Goblin Valley State Park: A Visitor’s Guide

Goblin Valley is something out of this world. Picture vibrant hoodoos tucked among desert cliffs with snowcapped mountains visible in the distance. Funky silhouettes and shadows cast by the strange rocks make this little valley come alive. The beauty and charm of this desert spot draw in people from all over. Goblin Valley is a must-see, and this page will provide a general guide on visiting this incredible state park.

Sandstone Hoodoos
Sandstone Hoodoos

About Goblin Valley

The hundreds of ‘goblins’ in Goblin Valley are made up of softer earth eroding around the harder sandstone. This valley of sandstone features was found in the early 1900s by cowboys searching for cattle in the desert. All of the explorers who came across this valley throughout the mid-1900s were awed by what they saw.

The area had been explored and photographed for many years before it became an official state park in 1964. It still remains a photography hotspot for the unique hoodoos, warm desert colors, stunning sunrises and sunsets, and the incredible starry skies.

Hoodoo Hopping
Hopping among Hoodoos

Getting to Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley State Park lies off of Highway 24 between Hanksville and Green River/I-70. Turn onto Temple Mountain Road from Highway 24 and then left onto Goblin Valley Road. If you end up on a dirt road, you’ve gone too far. The park is very well marked, so finding your way around isn’t too hard.

When driving to Goblin Valley, make sure you fill up on gas in Hanksville or Green River, especially if you plan to explore the beautiful country around the park.

Goblin Valley with  snowy peaks in the distance
Goblin Valley with snowy peaks in the distance

Goblin Valley Overview

Cost: $20 entry per vehicle plus additional fees for camping
Hike Distance: However far you want to hike – a maximum of a couple miles if you chose to explore the entire area
Duration: One hour to a half-day
What to Bring: Sunscreen/hat/sunglasses, water, camera & camera gear, payment method
Other Notes: You can fly a drone by permit only. Dogs are permitted on leash.

Exploring the Park

Once you pay the entrance fee to get into Goblin Valley, you are free to explore! There are camping opportunities in the park, though it is perfectly doable to see it all in a day. We parked at the main parking area, which had ample spots. We were there on a cool winter day during the week, so luckily it was mostly empty. Near the parking lot, there are restrooms and picnic areas.

Beyond the picnic areas is the valley. Descend the dirt hillside and you’ll be among the hoodoos almost instantly. There is no specific trail, making it easy to wander through all the formations in the valley. Some of the formations sit delicately balanced on soft dirt, so be careful where you climb and walk to best preserve the area!

Natural Window
Natural window

The valley of hoodoos between the parking lot and the cliff on the opposite side are full of little windows, alleys, tight nooks, and cool formations to explore. Venturing through the park is more of a casual stroll than a hike, making this a great adventure for people of a wide range of ages and hiking abilities.

Staying at Goblin Valley

Most visitors to Goblin Valley only stop by for just a few hours to explore. However, if you want to explore the area around the park or catch sunrise or sunset here, we recommend staying in the park or nearby.

A valley full of 'Goblins'
A valley full of ‘Goblins’

Goblin Valley has a 24 site developed campground and a couple yurts. You can make a reservations beforehand online or by calling the Reservation Call Center. Yurts start at $150 nightly and campground sites start $45 per night. As the park is pretty popular, it is best to book in advance.

If you cannot book in advance or do not want to pay the camping fee, there is plenty of free dispersed camping nearby. Just past the road to the park entrance on Temple Mountain Road, there is the Temple Mountain Campground. This is really just a large dirt lot where campers often post up. If you continue past this lot, there are plenty of dispersed spots to pull off and camp. This is our go-to choice and we have been coming to this spot for many years, even when we haven’t visited the state park. Additionally, there are plenty of other spots backed up to the buttes near the park.

Vibrant red rock is our favorite!
Vibrant red rock is our favorite!
Goblin Valley Pin

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