Road tripping to the “Goblin’s Lair” in Utah!

Goblin Valley might have the spookiest name for a state park, but don’t let it scare you away!
Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 2:19 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Goblin Valley might have the spookiest name for a state park, but don’t let it scare you away!

The scenery in this remote part of Southern Utah is so unique, it’s been used in as scenery in movies for characters landing on other planets. You’ll find acres of hoodoos, also known as ‘goblins,’ which is where the park got its name. The odd, mushroom-shaped rock formations fill an entire valley, and you’re free to roam through them all.

The area was covered by a shallow sea 150 million years ago. As the water dried up, the clay and sand left behind hardened into sandstone. Over time, erosion created the hoodoos (or goblins) which stand here today. The ‘goblins’ are accessible for all abilities, and great for kids to explore, too. The paths between them are all flat and easy to maneuver through.

The only rule: Please don’t climb on the hoodoos! If you’re interested, this post has everything you need to know about the park, including the glamping “yurt” options, drone use, astronomy events, and more. For more of an adventure, you can also take a mile-long hike to Goblin’s Lair. It was a slot canyon, which turned into a cave after a massive rockslide.

While Goblin Valley is, perhaps, too far for a road trip from Phoenix, a lot of us have friends and family in Utah. It would make a great day-trip from other parts of the state. The park is less than four hours from Salt Lake City, and 90 minutes from Moab. With an entrance fee of $20 per car, it’s a pretty economical way to spend the day!

I’d recommend adding it to a longer road trip, which could include some of the national parks in Utah, like Canyonlands, Arches, and Granite Reef. Or you can check out the itinerary I followed on our recent trip.