Utah State Parks Blog

Park of the Week: Goblin Valley State Park


Showcasing some of the most interesting and beautiful scenery the planet has to offer, Goblin Valley State Park has been a must-visit destination for families, adventurers, scientists, and even Hollywood movie productions.

Goblin Valley Basin

Goblin Valley Basin

Pictographs and petroglyphs present in the Goblin Valley area contain evidence of multiple Native American cultures; including the Fremont, Paiutes and Ute tribes. However, the area became popular in the late 1920’s, when a man named Arthur Chaffin came across he beautiful rock formations while searching for an alternate route between Green River and Caineville.

Chaffin later returned to the area in 1949 and spent several days exploring the stunning landscape and photographing the goblin-shaped rock structures. The State of Utah later acquired the property and officially designated it a state park on Aug. 24, 1964.

The rich geology at Goblin Valley State Park is a large draw to those wanting to view or photograph the area’s world-famous hooboos dubbed “goblins.” Because of the uneven hardness of the Entrada Sandstone, some patches resist erosion much better than others.

Yurts are available to rent at Goblin Valley

Yurts are available to rent at Goblin Valley

The softer material is removed by wind and water, leaving thousands of unique, geologic goblins. A popular section of goblins was also prominently featured in the movie Galaxy Quest, starring Tim Allen, where the park was displayed as an alien planet.

If photography isn’t really your gig, other popular activities at the park include hiking, mountain biking, disc gold, and nighttime viewings of our famous dark skies.

The campground at Goblin Valley State Park consists of 25 sites and two yurts. The campsites are divided into 10 walk-in tent pads, 14 RV spaces, and one group site able to accommodate up to 35 people. Showers and flush toilets, as well as a communal water and dump station are all available free-of-charge. All sites contain a picnic table, metal fire ring, and shade shelter.

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