Goblin Valley, Utah

We continued on Hwy 24 until the little brown sign pointed to Goblin Valley.  If we’d turned when the GPS told us to, we’d have taken a dirt road and we didn’t feel up to that.  They’ve done some improvements to the campground since we were here 10 or so years ago.  Each campsite now has a cover over the table.  I don’t remember much of a restroom, before, but now there is a nice one with showers.  There is an RV dump station and drinking water spigots throughout the campground.  We paid $16 – no hookups.  You can make reservations here.  They have some tent-only sites and the RV sites have lots of pavement.
Campground in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah
Campground in Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

 We also saw quite a few campers and trailers, boondocking, on the property outside the State Park.  The unique rock formations are the reason people come here.  We had beautiful blue skies but the icy wind was a little annoying.

Goblins Guarding the Valley Entrance
Goblins Guarding the Valley Entrance

There is a nice observation deck at the trail parking area.  It was a great alternative to being sandblasted.  Look at all these little goblins!  Can you imagine discovering this for the first time.  A cowboy, looking for his lost cattle, discovered this area.  I think he’s the one who called it Mushroom Valley – someone, later, renamed it to Goblin Valley (probably someone in Tourism 🙂 )

Valley of the Goblins
Goblin Valley, Utah - east of Capital Reef

 We don’t know this guy but it’s a good reference to see the size of the rock formations.  We walked through here the last time we were here with our son and granddaughter.  It’s amazing how quickly you can get lost.  I was worried about loosing the kids!  I think we left with them all?

Goblin Valley - Size Reference to Adult Walking
Goblin Valley - Size Reference to Adult Walking

 We took off the camper and went exploring down one of the dirt roads.  The Goblin Valley area is the tidal zone of an ancient, migrating, sea.  We noticed the similarities in the cliffs along the Oregon Coast.  You can also see the similarites to the large cliffs that the natives used to build homes in.  That’s Don, way in the background 🙂

Caves for tiny natives
Caves for tiny natives - these caves are about a foot tall

 We walked around this area and admired the unusual mineral deposits and small rocks that have washed out of the layer of sand.  I think the crystal is gypsum.  It’s amazing that anything can grow here!

Gypsum crystal and budding flower on parched ground in Goblin Valley
Gypsum crystal and budding flower on parched ground in Goblin Valley

 It was in the upper 40’s here today but felt colder because of the wind.  I’m sure it got down into the 30’s over night.  Winter is NOT over in Utah yet!  But, Spring is kind of ‘bi-polar’ anyway.

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