Hiking at Goblin Valley State Park is more like wandering around in a valley of strange rock formations — called goblins. There are no established trails in the valley itself, and you’re just free to wander about.
This was my third visit to the Utah state park, which is somewhat near Hanksville. It’s southwest of Moab or south east of Salt Lake City. Basically, it’s not real near any place you’ve probably ever heard of. And, it’s probably not like any place you’ve visited. I really enjoy wandering around among the goblins!
This was the first time I’ve camped at Goblin Valley. And, it was the first time I’ve experienced sunset and sunrise at the park. The sandstone rocks do seem to glow during the “golden” hours. (The campground is very nice, nestled right up against rock formations. The showers were really, really nice.)
Before I visited the park for the first time, I had looked at the website. I expected the goblins or rock formations to be a couple feet high. Wrong! There are some small rocks, but there are lots that are 20 feet or more high.
(“Galaxy Quest,” a move starring Tim Allen, was filmed in part at Goblin Valley. The scenes supposedly set on another planet are really set in this park. The movie isn’t great, but it’s sort of a fun way to see the park.)
The goblins are mostly rounded rocks. You can climb on them, which seems to be great fun for everyone, not just kids. A few years ago, there was an instance of an adult pushing one of the formations over, effectively destroying it. Fortunately, he was caught and prosecuted. Enjoy the goblins, but don’t damage them!
Strolling around the valley with the goblins isn’t exactly strenuous exercise. It’s real easy to get tucked behind a goblin and just spend some time enjoying the rocks. Then, before you know it, several hours have passed.
Every time I’ve been to Goblin Valley, there have been a fair number of other people there. The valley is quite large, so it’s never seemed crowded. There might be some kids roaming around and having a great time — kind of nice to hear happy kids enjoying nature, and rocks.
I’ve been to Goblin Valley on a rainy day and on a sunny, cloudless day. Both are nice, and the goblins looked completely different depending on the weather. However, sunset was quite impressive. The goblins were fantastic!