Goblin Valley State Park in Utah - Unearthly Gremlin Creatures Abound!
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.
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.
On the left hand side of the photo above that formation is commonly referred to as the three sisters.
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 trafficked areas.
As we got to the main viewing area, there is a raised shelter with picnic tables where one can look down upon this 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 with 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.
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 on the valley floor 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.
Take a bit of time to watch what it is like to walk among these unusual rocks in the video below.
The seasons of spring and fall are perfect times to visit this park because of more moderate temperatures. It can get sizzling hot in summer and also very cold during the winter.
There are some nice campsites here. Reservations can be made by calling this number: 800-322-3770.
It would really be fun to be able to spend several days hiking and playing in this area!
The video below shows some of the campsites and shows even more of what there is to do and see while visiting this remote park playground.
If you are a Hobbit fan or just like gremlins and goblins, be sure and make plans to visit this site.
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!
If you were in the area would you take a detour to see Goblin Valley State Park?
© 2008 Peggy Woods