Utah: Goblin Valley State Park

Okay, if you are not from Utah and you have never heard of Goblin Valley State Park, you are probably wondering why anyone would name a park after Goblins. As we all know, Goblins are little monsters. They are told about in European folklore…….so why Goblin Valley Park?

Goblin-Like Rock Formations

Through millions of years of weathering and other geological phenomena, rock formations called hoodoos formed and they look like statues of creatures, thus the name of the park “Goblin Valley State Park.” People love to visit the park today because it’s different, you can’t find many places on earth that look like this.

The park consists of red rock and red soil and sand. The color of the hoodoos are mostly of red rock as well. With a blue sky background, and the red rock background, you have one of the most beautiful displays of nature in the world!

Climbing the Goblins

Looking down into the Valley of Goblins is a great treat itself, but you can also climb the larger hoodoo structures and even climb the rock wall structure on the east end of the valley. Children love visiting Goblin Valley because they can climb the goblins and even get up pretty high above the ground. They can also crawl under holes that are part of the rocky structures.

Whether you have kids or not, Goblin Valley is fun to visit for ALL ages. So plan your trip soon!

Getting There

Goblin Valley is off the I-70 in central Utah south on Highway 24. It’s about a 25-minute drive to get there, just follow the signs. You may question yourself if you are going the right way or not because this park is out in the middle of nowhere. We were literally the only car on the road for most of the drive, but if you follow the signs, you will arrive at the park, and yes other people will be there.

Accommodations

There is no Goblin Valley State Park lodging such as a hotel nearby, so you have a couple of options.

  1. Camping: Goblin Valley State Park Campground is an option. During peak season it does sell out, so be sure to book in advance. Peak season is late Spring, all Summer, and early Fall. The campground is right in the state park, so you don’t have to leave the park and re-enter.
  2. The Closest Hotels: If you are not the outdoors type of person, you can stay at a hotel, but it is a bit of a drive. The closest hotels are in Green River, which is about 40 minutes from the park, or if you are wanting to visit other national and state parks in the area, you should consider staying at a hotel in Moab, UT, which is about an hour and 15 minutes from Goblin. Book hotels in advance, otherwise you may end of having to pay too much for your room.

Our Visit

We recently visited Goblin Valley in February 2019. We loved it! Our kids loved it. They really enjoyed climbing the larger hoodoos and even made Irina and I nervous for their safely at times because they were so high.

We snapped some great photos and videos as you can see below.

We spent a total of 2 hours playing in the park. The kids didn’t want to leave when it was time for us to go, so we just told them that the goblins come alive during the night and that we needed to get out of there before they woke up. That seemed to at least motivate our younger one. Tricks like these don’t work on our older daughter anymore.

Know Before You Go

-Goblin Valley is in the middle of a high elevation desert, this means a few things for you as a traveler:

  • Summers are very hot and dry, bring lots of water. They suggest drinking a gallon of water day during the summer months
  • Winters are extremely cold during the night, there is not a lot of snow in this area, but still bundle up if you are visiting during the winter months
  • Watch for dangerous desert organisms such as scorpions and poisonous snakes

-Peak season is in late spring through summer, and early fall. The winter is non-peak season and hotels are a lot cheaper during this time. If there is a heatwave on a winter day when the weather is mild, it can get crowded on these days, even though it’s not peak season.

-Hotels are rumored to have bed bugs in Moab, so place your luggage on bathroom counters or on metal luggage racks, never place them on floor.

-Be careful and vigilant while hiking, there are some high cliffs and some steep drops.

-Bring a camera and be ready to take lots of photos, this place is beautiful.

-Most importantly, have fun!

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