Goblin valley is not unknown but lots of tourists don't go there because of its isolated location. People who plan to go to Capitol Reef should not miss to take a short cut to Goblin Valley. Goblin Valley State Park is located east of Capitol Reef and about 30 miles north of the small town Hanksville.
To get there:
The way is very easy to drive with any car or van. First you go on highway 24 following the sign to Green River. After about 12 miles you turn left and follow the road signs for about 2 miles. Then you turn left again on an unpaved road along the mountain chain of San Rafael Reef until you get to Goblin Valley. After you have paid an entry fee of about 5 $ (2003) (national park pass is not valid here) you drive till the end of the road to Goblin Valley Overlook. From there you have a fantastic view over most of the valley. That is a great place for a picnic (there are also roofed places).
If you want to see the valley of its best, you should try to be there at golden hour. At that time the goblins are beautiful and colourful and change their colors within minutes, starting with brown, over orange to dark red. The little bushes that are spread all over the valley have great shiny yellow flowers in contrast to the color of the goblins and gives you a good opportunity for a shot. A paradise for photographers!
This area is also good for people who like to hike. On the unmarked paths you follow the footsteps and can go cross-country exploring Goblin Valley. Everywhere you'll see different, new shapes of that red-brownish sandstone. Even without any big phantasy you'll see lots of different variants: figures, ufos, mushrooms and other shapes which women would like. The shades and changing colors during golden hour let you recognize some faces in the goblins.
You can set up your tent right there on a small campground. Further opportunities to stay are in Green River, which is north, in Hanksville or in Capitol Reef National Park. If you have any questions to campground in these 3 towns send an email.
One request: Please don' climb on the goblins because it is very soft, sensitive sandstone. If everybody respects that the goblins will exist for many years.
I explored a highlight close to Goblin Valley. This is the Little Wild Horse Canyon which is worth seeing. For me it belongs to one of the best slot canyons. To get more information click here. For people who like geocaching: some GPS information.
Last update: 04/01/2006