One of the first things you will discover when you begin to wander around Goblin Valley at Goblin Valley state park is that the goblins form a wide variety of shapes. Among the hundreds of goblins in the valley, I saw camels, skulls, monkeys, and snakes to name just a few. As I rounded one corner, I found myself face to face with what could only be the Goblin of Goblin Valley:
While there are a number of different formations that look like goblin rocks, this is the one that instantly proclaimed Goblin Rock to me. What do you think?
While there are a number of trail hikes at Goblin Valley state park (Curtis Bench Trail, Entrada Canyon Trail, and Carmel Canyon Trail), the best hike at Goblin Valley state park isn’t a marked trail at all. One of the wonderful aspects about Goblin Valley is that you can wander into the valley among all the goblins and explore to your heart’s content creating your own hike. Since the Observation Point makes for an easily recognizable orientation point, you don’t have to worry about getting lost or turned around as you wander.
As soon as you make your way down into the valley, you’re greeted with the goblins at eye level:
What makes wandering the valley so much fun is that around every corner there are more goblins hidden around unseen side valleys:
Hiking among the goblins also lets you see how playful they can be:
There are actually three valleys which you can explore (be sure to take plenty of water) meaning that it is easy to spend hours wandering while seeing new goblin formations. For those that like to wander instead of following a preset path when hiking, this is definitely a destination you want to add to your list.
Sometime when I’m traveling, I come across a name of a park that is so intriguing that I have to go there even without knowing what I’m going to find. That was the case when I saw Goblin Valley Utah State Park on the map. I can honestly say that this was one of the best decisions I have made. If you have never visited Goblin Valley, it’s one of those places that you want to add to your bucket list.
When you first enter Goblin Valley state park, the first recognizable formation you will see are the three goblins. While the three goblins give the impression that the valley will be filled with sparse, distinct goblin formations, you immediately realise this is not the case when you reach Observation Point. Observations Point gives you a wonderful view of Valley 1 (there are actually three valleys) and the hundreds of “goblins” that live within the valley:
In addition to giving you an amazing first view of Goblin Valley, Observation Point also becomes an essential orientating landmark when you venture down into the valley to look at all the goblins up-close. The point has a large picnic structure with roof that can easily be seen from most places in the valley which keeps one from getting lost in the maze of all the goblins and gives you the security of being a bit more adventurous in your exploration that you might be without this landmark.
One of the first formations you come upon once you enter Goblin Valley State Park in Utah are the three goblin guards. The three goblin guards stand by themselves off to the left of the road as you drive toward Observation Point. The three stand out because they are the only goblins in the general area and seem to be welcoming you to their little world (or there to warn all the other goblins of your presence).
The three goblin guards are also deceiving in foretelling what you are about to see once you reach Goblin Valley. They make it appear that you will be entering a world where there will be many distinct formations in their own area, when in reality you’ll soon be seeing hundreds of goblins scattered all over the valley floor.