Goblin Valley State Park in Utah is a unique and fascinating spot however you may remember it’s name because of what happened there in 2013. Two doofuses knocked over one of the rock structures. They claimed one of the rocks was about to topple over on to a small child and they were protecting not only said child, but anyone else that could potentially walk past this rock. I have watched the video several times and have never seen a child anywhere near that rock, other than the childish people destroying a rock structure that was around 170 million years old. Probably the most disturbing part of the video is that after they topple over the rock the person filming bursts into laughter and states that his buddy is “saving lives at Goblin Valley”. Second most disturbing part is the high five between the vandal and the third friend.
And that my friend is why we can’t have nice things.
One of the main draws of Goblin Valley State Park for us was that it is dog friendly. Boomer always enjoys adventure even though sometimes his scardy cat ways take over. While checking out the goblins I do believe he was slightly frighten of the strange “monsters” 🙂
The main attraction of Goblin Valley State Park is the observation point which is surrounded by valleys 1, 2 and 3. Valley 1 sits in front of the observation point, parking lot and a picnic structure. As Boomer and I made our way down the trail into valley 1 I could see that there were paths made by previous goblin hunters, but nothing that would indicate a traditional trail system. It was nice to be able to make our own way but it did result in a slightly difficult task making our way back on our return trip. For the most part you can see the parking lot while traversing around the goblins until you walk into the Goblin’s Lair. Sounds spooky doesn’t it? We did not spend much time in the lair due to the my excellent sense of direction. And when I say excellent I mean you could drop me off in the middle of a forest with the hopes of me finding my way back and I would end up homesteading there because my sense of direction is much like my GPS Samantha’s, bad on a good day. But unlike Samantha, I am willing to admit my faults.
Goblin Valley was first discovered in the late 1920’s. Although I think the goblin name is endearing I happen to agree with Arthur Chaffin, the man who originally discovered the valley. He referred to the valley as “Mushroom Valley”. They do look much more like mushrooms to me than goblins. However since I am allergic to mushrooms I probably would have skipped a park named Mushroom Valley 🙂
About 30 years after Chaffin’s discovery of the area it was decided to protect it from vandalism and the area was known as Goblin Valley State Reserve. On August 24th 1964 the area was officially made a Utah State park.
The goblins are the result of wind and water working together to form the round headed like monsters. The goblins are made of entrada sandstone. There is evidence that the area was once under water and the sands found here have come from other surrounding areas, most likely transported by wind. The wind whipped around us quite a bit during our walk around the valley floor, which likely aided in forming even more goblins during our visit much to Boomer’s dismay.
The main attraction of the park is certainly the different valleys of goblins however there are a few hiking trails as well as an OHV area that you may find interesting if you are looking for more adventure. I had planned on taking one of the hiking trails but the hours had gotten away from us and we were now in the high heat of the day. It was not worth the risk of heatstroke for either Boomer or myself. And wandering around the goblins was plenty fun, allowing Boomer and I to stretch our legs. It was also fun to let my imagination run away as I tried to guess what the goblins looked like.
Like this one, to me it looks like one of the stretched faces from Beetlejuice. You know when Alec Baldwin and Gena Davis were trying to scare away the Deetz’ away from their home. Just a random side note apparently Beetlejuice 2 is in the works.
Goblin Valley State Park is located about 50 miles southwest of Green River Utah off of State Highway 24. You can easily tie this park visit on to your visit to Capitol Reef National Park. Pets are allowed on a 6 ft (1.82m) leash on any of the trails and as always please clean up after your pet. Temperatures can rise in the valley, reaching over 100 degrees (37.2 C) so it is important to bring water for both you and your pet. Observation Point, overlooking the 3 valleys has a picnic pavilion as well, which gave us a nice spot to eat our lunch and enjoy the shade as we looked over the valleys.
If you are traveling on and happen to be near Green River Utah there is a dog friendly spot we found located off of Hastings Road at Swasey’s Beach. We traveled along Hastings Road for about 4 miles (6.43 km) and found a white sandy beach. Although it was slightly windy, and at one point I had to shut my eyes because there was a sand storm, Boomer had a great time playing in the Green River. For the most part we had the spot to ourselves and it seemed more like an area known by locals than tourists, but it was well worth the short drive out of town to give my dog some swimming time. Hastings Road heads north off of Main Street / Highway 70, just after the Green River KOA.