If you travel the Southwest’s “Grand Circle“, one of the lesser known wonders you may have passed by along the way is Goblin Valley State Park. It is located near the town of Hanksville, off of Utah 24.
The park is named for the goblin like hoodoos that cover the valley floor. These hoodoos are very different from those in other parks such as Bryce National Park. Made of soft sandstone, they have eroded into smooth, toadstool like formations. The valley floor is open to the public, you can spend many hours wandering through the structures. Be sure to bring plenty of water – the summers can be very hot and there is little shade.
For those interested in slot canyons, the Little Wild Horse Canyon is located about seven miles from the park. Considered one of the best slot canyons in Utah, you can easily spend a half day hiking it and the nearby Bell Canyon.
Photographers visiting Goblin Valley should plan for early morning or late afternoon visits for the most interesting lighting. Even better, stay for the night at the campground & photograph the stars or moonlit valley. The park is far from the nearest town & provides incredible light pollution free vistas.
There is a campground in the park that, while dry, does have a dump station & hot showers. Sites are back in, and will accommodate RVs or combinations up to 59′ in length. Site information and reservations can be made through Reserve America.