Goblin Valley State Park is a must see destination in the San Rafael Swell. Erosion has left behind sandstone hoodoos and there are thousands of these rock formations in the park. Some might say that they look like goblins and this is how the park got its name. You can wander around these strange formations or watch them from afar in the changing light of dusk. The area has a landscape reminiscent of Mars. There are many interesting shapes and spires, and the scenery sometimes feels as if you're wandering through a gigantic sand castle. Sometimes it looks like you're walking through a valley of giant mushrooms. There are plenty of photo opportunities. There are other larger eroded landforms such as Molly's Castle and various buttes. This is a fun day trip or a good base for further exploration of the Swell.
There a 3 short hiking trails in the park although none of them go through the hoodoos. To see the hoodoos up close, just wander through Goblin Valley( or valleys, there are 3), which starts right off the Goblin Valley observation point. There is plenty of great hiking outside the park, including Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon, Wild Horse Window and plenty more.
Entrada Canyon(1.3 miles one way) Leads from the campground to the hoodoos. Good for those wanting to extend their hike through the valley.
Curtis Bench(2.1 miles one way) Starts near the campground and follows the Curtis formation. Offers views of the Henry mountains and Goblin Valley
Carmel Canyon(1.5 mile loop) Starts by the Goblin Valley observation point. Goes along the desert floor with different views of Goblin Valley. There is an optional spur trail to Molly's Castle Overlook.
The main campground has water, showers, restrooms and picnic areas. It can accommodate some RVs but there are no hookups. There are also two yurts that you can rent. Outside the park there is plenty of camping spots on the BLM land but there are no facilities.
There is room to roam "behind the reef", heading west towards Temple Mountain. Activities include hiking, biking and ATVing. Behind the Reef Road makes for a nice, if rough drive, and you will have to drive back the way you came if taking a regular car. It has various hiking trails off it.
Goblin Valley State Park is located off Highway 24 south of I-70. From I-70 take Highway 24 south for 24 miles, turn right on Temple Mountain Road and go for 5.2 miles, turn left on Goblin Valley Road and continue until you reach the park. It is paved the whole way. It is 49 miles from Green River and 20 miles north of Hanksville. Be sure to fill up your gas tank in Green River or Hanksville.
Campground- restrooms, showers, group campground
Goblin Valley State Park
P.O. Box 637
Green River, UT 84525-0637
435-275-4584 - main park number
Things to Consider
Open all year. Spring and Fall are good times to visit with more moderate temperatures. Seek shelter during thunderstorms, lightning and flooding dangers are high. Be sure to fill up your gas tank in Green River or Hanksville. Drink plenty of water.