USA Adventure Part 6: Goblin Valley

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.

A goblin! They varied in size, but most are bigger than a person Rows of goblins, and in the mountain wall in the background you can see new generations of goblins...

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.

A Goblin-twin Incredible 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.

Some of the goblins looked like they were made of playdo Paul overlooking the Goblin Valley

The sunset was painting the goblins a deep orange, so pretty!

Goblins, goblins, goblins :D A fascinating landscape, painted deep orange by the sunset

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.

A mini ant hill - we saw lots of those in Utah Cracked soil

Here you can see one of the creeks, supporting a few flowering bushes.

There were a couple of nearly-dry streams that supported some flowering bushes Paul & The Goblins at sunset

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!

Startrails and our yurt... pity we didn't know that such long exposures don't work well with a digital camera! Our yurt in the morning light

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.

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4 Responses to “USA Adventure Part 6: Goblin Valley”

  1. Erin says:

    Another wonderful place … another one to add to our list for Utah.

  2. Martha says:

    My eyes get lost on the detail of the goblins. I like the smooth top ones. There is something magical about the solitud of the desert and the marvelous sand to red colors you see. I remember you talking about the magical night sky. Yes the sky is beautiful when you are outside in a pitchdark place. One more time, thanks for sharing.
    A few weeks ago there was a program on PBS about how much city dwellers miss because they seldom see the stars. I love to go out on moonless nights away from the city and look at the sky. As a matter of fact, asteroid showers are wonderful around here.

    • Hanneke says:

      Thanks Martha 🙂 a very special place indeed – and darker than anywhere I’ve been. There was some sign about how far away the nearest light source was – I don’t remember the distance anymore, but it was FAR. Here in Norway you can also find plenty of dark places, but in the Netherlands many people have never seen the milky way – it just doesn’t get dark enough with all the city lights.