Goblin Valley State Park is an experience like no other. The park features thousands of hoodoos. Referred to locally as Goblins, these mushroom-shaped rock formations range from a few feet high to several meters! Goblin Valley has one of the highest occurrences of these hoodoos in the world. But there’s so much more to do at Goblin Valley than look at the world-famous rock formations!
The Three Valleys of the Goblins
There are three different valleys of Goblins inside Goblin valley. It’s really fascinating to just wander around the Valleys and check out all the strange rock formations! The first valley is right next to Observation Point (which is right next to the main parking lot). It’s mostly flat, with a few clusters of twisted hoodoos (goblins). This is where the majority of the people hang out.
The Second Valley is about 1/2 mile from Observation Point. In this Valley, the goblins are much taller as they line the walls of the canyon. This was our families favorite area to explore.
The third valley is very expansive and we didn’t explore the entire thing. There’s a good mix of open areas and clusters of tall rock formations in this valley. If you’re looking for solitude, this is the place to be as there weren’t many people venturing to this part of the park.
Goblins Lair is a slot canyon about 1.5 miles away from the main parking lot. The entrance to the canyon has been sealed off by rock fall. The walls of the canyon are over 100 feet tall! To get to Goblins Lair, you can either Hike there and can climb up and over the rocks to enter the canyon. Or you can rappel down into the canyon from above. (You can book a guided Rappelling Tour through Get In The Wild Adventures).
The trail to hike there begins at Observation Point and follows the Carmel Canyon Loop before splitting off after a 1/2 mile.
The Three Sisters
This is an iconic rock formation that you can see on your way into the park. You can also get a closer look at the sisters by taking an unmarked, but easy to follow trail on the side of the road.
Goblin Valley has about 6 miles of hiking trails throughout the park. This is a fun way to get to see a good majority of the park in a day or two (depending on how quickly your group can hike).
- The Carmel Canyon Loop: This is a moderately difficult 1.5 mile round trip hike. You can branch off of this hike to go see Goblins Lair then circle back and finish this loop. From this hike you can see views of many of the parks famous rock formations including Carmel Goblin Formation, Molly’s Castle Outcrop, The 3 Sisters and The La Sal Mountains.
- Entrada Canyon: This is a moderately difficult 1.5 mile (one -way) hike that begins at the group campsite and ends at the Valley of the Goblins Observation Parking Lot. If you camp here, this is a good way to go in and see the Valleys of the Goblins without having to deal with the traffic in the parking lot.
- Curtis Bench Trail: Another 1.5 mile (one-way) trail that actually follows the Entrada Trail but at a higher elevation. This trail will give you beautiful views of Henries Mountains, and the Valleys of the Goblins.
Wild Horse Mountain Biking Trail System
Goblin Valley State Park put in a lot of effort to create over 7 miles of Mountain Biking Trails throughout the park. These trails take you through parts of the park rarely visited by anyone!
- San Rafael Swell Overlook (.92 miles)
- Desert View (1.65 miles) You can see Wild Horse Butte Overlook on this trail.
- Lizzard Foot (1.27 miles) – See Molly’s Castle and Desert View Overlook
- Landslide (1.62 miles)
- Buffalo Head (1.62 miles) – See Henry’s Mountains Overlook.
Disc Golf Course
There’s a 9 hole disc golf course inside Goblin Valley near the campground.
Night Sky Tours and Full Moon Hikes
Goblin Valley is one of the darkest places on earth. There is virtually no light pollution there, which makes for incredible views of the night sky. If you’re into night photography, this is a great place to go. They even offer guided night sky tours at the Visitors Center.
You can camp at Goblin Valley as well. They have 10 tent sites, 14 RV sites, a Group Site and 2 Yurts. The Yurts have heat and air conditioning and look incredibly comfortable!