Goblin Valley in Utah is what I think Mars must be like. We traveled extensively in Utah on an amazing road trip. You can read about our full adventure here, or if you want to check out specific aspects of the trip, you can check out our post on Arches National Park and our post on the Scariest Drive through Utah. Suffice it to say, we love love love Utah. Goblin Valley is no exception, and it is 100% worth the detour.
If you’re traveling from Zion/Bryce/Capitol Reef to Monument Valley or Moab, as many do, or the reverse as we did, then you’ll want to make this detour between Capitol Reef and Monument Valley or Moab. It adds about an hour and a half making the stop between Capitol Reef and Monument Valley, and just 45 minutes if you’re heading up to Moab from Capitol Reef. It’s a state park, so if you have the National Park Pass, it won’t get you in. But rest assured! At the time we went, it only cost an extra $5. Dig deep into those pockets and fish out the Lincoln.
So what is so cool about Goblin Valley? Well, when you approach it, you really can’t tell what you’re about to get into. You see this in the distance:
But as you get closer, you start seeing these funny little rock formations:
They’re little hoodoos everywhere! And sure, if you were just at Bryce, you’ve seen hoodoos, so who do care? Well, in Goblin Valley, you not only get to see them, you get to play on them!! So first, meet your very own friendly hoodoo up close and personal.
But choose wisely, because there’s a lot of them!
You could spend most of your trip just picking out shapes in the hoodoos. Like look the schnoz on this guy! And is that jaws above??
But don’t! You can venture IN the hoodoos and really experience the fun.
You start to feel small amongst the hoodoos:
But you can become your own goblin!
Making this detour is a great way to get in the rocks without having an extensive trail you’re required to follow. Here, you make your own rules. You go your own way. That hoodoo looks big enough to climb? CLIMB THE HOODOO. But watch out for snakes!
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