True to its name, the Goblin Valley State Park is not an average park at all. The unique desert landscape resembles a scene from a sci-fi movie. In fact, Goblin Valley was once used as a set for Galaxy Quest.
The Mars-like landscape is littered by dozens of “hoodoos”, which are what the rock structures are called. These are also known as the “goblins” of Goblin Valley. Besides the otherworldly atmosphere, the state park has a few unique attractions that make it a hidden gem for most travellers.
Goblin Valley is a hiker’s paradise, with various rocky trails to explore freely. The horizon is lined up with various shapes and sizes of hoodoos to admire and navigate through. The state park has about six miles of marked hiking trails, for visitors to explore.
There are also various other fun and adventurous outdoor activities. Experts in canyoneering can explore the Goblin’s Lair: a natural sandstone cave that’s just waiting to be explored. Mountain bikers enjoy the designated trails across the park. Other activities include disc golf, which can be played for a fee.
Spend the entire day at the park and wait for nightfall for more magnificent views. The Goblin Valley State Park is a certified International Dark Sky Park. So, it is the perfect place for stargazing. You rarely see such a clear night sky full of stars, above breathtaking desert canyons like in Goblin Valley. Make sure to bring the appropriate camera equipment for night time photography, in order to capture amazing shots.
Goblin Valley State Park is located in south-east Utah, at the San Rafael Desert. It’s just about a four-hour drive from Salt Lake City and is open all year round. It’s an obscure hidden gem, so don’t worry about overcrowding.
Goblin Valley is a perfect place to visit for all, whether you’re an adventurous thrillseeker travelling solo, a couple of traveller friends or a family with young children: there are activities across the park appropriate for all age groups and skill levels.