Goblin Valley is a unique place full of squat hoodoos. My kids love to explore and play game after game of hide-and-seek. There is no cell service, so you may want to bring walkie-talkies. There is also little shade, so this isn’t ideal in the heat of the summer.
Goblin Valley is located in central Utah, 50 minutes southwest of Green River and 30 minutes northeast of Hanksville, Utah. From Salt Lake it takes 3 – 3 1/2 hours to drive there. Goblin Valley is a Utah State Park and only has one main parking lot.
Here is a map:
Observation Point is a covered area that is level with the parking, but up from the valley floor. Unfortunately it isn’t wheelchair-friendly to get down there, but some awesome people were helping someone get back from seeing it close up.
As you can see above, Goblin Valley is shown in three colors as Valleys 1-3. These are not clear areas, but the hoodoos do look a bit different in each area.
In Valley 1, closest to the covered viewpoint and bathrooms, the hoodoos are more separated. This first view is from Observation Point.
Valley 2 is farther back to the southeast, in the middle back of park. Here the hoodoos have several clumps together.
Some of them kind of look like people.
We all agreed that Valley 3 is our favorite to play in! It has lots of hoodoos that are fairly close together, but with spaces to get by and to climb.
This is where we had our games of hide-and-seek! Some of these images were cropped from a video so it’s not the best quality. It was so much fun!
We saw this greater short horned lizard.
Here are a few more photos of Goblin Valley.
Across the parking lot there is a cool plateau with some hoodoos around it. When we were leaving a storm was approaching.
There are a couple hikes at Goblin Valley, but mostly they are just ways to explore around. The one exception is Goblin’s Lair, which is a large cavern where you can repel down inside.
Stats: Distance – 0-2 miles roundtrip (depending on how much you explore)
Approximate hiking time – 0 to 4 hours
Elevation gain – 62 feet
Difficulty – Easy – Moderate
Trail – dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – Yes
Seasons to hike – Year-round
Permits needed – $20/car or Utah State Parks Pass
Pets allowed – Yes