One of the more unique places in Utah is Goblin Valley. This State Park is found just north of Hanksville on Highway 24 and is also a reasonably close drive for visitors staying in Caineville. How to get there – map.
Native Americans and then wandering cowboys were certain the first two come across the unique formation of Goblin Valley State Park. Later in the 1920’s men were searching for a new route between Caineville and Green River and stumbled upon the views of strange-shaped rock formations. Arthur Chaffin who owned the ferry at Hite crossing was with two other men on this trek and he later returned in 1949 to spend several days searching through the area he called Mushroom Valley. In 1964 the state of Utah acquired the land that encompassed Goblin Valley and designated it a state Park. In 1999 Hollywood released the film Galaxy Quest starring Tim Allen and Sigourney Weaver which featured scenes from Goblin Valley State Park.
Goblin Valley State Park has been formed by wind and water eroding what is said to be uneven sections of soft and hard sandstone. The softer sandstone is carved away by the common breezes and effects of rain and snow and the harder portions of sediment remain, leaving the mushroom-like formations that populate the park.
Vegetation: Goblin Valley is located in an arid desert where plants struggle to grow. In the valley itself there the surfaces are hard and water is not easily absorbed into the ground, so plants have a difficult time growing. Mormon tea, Russian thistle, Indian ricegrass and a variety of cacti are some of the plants that manage to survive in this area.
Wildlife: Kangaroo rats, Jackrabbits, kit foxes, and coyotes are some of the animals found here. Pronghorn antelope roam the rangeland around Goblin Valley and scorpions and the midget faded rattler area lso found here.
Park Elevation: 5,000 feet
Hours: 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Fees: $8.00 (ss of this blog posting)