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Goblin Valley State Park is a hidden treasure that I stumbled upon during my last road trip to Utah. It is located in San Rafael Swell, right about in-between the drive from Moab to Capitol Reef. You will be amazed by this place! In this post, I share how to spend one day in Goblin Valley State Park and 3 things you can’t miss at Goblin Valley State Park.

Goblin Valley State Park is perfect when combined with a visit to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Check out these posts to help you with the planning process:

16 Best Stops on Scenic Drive in Arches National Park. However, if you only have one day in Arches, then make sure to read 8 Things You Can’t-Miss on First Visit to Arches National Park which covers all the major viewpoints and hikes.

Are you visiting Canyonlands as well? With only one day at Canyonlands, head to Island in the Sky District One Day in Island in the Sky at Canyonlands National Park. If you have more time, then make sure to check out The Needles District One Day in The Needles at Canyonlands National Park

Did you know that right next to Goblin Valley State Park is an amazing Little Wild Horse Canyon? Check it out: How to Hike Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyon Loop Trail in San Rafel Swell, Utah

Goblin Valley State Park at a Glance

  • Location – Goblin Valley State Park is located in San Rafel Swell, Utah. Specifically, it is situated on UT-24 about 25 miles north of Hanksville. To get to Goblin Valley State Park turn from UT-24 onto W Temple Jct/Temple Mt Rd and continue for 11.9 miles until you reach a junction with Goblin Valley Road. Once you reach Goblin Valley Road, turn left and continue for about 6.1 miles until you reach the entrance to Goblin Valley State Park.
  • Hours – Park is open year-round from 7 am till 10 pm, year-round.
  • Fees – The vehicle fee is $20 (up to 8 passengers), and it is valid for 2 consecutive days.
  • When to Go – The best time to visit Goblin Valley State Park is either during the spring or fall months. The temperatures are mild and the crowds are low. Summers are very hot. During the winter months expect freezing temperatures and snow.
  • Good to Know – WiFi is not available in the park. Pets are allowed but must be on a maximum 6-foot leash.
Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park is located in San Rafael Swell, right about in-between the drive from Moab to Capitol Reef. You will be amazed by this place! 

One Day in Goblin Valley

Map of Goblin Valley State Park

Map of Goblin Valley State Park

Map of Goblin Valley State Park. Image Credit: Utah State Parks

How to Spend One Day in Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park was formed by seasonal washes and contains thousands of mushroom-shaped spires or hoodoos a few feet high that resemble goblins.

These formations have large orange-brown boulders of hard rock on top of weaker sandy layers.

One Day in Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley State Park contains incredible rock formations that have large orange-brown boulders of hard rock on top of weaker sandy layers.

One Day in Goblin Valley

NUMBER 1

Take a View of Goblin Valley from Observation Point

Observation Point is located next to the parking lot and it is a perfect spot to see thousands of these peculiar rock formations.

If you are short on time and you can do just one thing at Goblin Valley State Park, then head to Observation Point, get a glimpse at this place and take a few photos.

If you have a camera with a good zoom, then you will be able to see these hoodoos up close and really be amazed by their intricate formations.

Goblin Valley State Park

Observation Point is located next to the parking lot and it is a perfect spot to see thousands of these peculiar rock formations.

One Day in Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley State Park

In the distance, you will be able to catch a view of another interesting rock formation, called Three Sisters. 

Goblin Valley State Park

If you have a camera with a good zoom, then you will be able to see up close the intricate features of these hoodoos. 

NUMBER 2

Explore the Three Valleys

First of all, there are three valleys to explore. Second, there are no designated trails and you can just wander around.

Don’t worry, you will not get lost. It is just enough to hike up to any of the hills and you will be able to see the parking lot from almost any location in the valleys.

  • Valley 1 – it is located right next to the parking lot. The hoodoos are smaller and more spread out. Also, there are a few hills that you can climb to get better views of the valleys.
  • Valley 2 – it is located right next to Valley 1 and here you will have more opportunities to explore the area.
  • Valley 3 – it is by far the best valley to explore. There are lots of hoodoos that are closer to each other and plenty of hills to climb.
Goblin Valley State Park

There are three valleys to explore in Goblin Valley State Park. You will have plenty of opportunities to get to the hoodoos up close. 

One Day Goblin Valley

One Day in Goblin Valley

There are no designated trails and you can just wander around and explore.

One Day in Goblin Valley

If you have a camera with a good zoom, then you will be able to see up close the intricate features of these hoodoos. 

NUMBER 2

Hike in Goblin Valley State Park

There are several hiking trails at Goblin Valley State Park. My favorite hike is Carmel Canyon Trail with a spur to Molly’s Castle Overlook. However, check out all of them and see which one would be the best for your fitness level:

Carmel Valley Trail (spur to Molly’s Castle) 

  • Distance – 1.5 miles (loop)
  • Difficulty – moderate/strenuous

This trail starts right from the parking lot and takes you away from the hoodoos. and into a desert floor. I like it because it offers a different scenery than the valley. Also, make sure to take a short sput to Molly’s Castle Overlook.

Curtis Bench Trail 

  • Distance – 2.1 miles (out and back)
  • Difficulty – easy

This is a fun and easy trail that follows Curtis formation. You will get to enjoy great views of Goblin Valley and views of the Henry Mountains.

Entrada Canyon Trail 

  • Distance – 1.3 miles (out and back)
  • Difficulty – strenuous

This is a challenging trail that starts a the campground goes into the goblin formations. You will be able to see the famous rock formation called Three Sisters.

One Day in Goblin Valley

There are different hikes in Goblin Valley State Park that will get you up close to hoodoos. 

One Day in Goblin Valley

One Day in Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah.

Goblin Valley State Park

Goblin Valley State Park, Utah.

One Day in Goblin Valley

There are different hikes in Goblin Valley State Park that will get you up close to hoodoos. 

One Day in Goblin Valley

Intrepid's Tips for One Day in Goblin Valley State Park

  • If you can only do one thing in Goblin Valley State then head to Observation Point and soak in the views of the crazy rock formations that resemble hoodoos.
  • If you are hiking in the summer, make sure to have and carry plenty of water enough for everyone in your group. Also, there is no shade and you will be exposed to the sun the entire time. Make sure to not only apply sunblock but also wear a hat and a long sleeve sun shirt.
  • Goblin Valley State Park is a premier spot for stargazing. Also, it is a fun place to hike at night during the full moon.
  • Right next to Goblin Valley State Park, you will find an amazing Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon. These two canyons form a loop and are a delight to hike and you will take a ton of pictures. Don’t miss it! Check it out:

How to Hike Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyon Loop Trail (San Rafael Swell, Utah)

Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning your trip to Utah?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process for your trip to Utah!

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