Your park fees provide for the care,
protection and enhancement of this park.
The park is located 50 miles southwest of Green
River off State Highway 24.
The park is open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round.
Address Inquiries To:
Goblin Valley State Park
PO Box 637
Green River, UT 84525
Utah State Parks and Recreation
P.O. Box 146001
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6001
For Reservations Call:
Utah State Parks Mission:
To enhance the quality of life by preserving
and providing natural, cultural and recreational
resources for the enjoyment, education and
inspiration of this and future generations.
Information contained in this brochure was accurate at the
time of printing. Policies, facilities, fees, hours and regulations,
etc., change as mandated. For updated information please
contact the park.
Printed on recycled paper
Utah State Parks
Please observe the following park regulations to ensure
everyone’s visit is pleasant.
Goblin Valley allows visitors to explore and meander among
and in between the goblins, and offers three trails:
Camping - Camp only in designated areas. Each permit
covers one vehicle and any attached recreational equipment.
There is an extra fee for additional vehicles or camping
equipment. Up to eight people are allowed in a campsite.
Carmel Canyon - A 1.5-mile moderately strenuous loop
leading from the parking area to the desert floor. Along the
way, visitors see Goblin Valley from different perspectives.
Optional hike to Molly’s Castle Overlook.
Curtis Bench - A fairly easy 2.1-mile out and back trail
that follows the Curtis formation. The trail offers a unique
overview of Goblin Valley as well as spectacular views of the
Entrada Canyon - An adventuresome, moderately
strenuous 1.3-mile one-way trail from the campground to
the goblins and back. The trail follows a natural drainage
that lends itself to those who enjoy discovering what is
around the next corner.
Fires - Campfires may be built in specified areas. Most
developed campsites provide camp stoves or charcoal
facilities. Firewood is available for sale at the Visitor Center.
Clear desert skies offer spectacular views of the desert floor
and San Rafael Reef. Low humidity and sparse vegetation
allow evenings to cool off rapidly.
Summer - Temperatures can reach to 90s to low 100s
during the day and fall to the mid 60s at night. Afternoon
thundershowers in late summer cool temperatures
dramatically, but also bring danger of lightning strikes and
flash flooding in nearby slot canyons.
Spring and Autumn - Variable weather. Days are often
sunny and warm, nights clear and cool. Be prepared for
abrupt changes, including strong winds, rain, hail and
Winter - Colder temperatures and occasional snow.
Temperatures are above freezing most days, but often drop
into the teens and single digits at night.
w Lightning danger is severe in exposed valley and park
locations. Seek shelter in a building or vehicle during
w Drink plenty of water — one gallon per person per day
w Goblin Valley is a remote, rugged area. Use caution
Reservations are available for group-use and individual
campsites. Individual campsite reservations may be made
two days to 16 weeks in advance of park departure date.
Group-use reservations may be made up to 11 months
in advance. To make a reservation, please call 801-3223770 within Salt Lake City or toll free 800-322-3770.
Reservations are not required but advised. Unreserved sites
are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Day-use and camping fees are charged. Additional fees are
charged for group-use and reservations.
Pets - Pets are allowed in Utah state parks, but must be
on a maximum six-foot leash. Service animals are the
only animals admitted in park buildings. For safety and
courtesy, please keep your pets under control and clean
up after them.
Bicycles - Bicycling is permitted on established public roads
and in parking areas. Bicycles are not allowed on hiking
trails, in the valley of goblins or off paved areas within the
Off-highway vehicles - Off-highway vehicle riding is
permitted in areas near the park. For designated areas
contact a park ranger.
Plants and animals - All plants, animals, minerals and other
natural features in state parks are protected. It is unlawful
to remove, alter or destroy them.
Firearms - The discharge of weapons or firearms, including
air and gas-powered types, and all other devices capable of
launching a projectile which could immobilize, injure, or kill
any person or animal or damage property are prohibited in the
park system unless: The weapon or device is being used for
the legal pursuit of wildlife; authorized by a Special Use Permit
or an authorized event; used in accordance with the Concealed
Weapons Act; or used by authorized law enforcement officers
in the performance of their official duties.
Fireworks - Unless authorized by the park manager,
fireworks and firecrackers are prohibited in state parks.
Vandalism - It is unlawful to mutilate or deface any natural
or constructed feature or structure. Please help keep our
Speed limit - The speed limit within all park areas is 15 mph.
Waste water - It is unlawful to dump or to drain water from
campers or trailers onto the ground. A sanitary disposal
station is provided for registered campers.
Quiet hours - 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Generator hours - 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
From deposits laid 170 million years ago by a vast inland sea, Goblin Valley State Park was sculpted by
forces of nature such as uplift and erosion by wind and water. Today, results of these geologic forces are
witnessed in the stone gnomes inhabiting the valley. These uniquely shaped goblins lure visitors to join them
in their desert playground.
Goblin Valley State Park is located in Emery County between Green River and Hanksville. Follow Highway 24
to Temple Mountain Junction (mile post 136), and proceed 12 miles southwest to the park.
Story of Goblin Valley
Cowboys searching for cattle were among the first to discover secluded Goblin Valley. In the late 1920s, Arthur
Chaffin, owner/operator of the Hite Ferry, and two companions were searching for an alternative route between
Green River and Caineville. They came to a vantage point about one mile west of Goblin Valley and were awed
by what they saw — five buttes and a valley of strange-shaped rock formations surrounded by a wall of eroded
cliffs. In 1949 Chaffin returned to the area he called Mushroom Valley. He spent several days exploring the
mysterious valley and photographing its scores of intricately eroded creatures.
Publicity attracted visitors to the valley despite its remoteness. In 1954 it was proposed that Goblin Valley be
protected from vandalism. The state of Utah later acquired the property and established Goblin Valley State
Reserve. It was officially designated a state park on August 24, 1964.
The wonderful stone shapes of Goblin Valley
result from millions of years of geologic history.
The goblins are made of Entrada sandstone,
which consist of debris eroded from former
highlands and redeposited here on a tidal flat
(alternating layers of sandstone, siltstone and
shale). The goblins show evidence of being near
an ancient sea with 1) the ebb and flow of tides,
2) tidal channels that directed currents back to
the sea and 3) coastal sand dunes.
Joint or fracture patterns within the Entrada’s
sandstone beds create initial zones of
weakness. The unweathered joints intersect
to form sharp edges and corners with greater
surface-area-to-volume ratios than the faces.
As a result, the edges weather more quickly,
producing spherical-shaped goblins.
GOBLIN VALLEY STATE PARK
Plants and Animals
Entrance Station/Visitor Center
Covered Picnic Area
Carmel Canyon Trail
San Rafael Swell
Vegetation is limited to hardy desert species,
which can endure blowing sand and hot, dry
surface conditions. Vegetation and wildlife exist
on a limited supply of water in this arid desert
environment. Plants have adapted by reducing
the size of their leaves, as smaller leaves lose
less water through transpiration. Some plants
have a waxy coating on their leaves, which also
reduces water loss. Visitors will likely encounter
Mormon tea (joint fir), Russian thistle, Indian
ricegrass and various cacti. Nearby, at slightly
higher elevations, are juniper and pinyon pine.
To Molly’s Castle
Curtis Bench Tr
145 - 170 million years ago
Upper Jurassic Formations
Animals often must travel many miles to find
water or wait for thunderstorms to provide
moisture. Most animals in the area are
nocturnal, venturing out only in the cooler
evenings to hunt and forage for food. Some
animals get water from the food they eat and go
for weeks without a drink of water. Jackrabbits,
scorpions, kangaroo rats, pronghorn, kit foxes,
midget faded rattler and coyotes are found
within and near the park.
Desert animals have only a slight edge on the
harsh environment in which they live. Chasing
or harassing them uses up precious reserves
they cannot afford to lose. Please respect their
home, and do not disrupt their tenuous struggle