After our hike in Little Wild Horse Canyon, we hurried to nearby Goblin Valley State Park. I found out about it by coincidence, and after seeing some fantastic photos of the park I was determined to add it to our itinerary 🙂 We got there just before sunset, the perfect time to walk around between the goblins. State parks are less strict than National Parks, and here you could walk wherever you wanted. You could even climb the goblins, though of course they didn’t recommend it – they can collapse quite easily and the nearest hospital is a LONG way away.
The goblins are officially called hoodoos and are formed by weathering sandstone. The result is an endlessly fascinating landscape, I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland wondering around some otherworldly landscape.
Goblin Valley is remote, there are no villages or towns anywhere near. Around sunset, there was only a handfull of people wandering around, and in the end we even had the place to ourselves.
The sunset was painting the goblins a deep orange, so pretty!
There are a few nearly-dry creeks in the valley, some of them had beautifully cracked soil. We also found lots of these mini ant hills.
Here you can see one of the creeks, supporting a few flowering bushes.
We spent the night in a yurt at the Goblin Valley campground, which was a fantastic experience! There are two at the campground, and ours was separated from the rest of the campground by a high mountain wall. We felt completely alone there, but we had electricity, water, and a toilet nearby – luxury camping 😉 The stars were really amazing, we tried to take a startrail photo with our yurt in it. We didn’t know that you can’t just take such long exposures (more than 15 minutes) with a digital camera – the sensor will overheat resulting in hot pixels with strange colors. So the image below isn’t exactly noise free, but still, you get the idea… The last photo shows our yurt just after sunrise, so beautiful!
I wish we could have stayed a couple more nights at the yurt, but it was only available for one night, and we were moving on to Capitol Reef the next day.