Goblin Valley Adventures

2 minute read

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Three years ago we landed on Goblin Valley State Park when it was very busy, and when a rainstorm hit that was going to last a while. Ever since we’ve regretted not exploring this magical place. Who can forget the rock monster scene from Galaxy Quest?


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We positioned ourselves close by in a dispersed BLM site just north and west of the state park entrance, allowing us to hit the park early and be one of the first vehicles parked in the lot. It was chilly but dry, with blue skies and clouds allowing for perfect hiking weather and some amazing photography. It was hard to choose photos for this post as we got so many keepers.

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We started the day by hiking around the back (east) side of the valley, working our way to Goblin’s Lair and Goblinette’s Lair. These are two deep hole caves formed by the rocks and worth the trip out. You can see the triangle entrance to one of them over Julie’s left shoulder.

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Here’s the trick to fully exploring and enjoying Goblin Valley: from the main parking lot, walk straight through the main valley in front of you and work your way to the south end of the valley (to the right), gradually turning left in almost a spiral as you work your way up a grade around the back of the original valley. The goblins become denser, the hiking more fun as you scramble up mini canyons and crevasses. We worked our way all the way around and ended up on top of the mini mesa overlooking the main valley and were able to find our way back down through some washes and canyons. A great unmarked loop and so much fun or the able-bodied. Probably shouldn’t do this with pre-teen kids or younger.

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Here’s a shot from up high, with the goblins appearing to have heads that are staring off into the left side of the frame.

We ended the day by hiking out Curtis Bench, which offers wide pano views of Goblin Valley along with amazing rocks along the trail. A surprise discovery up here (and circling the very nice campground) was an 18 hole disc golf course. This one passes through some rugged terrain and would likely take a couple of hours to complete, but we still wish we had brought along our discs. This basket is #1 and situated on a rock overlooking the campground.

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