Goblin Valley State Park in Utah - Unearthly Gremlin Creatures Abound!

Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park | Source

Goblin Valley State Park

If you wish to see unearthly and imaginary creatures composed out of rock formations then Goblin Valley State Park in Utah is a must see adventure for your entire family.

It is located between Capitol Reef National Park and Arches National Park.

Some fellow vacationers going the opposite direction told us to make a point of taking the detour off of Highway 24 onto the unpaved road and follow the signs to see the Goblin Valley State Park. They made it sound interesting enough that we decided to take their advice.

We had just enjoyed sightseeing in the unbelievably beautiful Capitol Reef National Park and were on our way to see both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Had we not been tipped off by those fellow vacationers, we probably would have not taken the time to take this side-trip which turned out to be of so much interest.


Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park
Goblin Valley State Park | Source

Goblin Valley Family Hike


The 10 mile one-way unpaved road was being newly graded and we followed the dirt path not knowing exactly what to expect. ( This was back in July of 1991. The road may be paved by now, but I doubt it due to its remoteness from more heavily travelled areas.)

As we approached the area and got closer, we began to see some unique outcroppings of very unusual goblin like creatures sitting upon a flat surface of rock. They appeared as though some giant child had formed these sentries while playing with silly putty and they were just the beginning of what we were to see.


Road we took to get to the Goblin Valley State Park.

Road grader at work on the road we took to get to the Goblin Valley State Park.
Road grader at work on the road we took to get to the Goblin Valley State Park. | Source

For those who like to camp...see actual Goblin Valley State Park campsite photos in this video.

Goblin Valley State Park, San Rafael Swell, Emery County, Utah

Goblin Valley State Park

Contrasting rock colors
Contrasting rock colors | Source
My niece among the odd shaped rocks.
My niece among the odd shaped rocks. | Source


As we got to the main viewing area, there is a raised shelter with picnic tables where one can overlook the out of this world sight.



On the smooth earthen floor appears countless unearthly formations all cast in stone. Stones piled upon other stones form images of creatures of every type imagining. Many appear like mushrooms; others like the goblins for which the state park is named.



In the late 1920's when Arthur Chaffin first discovered this place he called it Mushroom Valley.


Great video of walking in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

Goblin Valley State Park

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Source
Source

2 Brits having fun in Goblin Valley State Park

Off the beaten path

Goblin Valley State Park is one of those places that one could easily miss seeing as it is definitely off the beaten path.

Just imagine what the first people who discovered it must have thought!

Many people, both children and adults were exploring and climbing upon the rocks but looked like midgets playing in that giant child's silly putty city as seen from the overlook.

There are no specific trails throughout this maze, but the higher overlook picnic area can always be the guidepost to getting one safely back to one's car.

It it was not for that point of reference, it would be easy to get lost among this wide array of scattered rock formations.

If you are a Hobbit fan or just like gremlins and goblins, be sure and make plans to visit this site.

Oh........and be sure and bring your camera! It is a photographer's paradise!

Goblin Valley State Park and all of those unearthly rock creatures will remain in your memory long after you have finished your vacation in Utah. It has certainly done that for us!


Goblin Valley State Park - Some additional photos

3 pictures pieced together showing the "silly putty playground."
3 pictures pieced together showing the "silly putty playground." | Source
Final picture showing all of the people playing among the rock formations in Goblin Valley State Park.  Photo taken from the raised picnic area above.
Final picture showing all of the people playing among the rock formations in Goblin Valley State Park. Photo taken from the raised picnic area above. | Source

If you were in the area would you take a detour to see Goblin Valley State Park?

  • Absolutely!
  • Probably
  • Not sure
  • I've seen enough here to satisfy my curiousity
  • No
See results without voting
A markerGoblin Valley State Park -
Goblin Valley State Park, Green River, UT 84525, USA
[get directions]

Goblin Valley - Fire poi and staff spinning

Did you enjoy learning about Goblin Valley State Park? Please take a moment to give this article a star rating. Thank you!

5 out of 5 stars from 3 ratings of Goblin Valley State Park

© 2008 Peggy Woods

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Comments are welcomed. 47 comments

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Mary,

Still not sure which rock you meant as there were a number of videos, but with many of the rocks balanced as they are, seemingly on top of one another, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Goblin Valley State Park is quite a place!


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

I stand corrected: The rock that was toppled over is the one on the video, not your photo; sorry....


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 2 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Mary,

I did not hear that particular news item but it does not surprise me. This is a great area for rock climbing but one needs to use common sense. It is an amazing place! Glad you have gotten to see it in person. Thanks for your votes, pin and share.


mary615 profile image

mary615 2 years ago from Florida

One of my daughters and I visited this strange, but beautiful park several years ago, I have many photos of these curious rocks.

You may have read the story in the news about the two idiots that toppled over the large rock that sat on top of the other rock. I believe it was the one in your photo.

Voted this Hub UP, etc.etc. and shared. Will also Pin to my travel board.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas Author

Hi Au fait,

You would have loved visiting here. Great place for an entire day of climbing, playing hide and seek, etc. We have to thank those fellow travelers who told us about it! It is worth the detour to see. Thanks for sharing this information with others.


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