out and strolling to see this distinctive characteristic. It’s much more spectacular up shut.

A marked path results in The Three Sisters from Commentary Level Street. As talked about beforehand, the Carmel Canyon path passes close to this rock formation. You possibly can hop onto this path from The Three Sisters and hike the loop in both path.

If you wish to flip this cease into a simple 1-mile loop with an elevation achieve of 88 toes, stroll to The Three Sisters from the trailhead and take the Carmel Canyon Loop for 0.3 miles again to the principle street that connects with the trailhead for The Three Sisters.

Three Sisters rock formation consisting of three tall hoodoo spires on a cloudy day in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Panoramic view of The Three Sisters rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park

Different Issues to Do in Goblin Valley State Park

You probably have extra time to discover Goblin Valley, there may be a variety of actions to do throughout your time there. From pictures to canyoneering, there are alternatives for each kind of out of doors journey lover.

Discover the Valley of the Goblins

Should you don’t need to go on an precise mountaineering path, contemplate strolling round one of many three valleys in Goblin Valley State Park. The valleys include 1000’s of hoodoos and are the park’s major sights.

There aren’t any maintained trails on these undeveloped lands, so you’ll be able to wander the valley as you want. Though it’s permissible to climb on and contact the hoodoos, keep away from any hoodoos that seem fragile. Since there isn’t any clear route, I like to recommend bringing a map and strolling with somebody as you discover.

A woman in a blue coat hiking among the goblins in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Bearfoot Principle founder Kristen Bor exploring the Valley of Goblins

Go canyoneering

Wish to add an unforgettable journey to your journey? You possibly can buy a allow to rappel 70 toes into Goblin’s Lair. This pure sandstone cave is on the east aspect of Goblin Valley.

It requires technical gear, canyoneering abilities, and a backcountry allow ($2 per particular person) to rappel. Permits can be found for buy on the Customer Middle and issued on a first-come, first-serve foundation. They is probably not accessible on busy days.

In case you are , watch climate situations and phone a ranger at 435-275-4584 with questions. You possibly can join a guided canyoneering tour with Get within the Wild Adventures.

Take pictures

Goblin Valley State Park is a photographer’s dream. In the course of the day, you’ll be able to {photograph} the 1000’s of hoodoos throughout the Valley of the Goblins just like these you’d discover when visiting Bryce Canyon Nationwide Park. You may also seize the vegetation of the park, together with varied cacti.

Should you personal a drone, you should purchase a allow on the Customer Middle for $10 to seize the park from above. You possibly can finish the day with beautiful photographs of the Milky Approach in the dead of night sky at night time.

An orange rock formation against a blue sky in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
There are such a lot of attention-grabbing geologic options to {photograph} within the park

Play disc golf

Goblin Valley State Park has a free disc golf course with 20 holes. The primary eleven holes characteristic flat terrain with views of the Henry Mountains and Valley of the Goblins. The course then connects with the Curtis Bench path, permitting a simple return to your automobile.

Should you resolve to play the entire course, holes 12-20 are unfold all through canyons and dune fields throughout two miles. There are steep climbs and descents on this part of the course, so put on sturdy mountaineering sneakers and convey water. You possibly can lease discs for $1 every on the Customer Middle.

Go mountain biking

There are 5 mountain biking loops inside Goblin Valley State Park spanning seven miles as a part of the Wild Horse Mountain Biking Path System. These interconnecting mountain bike trails vary in problem from newbie to intermediate.

Whereas mountain biking, you’ll encounter areas of the park which are not often visited and see lovely views of mountain peaks alongside the paths. In case you are in search of extra trails to experience close to the park, there are much more mountain biking trails within the San Rafael Swell.

Mountain biker on singletrack trail surrounded by barren desert terrain in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah
A mountain biker having fun with the paths in Goblin Valley State Park

Swing by the Customer Middle

The Goblin Valley State Park Customer Middle incorporates a present store with souvenirs to recollect your journey and extra details about the park. It’s open each day from 9:00 a.m. to five:00 p.m., although these hours fluctuate by season.

This constructing can be the place you should purchase permits for flying a drone or canyoneering for those who plan to do both of those actions through the day.

The Customer Middle additionally options free public Wi-Fi. This web entry is handy in case you are tenting in or close to the park and shouldn’t have a technique to get Wi-Fi on the street.

Go stargazing

Wish to admire the celebs? You’ll find one of many darkest night time skies at Goblin Valley State Park. As a result of the park is away from fashionable areas and light-weight air pollution, it’s a licensed Darkish Sky Park.

There are breathtaking views of the Milky Approach and constellations. Carry a telescope or go for an evening hike to see the celebs. You may also be part of a ranger-led moonlit hike or telescope tour.

The Milky Way above Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Goblin Valley State Park is a Darkish Sky Park, making it an ideal spot to see the Milky Approach

Goblin Valley 1-day Itinerary

Should you solely have at some point in Goblin Valley State Park, use this itinerary to assist plan your day. This Goblin Valley 1-day itinerary is adventure-packed to get essentially the most out of your time within the park however be at liberty to customise it to suit your wants.

1. Cease on the Customer Middle

Earlier than you pay your $20 entrance charge to the ranger on the gate, pull over within the small parking zone to the fitting. This lot is the place you’ll be able to park to take a look at the Customer Middle, use the restroom, and replenish your water earlier than heading off in your adventures.

2. Discover the Valley of the Goblins

Earlier than you begin a hike, I like to recommend exploring the valleys for 1-2 hours and taking pictures of the hoodoos earlier than these valleys fill with individuals (and turn out to be a playground for youngsters) later within the day.

One of the trailless Valley of Goblins in Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
One of many trailless Valleys of Goblins within the morning earlier than the park fills with guests

3. Hike the Goblin’s Lair

This fashionable 3-mile, out-and-back path will lead you to a sandstone cave the place you’ll be able to look down 100 toes to see the canyon ground under. There’s a little bit of a scramble to get to the lair, so go gradual and watch your footing. 

4. Eat a picnic lunch

Discover a spot with a view or head to the gazebo with shade and loads of picnic tables on the Valley of the Goblins parking zone. It’s on the far proper of the lot overlooking Valley 1, on the other aspect of the Goblin’s Lair trailhead.

Bearfoot Theory founder Kristen Bor in a blue jacket enjoying the view at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
Discover a spot with a view and luxuriate in a picnic lunch throughout your go to to Goblin Valley

5. Admire The Three Sisters

Should you missed this iconic rock formation in your method into the Valley of the Goblins, pull over (or a minimum of snap a photograph from the automotive) in your method out. It’s only a 250-yard stroll to succeed in The Three Sisters for those who resolve to take a look at the remark level.

6. Play disc golf

After consuming lunch and stopping at The Three Sisters, try the free Goblin Valley disc golf course. The course spans a number of miles and weaves gamers by canyons with unimaginable views of the encompassing mountain peaks and goblins.

Alternatively, for those who’re a mountain biker you’ll be able to try the Wild Horse trails.

Disc golf hole with mountains in the background at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
The disc golf course at Goblin Valley State Park has beautiful mountain views / Supply: Utah State Parks

7. Examine into your campground or yurt

In case you are staying within the Goblin Valley Campground or reserved one of many two Goblin Valley yurts, this is a wonderful time to seek out your spot, loosen up, and make dinner. There are grills accessible for visitors in each the campground and the yurts. If you wish to camp outdoors the park, I like to recommend discovering your spot earlier than darkish since a number of the roads could possibly be troublesome to drive at night time.

8. Watch the sundown

Step out of your rig, tent, or yurt to catch the sundown. The solar transforms the rocks from orange to a glowing purple hue. Sundown is among the most magical instances of day within the desert. In case you are a photographer, this is a wonderful time of day to seize pictures of the encompassing cliff formations.

Sprinter Van at sunset on a road near Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
You’ll want to pull over and admire the pink clouds throughout sundown at Goblin Valley State Park

9. Go stargazing

Finish your day by admiring the Milky Approach in one of many darkest night time skies on Earth. Relying on the day and time of 12 months you go to, you could possibly examine the Customer Middle to see if there’s a ranger-led moonlit hike or telescope tour. Should you camp on the Goblin Valley Campground, you could possibly stroll a part of the Curtis Bench path at night time for a extra secluded stargazing expertise.


Ideas for Visiting Goblin Valley State Park

As you put together to go to Goblin Valley, observe the suggestions under. It doesn’t matter what you resolve to do within the park, the following pointers will guarantee a protected and pleasant expertise.

  • Arrive early: The park opens at 6:00 a.m. I like to recommend arriving a bit of earlier than it opens to keep away from the strains, crowds, and warmth (relying on the time of 12 months). Since Goblin Valley has restricted parking, spots replenish rapidly, after which rangers solely enable one automobile to enter for every automobile that exits.
  • Keep hydrated: Use the water refill stations on the Customer Middle and the Valley of the Goblins parking zone to refill your water reservoir or bottles all through the day. Should you plan to hike or discover the valleys, go away with a minimum of 3 liters of water.
  • Put on correct solar apparel: The vast majority of the park is uncovered. Put on desert mountaineering apparel, a solar hat, and convey sun shades. Additionally, you will need to apply sunscreen within the morning and reapply all through the day to keep away from sunburn.
  • Carry snacks or lunch: There aren’t any locations to buy meals inside this state park. Should you plan to spend a day or day within the park, pack a few of my favourite simple mountaineering snacks or a picnic lunch to remain fueled.

Goblin Valley State Park Packing Record

Beneath is the principle gear to pack for a day in Goblin Valley State Park. Should you plan to hike within the park, try this checklist of Day Mountain climbing Necessities.

  • A daypack with a 3L hydration reservoir. Keep in mind to begin your day with loads of water for your self, your loved ones, and your canine (for those who deliver one).
  • A solar hat such because the Wallaroo Sedona Hat (BFT readers get 20% off with the code “BEARFOOT20”).
  • Loads of sunscreen. Reapply all through the day to keep away from sunburn because the park is in uncovered desert terrain.
  • A buff to guard your neck from the solar.
  • Snacks to eat whereas mountaineering or cooling down within the shade.
  • A rain jacket in case of storms. Afternoon thunderstorms are widespread within the late summer season (July and August).
  • Grippy mountaineering sneakers – I like to recommend mountaineering boots or sneakers with good traction for stability. These are particularly wanted for those who plan to hike the Goblin’s Lair or Carmel Canyon.

In search of extra adventurous locations to go to in Utah? Try these:

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Have you ever visited Goblin Valley State Park? What did you do throughout your time there? Inform me about your expertise within the feedback!



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