Goblin Valley State Park | Capitol Reef Country

Goblin Valley State Park

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Goblin Valley State Park is one of Utah’s most popular state parks, and once you see the park’s unique 3,654-acre landscape for yourself, you’ll understand why! Along with nearby Bryce Canyon, Goblin Valley State Park is a place where visitors can see some of the largest “hoodoos” in the world. These tall, Entrada Sandstone pillars have been eroded over millions of years to create an array of peculiar formations that scatter this desert valley. Visitors come to this section of the San Rafael Desert to explore the thousands of mushroom-shaped pillars resembling stone “goblins”, which give the park its name. Goblin Valley looks very different from the rest of Utah’s landscape, but is just as beautiful, in an other-wordly sort of way. Visitors can choose from a variety of fun things to do in the area, including camping, hiking, mountain biking, and disc golf. If you look closely, you may even come across ancient petroglyphs and pictographs left behind by the Fremont, Paiute and other Native American residents.

Things to Do in Goblin Valley State Park

Camping

Overnight visitors to Goblin Valley can choose to stay on a campsite, in a yurt, or with their own RV. Reservations can be made through Reserve America.

Main Campground

Campers can choose from one of the 25 camping sites found in Goblin Valley State Park’s main campground. The main campground costs $30 per night, including the $15 entrance fee to the park. Additional vehicles are charged $15 per night. The main campground is not located right in the center of the “Valley of the Goblins”, but is located just outside, surrounded by beautiful views and other rock formations. Park amenities include showers and flushing toilets, as well as a free station for water and dumping. Each campsite includes a small shelter, fire-ring and picnic table. Camping in Goblin Valley is a great way to experience the rugged beauty of this unique place.

Yurts

For visitors looking to stay overnight at Goblin Valley with a bit more comfort than camping in a tent would offer, check out the two yurts available for rent. These small, furnished dwellings include a table with chairs, deck chairs and a single/double bunk bed. Yurt users also have access to a grill and propane that comes included with the rental fee. The Goblin Valley yurts are available for $100 per night, plus tax.

RV Sites

RVs of up to 59 feet can fit in the sites available at Goblin Valley. There are no hookups, but a sewage disposal station is available.

Hiking

There are three marked hiking trails in Goblin Valley State Park, making it easy to explore in an hour or two. Follow these trails through the Valley of Goblins and to various viewing sites throughout the park. One of the most fun ways to hike Goblin Valley is by going off-trail and exploring the hoodoos up close. Visitors are allowed to hike around freely, but extreme caution is requested to preserve the hoodoo structures that have been formed for millions of years. Damaging the “goblins” of Goblin Valley is a crime. But feel free to get as close as you want!

Canyoneering

For the more adventurous visitors, Goblin Valley offers some great canyoneering too. On the east side of the park is a cave-like slot canyon called Goblin’s Lair, which extends 70 feet through a sandstone cavern. Those with canyoneering experience can rappel into the deep crevice and then hike back out the east side. A $2 permit is required for each person rappelling into Goblin’s Lair. The permit can be printed HERE, and should be filled out and shown to a park ranger upon entering Goblin Valley State Park. Groups of up to 8 people are permitted to enter together. Guided rappelling and other Capitol Reef Country tours can be booked through Get In The Wild.

Mountain Biking

The Wild Horse Mesa Mountain Bike Trail system is a variety of looping trails that take mountain bikers to various scenic views within the park. The Wild Horse trails are exciting and a great way to see lesser-known parts of Goblin Valley. CLICK HERE for a map of the Wild Horse Mountain Bike Trail system.

Disc Golf

Campers at the main campground will find a 9-hole disc golf course that’s free to play. Bring your own discs, or rent them for $1.00 each from the visitor center. This unique course location makes you feel a little bit like playing disc golf on mars!

Stargazing

The night sky above Goblin Valley State Park is one of the darkest you’ll find anywhere on the planet! Due to the extremely low levels of light pollution in the area, visitors can look up and see incredibly clear views of the stars of the Milky Way. It’s hard to really appreciate what a completely clear view of the night sky looks like until you see it in person. Depending on when you visit Goblin Valley, you may be able to participate in one of the various nighttime activities led by Utah park rangers.

Entrance Fees

  • $15 per vehicle
  • $10 per vehicle with a Utah senior citizen (62+)
  • $75 for an annual pass (available for purchase at the park)
  • $35 annual “Senior Adventure Pass”

Park Hours and Visitor Information

Goblin Valley State Park is open year-round, including holidays. A visitor center is on-site and is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm every day, except for occasional closings for short stretches during the winter months.

Weather

The weather at Goblin Valley is typical for Utah—hot in the summer and cold in the winter. CHECK HERE for current conditions.

Getting to Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley State Park Map

Coordinates and Directions

38.573932, -110.7136506 From Hanksville: travel along Highway 24 to the Temple Mountain/Goblin Valley Junction. Travel west on a paved road for about five miles, then south to the park entrance.

Hoodoo Hotdogs

For a quick bite of tasty food, swing by Hoodoo Hotdogs, a seasonal food truck that serves hot dogs, ice cream and other snacks at Goblin Valley State Park near the observation point.

Where to Stay When Visiting Goblin Valley

The closest city to the park is Hanksville, Utah. Hanksville has some nice hotel and lodging options to choose from.

OYO Hotel Hanksville

Whispering Sands Motel

Nearby Attractions

Henry Mountains

Mars Desert Research Station

Robbers Roost: The Outlaw Hideout

Goblin Valley State Park FAQs

Where is Goblin Valley State Park?

Goblin Valley is a wilderness area about 12 miles north of Hanksville, Utah (34-minute drive) as the crow flies and about 222 miles from Salt Lake City (3.5-hour drive).

How much does it cost to get in?

To get into Goblin Valley State Park, it costs $15 per vehicle and $10 per vehicle for Utah senior citizens. Annual passes are also available.

Is Goblin Valley State Park dog-friendly?

Yes, dogs and people both enjoy the park all year round. But please keep pets on leashes and pick up after them.

Why is it called Goblin Valley State Park?

The name “Goblin Valley” comes from the fact that the rocky mounds that scatter the park resemble life-like creatures, or goblins. Before it was given the name Goblin Valley, this area was known as “Mushroom Valley.”

Goblin Valley in Film

If Goblin Valley State Park looks familiar to you but you’ve never visited before, you might recognize it from the film “Galaxy Quest.” The strange, rocky valley provided a Mars-like background for the quirky comedy film released in 1999.

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