First Time Hiking in Goblin Valley

A few things you should know about Goblin Valley before I show you the pictures.  First, the  “Goblins” are actually hoodoos, they are just called something different by the locals.  Second, this whole valley was near an ancient sea which may account why there are so many of them in a concentrated area.  Third, you simply cannot take a bad picture here.  It was amazing and other wordly.

Did I mention part of the 1999 movie Galaxy Quest was filmed here, because it looks like an alien planet? (It’s actually surprising that more movies haven’t been filmed here, considering the unique look. Prior to the film, access to the park from the nearest highway was a dirt road. The fees the production paid for filming at the park paid for paving the entire access road. If you’ve never seen the film, it’s really a lot of fun, especially if you grew up in the 60’s or 70’s, or are a Sci-Fi fan. Useless trivia; it was the film debut for Rainn Wilson of The Office, and Justin Long, of the “I’m a Mac/I’m a PC commercials. – Lee) Here’s a quick edit that Lee did of the best shots from the movie that were filmed in the same valley that we walked in –

Lastly, it’s not so much a hike as a “wander”.  There are no set trails, and you can get up close and personal with the goblins.  We loved it, the dogs loved it, and kids would love it.  It’s a special place and I highly recommend visiting, despite it’s remote location.

View from the parking lot

As you walk down into the first valley (there are actually three) there is so much to see

 

Lee’s pic

Initially we kept the dogs on leashes but when we got further back we just let them go.

 

And they had a blast

 

 

Even Hobie got into the action

 

We had fun too especially with the rocks that looked like other things. Like this shark.

 

A frog

Brontosauraus

 

And a turtle.

 

And whatever this was!  A duck with an Adam’s apple??

Lee saw this spooky one

Creepy …looks like a guy is stuck in the rocks.

 

I was super jealous of how Deb got Hurley to pose for her. Jack was way too excited.

This was the best we could do.  He didn’t want to sit he just wanted to run and run.

 

Thankfully Deb captured this shot of Jack which is one of my favorite pictures ever.

 

So we just focused on people shots.

The best part was probably when we climbed the hill and entered the second valley and had it all to ourselves.  We just had to be careful to keep an eye on landmarks to find our way back out, because you can’t climb out just anywhere.

Climbing into the next valley

 

Hobie was ready to explore!! He had more energy than I have seen in a long time.

Lee’s pic

 

We used this huge white and red rock as a landmark to find our way back out.

 

Lee loved exploring all the little caves and Hurley was right there with him.

 

I just loved wandering and looking at all the rock formations.

 

Jack and Hobie stayed right with me when I wandered and it was a great off leash lesson for Jack.

 

Probably the funnest part of the day was when Deb decided to climb up on a Hoodoo.  She picked a tall one which was crazy and none of the rest of us was willing to do, but we were more than willing to pose on the little tiny ones.

Deb being super brave.

 

Met not so much

 

Cori

 

Greg

 

Steve

 

Even Lee got into the act, It was that kind of place!

We all had a wonderful time, but it was more tiring than I thought.  In the afternoon the group went on a rim hike but Greg and I bowed out.  I still think the hike along the bottom was the best but I am glad they got to do two hikes.

(Added bonus for those who made it all the way to the end, the entire unedited scene from Galaxy Quest that was shot in Goblin Valley. – Lee) 


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We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

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Driving to Goblin Valley

We spent our couple of days in Torrey fighting the wind and exploring the other half of Route 12.  As windy and cold as it was where we were, we felt lucky that we weren’t farther east.  We looked around for other boondocking spots that might be better, but the weather was pretty bad everywhere, and ultimately decided to just stay where we were.  Thankfully on Thursday it was time to move on to Goblin Valley and we were hoping the lower elevation would bring higher temperatures.

We rarely make campground reservations in advance, but occasionally there are parks where you have to.  Deb had visited Goblin Valley State Park 20 years before with her kids and she was anxious to return.  I had never even heard of it, but was game and she, Cori, and I all got online right when the campsites opened several months ago and snagged three spots.  We knew there wouldn’t be any cell coverage in that remote area, so Steve had taken some vacation days.  Goblin Valley isn’t really close to anything else, so again we had to plan our route.  We ended up going Route 24 right through Capitol Reef which was an absolutely beautiful drive.  Generally I don’t like to blow through national parks, but since our plan was to return and spend more time there, I just sat back and enjoyed the drive.  It was spectacular.

 

During the drive we did run into a couple of 8 percent grades, but nothing we couldn’t handle, and once we left the national park the landscape flattened out quite a bit.  We saw lots of farmland with the occasional stunning outcropping of rock.

Utah is full of remote spaces, but Goblin Valley is on a whole other level.  The closest town was Hanksville, which was 32 miles away, and we stopped to gas up and buy some ice.   What was great about the stop was we got to see a gas station built into the side of a rock and I really loved it. It’s not only super cool, but they had a great selection and the restrooms were very clean.

If you go here grab some popcorn that they make fresh daily. Yummy!

 

When you walk back to the restrooms you go through rock. Fantastic.

 

They just dry walled around the rock and left some of it bare.

Once we stocked up we headed towards the park and eventually made it.  Despite it’s remote location, the park is not cheap, costing $30 to camp (no hookups) and $15 for a day use fee. There is a reason for this though, because the goblins are pretty unique rock formations and the campground is really close to them.  We checked in, and made our way to our spot excited to see what the park had to offer.

Long, lonesome road to get there.

 

The campground is pretty small, which is part of the reason it is hard to get into.

 

It does have a dump station and nice restrooms.

 

And every site has a great pavilion which was nice.

 

And the views were pretty spectacular.

 

The sites closest to the rocks were all tent sites and despite the chilly temps were all full.

 

Jack liked it because more sand and the center section was big enough for him to run around in.

Eventually we all arrived, including Steve and Deb who had a much longer drive from Bryce.  While we were waiting Lee took the truck and drove outside of the park checking out the boondocking opportunities.  After dinner, we called it an early night, excited about going on a hike the next day.  We only had two nights inside the park and definitely wanted to make the most of it.

Gorgeous sunsets.

 


Supporting our Blog

We very much appreciate your support of our blog. You can help by doing any or all the following:

  • Make purchases via our Amazon website links.  There is no additional cost to you, and a portion of the proceeds help support our blog.  Search Amazon.com here.
  • Purchase the ebook telling the story of how we became full-time RVers.
  • Purchase our recipe book filled with 80 recipes we have cooked in our RV and taste tested by Lee himself. You can purchase the kindle or paperback version on Amazon or buy the Apple version on Itunes.