Goblin Valley State Park Utah

In its earlier days this secluded valley was referred to as Mushroom Valley by Arthur Chaffin, who in the 1920’s, with a couple of companions, discovered Goblin Valley while searching for an alternate route between Green River and Caineville.

The landscape of this unique park is covered with sandstone “goblins” and formations that is frequently compared to Mars or some other extraterrestrial planet. In fact, in 1999, Goblin Valley with its alien-like landscape was featured in the movie Galaxy Quest with Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver. The eroded sandstone dunes in the valley inspired the design of the fictional planet’s rock monsters.

Goblin Valley is one of our family’s favorite parks. It’s a playground for kids of all ages! I used to take my kids here when they were small with each trip ending in a game of hide and seek. I still take my kids here but now these trips include grandkids! There are few places, if any, that are better for a serious round of hide and seek than the Valley of Goblins. It’s also a favorite stop with my tours. I keep it as an unexpected surprise to add more wow to our day.

Adventure Suggestion: Hidden away on the park’s eastern boundary, beyond the cliffs that form the far wall of the Valley of Goblins, is a massive cavernous formation known as The Goblin’s Lair, also known as the Chamber of the Basilisk. Not truly a cavern, the “lair” is actually a beautiful slot canyon, the entrance of which has been sealed by rock fall.

The trail to the lair is 1.5 miles one way, some scrambling is required to access the entrance. The trail begins at the observation point, and follows the Carmel Canyon loop before splitting off after 1/2 mile.

Susan and I rappelled 90 ft. in to Goblin’s Lair with the assistant park ranger a couple of years ago. Until then I had no idea it even existed.

How to get there: Located 12 miles off UT SR 24, Goblin Valley is 33 miles north of Hanksville and 36 miles south of Intersate-70 via Utah SR-24. (See map below)

Nearby attractions: The 8.5 mile Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon Loop is 13 miles from Goblin Valley. This is an excellent family friendly slot canyon. Take the full loop or simply hike one canyon or the other. I generally combine Goblin Valley with a hike through these exciting slot canyons on family tours I guide.

Click here to learn more about Goblin Valley.

Mars Desert Research Station 38.40643006714625,-110.79193258863478
Skyline View Overlook 38.45206866970216,-110.83792676919143
Little Wild Horse Canyon & Bell Canyon Trailhead 38.58289075019964,-110.80287591725005
Goblin Valley State Park 38.56430413541877,-110.70364593735945