Hikes Utah State Parks

Goblin Valley State Park

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We spent 3 days at Goblin Valley State Park this summer and had a great time. Goblin Valley is a state park south of Price known for its fantastic rock figures. There is also a campground complete with flush toilets, showers, shade, and fire pits. The new addition to the park this year are a couple of Yurts (Mongolian tents) that have electricity (limited as they are solar powered), a wood floor, and a locking door. They also come fully furnished with a bunk bed (queen and twin), a fold out futon, a table and four chairs, and an outdoor barbecue with two outdoor chairs. They are fully secure with a door that locks and a front porch. Additionally, they have a heater and a swamp cooler. I was very surprised by the large size– about 25 feet in diameter.

We quickly booked two nights. I’m not sure how booked the Yurts are– we booked 3 months in advance, and both Yurts were full every day we spent there, even though we were there Tuesday through Thursday. We found the Yurts to be pretty nice, as long as you don’t think you’re staying at the Hilton. They were about $60/night.

Yurt 1 is nestled back by the rocks which was nice for us, we got earlier shade. Yurt 2 is right next to the road for easier access.

Yurt 1 is nestled back by the rocks which was nice for us, we got earlier shade.
Yurt 2 is right next to the road for easier access.

Inside the yurt: futon on the left, bunk bed on the right, swamp cooler and heater in the back.

Inside the yurt: futon on the left, bunk bed on the right, swamp cooler and heater in the back.

We weren’t sure what to do at Goblin Valley for 3 days, but it turns out there was plenty. We spent one day at Capitol Reef National Park (about 1 hour away), and also hiked Little Wildhorse Canyon. We also stopped at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, so be sure to check those out, too.

The park features a small Visitor’s Center with a gift shop, a Junior Ranger Program, and the campground. There are three hiking trails. There is also, of course, a valley full of goblins (or mushrooms as my boys liked to call them).

We tried one of the trails called Carmel Canyon and enjoyed it very much. It starts at the north end of Goblin Valley and winds away from the goblins. At first, we were confused because we thought it might give us a closer look, but it ended up looping around and our boys had a great time scrambling up tiny rocky inclines and sliding down boulders. We really enjoyed the hike.

We had a great view of the 3 sisters formation on our hike.

We had a great view of the 3 sisters formation on our hike.

We found shade!

We found shade!

One of 4 different types of lizards that we saw on our trip.

One of 4 different types of lizards that we saw on our trip.

Goblin Valley itself is sort of an “open” hike meaning you hike down into the valley and do whatever you want. We wondered how long they’ll keep allowing this before they stake out some trails and don’t let you climb anymore. For now, though, we played hide-and-seek, chased, climbed, ran, and fell (after about 20 minutes I said to my oldest, “You’re going to fall!” to which he replied, “I already fell 3 times. It doesn’t hurt.”) We returned to the valley several times and had fun hiking to and then along the back wall.

As we lay our 4 year-old in his own bed after the vacation he said, “Mom, are we going back to Goblin Valley? I think we should just live there!”

That is Dad, with the baby on his back, down in the middle of Goblin Valley

That is Dad, with the baby on his back, down in the middle of Goblin Valley

Peek-a-boo!

Peek-a-boo!

We hiked across the entire valley to the back wall.

We hiked across the entire valley to the back wall.

Our 7 year-old in front of the Goblin Valley floor where you can blaze your own trail.

Our 7 year-old in front of the Goblin Valley floor where you can blaze your own trail.

There are many picturesque spots.

There are many picturesque spots.

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5 Comments

    • We have an Evenflo hiking backpack that was a hand-me down from awhile ago. I tried to look them up and it looks like Evenflo doesn’t even make them anymore. Ours is very simple, no pockets or zippers. It just carries children 20-40 pounds. There are lots of hiking backpacks out there made by lots of different companies. You will have to do some research and choose one that you like. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.

  • Thanks Natalie! Wade said he and the kids saw those yurts when they were building them and wondered what they were! We’re going to book one right away!