This is one of Utah's most popular parks. It offers incredible scenery and great opportunity for hiking and camping. The goblin-like hoodoos here are unique and fun for all ages.

 

 

Location

Near the town of Hanksville

 

From I-70, exit onto Highway 24 and drive south for approximately 24 miles to the signed park turnoff, which is also the turnoff for Temple Mountain. From the Hwy 24 turnoff, follow the paved road for about 12 miles to park.

Park Hours

Open year-round, 24 hours/day

Entrance Fee

$8/vehicle - Valid for 7 days (Subject to change)

Visitor Center & Hours

The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. However, during winter months (Nov - Feb), the Visitor Center may be closed for short periods while staff is away at lunch or on park business, and occasionally may be closed all day if no staff is available.

 

AVAILABLE TIME

SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

2-3 hours

Sightseeing from the park overlook, hiking among the goblins

1/2 day

Hiking among the goblins, Morning or Evening Photography

Picnicking

Full Day

Nearby, Temple Mountain offers great trails for hiking, biking and riding ATVs. Several popular slot canyon hikes are found in this area.

 

   
     

Description

Goblin Valley includes an area where soft sandstone has eroded into interesting shapes, somewhat resembling goblins. In some spots the rock formations are close together and produce a maze-like playground ideal for family explorations.

Many serious photographers come here to get shots of the goblins during the late evening or early morning hours, when shadows provide contrast to the sun-bathed rock.

History

Cowboys searching for cattle first discovered secluded Goblin Valley. Then in the late 1920s, Arthur Chaffin, owner/operator of the Hite ferry, and two companions were searching for an alternative route between Green River and Cainsville. They came to a vantage point about a mile west of Goblin Valley and were awed by what they saw, five buttes and a valley of strange-shaped rock formations surrounded by a wall of eroded cliffs.

In 1949, Chaffin returned to the area he called Mushroom Valley. He spent several days exploring the mysterious valley and photographing its scores of intricately eroded creatures. The area was acquired by the state of Utah and in 1964 was officially designated a state park. 

Goblin Valley State Park is a showcase of geologic history. Exposed cliffs reveal parallel layers of rock bared by erosion. Because of the uneven hardness of sandstone, some patches resist erosion much better than others. The softer material is removed by wind and water, leaving thousands of unique, geologic goblins. Water erosion and the smoothing action of windblown dust work together to shape the goblins.

Bedrock is exposed because of the thin soil and lack of vegetation. When rain does fall, there are few plant roots and little soil to capture and hold the water, which quickly disappears, in muddy streams without penetrating the bedrock.

Summer days can be very hot. During summer it is pleasant to explore here during the early morning and late evening hours. Spring and fall are ideal times to visit this park. Winter days are often mild and hiking can be enjoyable, but winter nights can be very cold (often near 0 F).

Tour Guide Fun Fact: A Hollywood movie, Galaxy Quest starring Tim Allen, was filmed here because of its unearthly scenery.

 

In recent news, this park is where the Boy Scout leaders video-taped themselves knocking over a rock formation.

 

Does anyone have some stories to share about their time in Goblin Valley State Park?