Goblin Valley State Park

Annular Solar Eclipse, October, 14 2023

Welcome to Goblin Valley State Park’s event page for the October 14, 2023, Annular Solar Eclipse! Here we will try to answer many questions that you may have, and we will continue to update this site as additional information becomes available. As this eclipse falls upon the Saturday of Fall Break, we expect it to be the busiest day in the entire history of Goblin Valley State Park.

When, exactly, is the eclipse? Does location matter?

Well, it depends on exactly where you are! Throughout Goblin Valley State Park, the partial solar eclipse — with the moon slowly moving in front of the sun — will begin at 9:08 a.m. Annular “totality” creating the famous “Ring of Fire” will begin at 10:28 a.m. and last for 3 minutes, and 15 seconds at the Valley of Goblins Observation Point. The opposite side of the partial eclipse will then conclude at approximately noon.

All areas within the eclipse path are not equal! The closer you are to the center of the path, the longer the “ring of fire” will last. You can view a complete map of the eclipse path, with durations listed, at https://eclipse2024.org/2023eclipse/eclipse_cities/statemap.html

All locations within the fee area of Goblin Valley State Park will see between 3 minutes and 10 seconds, to 3 minutes and 15 seconds of annular “totality.” This compares to 2 minutes and 35 seconds in the vicinity of Temple Mountain, only eight miles north. However, it still falls short of the 4 minutes and 45 seconds of “totality” visible in places such as Sevier and Ticaboo, Utah, which are almost directly in the center of the path.

What is the difference between an Annular and Total eclipse?

You’re likely to remember the spectacular photos of the total solar eclipse that crossed the United States during the summer of 2017. This won’t be exactly like that. In a total solar eclipse, the moon is close enough to the earth to completely obscure the sun. Day turns to night, with stars visible and the white glow and streamers of the sun’s corona emerging from behind the moon. A total solar eclipse is safe to view without protective glasses.

In an annular eclipse, the moon is too far away from the earth to completely obscure the sun. While the “Ring of Fire” that occurs when the moon is directly in front of the sun is spectacular, it does require safety glasses or telescope filters to view safely. Additionally, the sky will not get quite as dark, and the corona will not be visible.

Will viewing equipment be available?

Yes, but it will be limited. We will have a small number of eclipse viewing glasses for sale, with a strict “one per group” policy. There will also be two telescope viewing stations with solar filters set up on opposite sides of the park. It is strongly recommended that you bring your own viewing supplies.

How will parking work on the day of the eclipse?

We will have several parking areas set up throughout the Goblin Valley State Park fee area. Once the Valley of Goblins observation point is full, we will direct people to the mountain bike lot, campground group site, OHV staging area, and visitor center lot. All of these places will experience over 3 minutes and 10 seconds of annular “totality,” and the standard $25 day-use fee will apply. Once the park is entirely full, people will be asked to find parking locations on nearby land instead, and we will have staff available to make recommendations for alternative viewing spots. Please note that trailer and RV parking will not be available until late in the day. Be sure to stay on designated routes only and do not create any new tracks.