Space ship taking off
Goblin Valley & Little Wild Horse Canyon, Utah
October 1-6, 2007 - Continuing south from the San Rafael Swell, we
stopped in at Goblin Valley, Utah. This state park is a gem. As you
arrive you are welcomed by a trio of goblins who stand apart from the
valley, greeting visitors with otherworldly expressions. Beyond them an
enormous formation dominates the flat horizon, looking like a bright red
The campground is nestled into the buttresses of the redrock
cathedral, with shade ramadas at each site.
The rock formations are very tall and imposing, but when you walk up
close to them you discover that much of their structure is like a sand
dribble castle kids make at the beach. The sandstone is literally
dripping down the sides of the formation and it is very delicate to the
touch. Tap it lightly and it sounds hollow. Touch it any more forcefully
and it breaks off.
down into the
actual Valley of
the Goblins, a
fantastic open area of redrock formations that look like creatures. We
learned that these formations evolve in the same way as the arches do
at Arches National Park, but in this neck of the woods the result is
goblins instead of arches.
You are allowed to climb on the goblins, and they stand two to three
times human height, making a great climbing playground. As we
walked down into the valley a little kid rocketed past us yelling, "This is
Many of the formations are recognizable shapes....
One day we hiked
the Little Wild Horse Slot Canyon. This is
an 8 mile hike but only about an hour of it is
spent in the slot canyon. The slot canyon
was very narrow. At times the gravel path
was wide enough for just one foot at a time.
But it wasn't scary at all.
The canyon is wide open to the sky
above, and the narrow portions last
only a few feet. Don't hike these
things when rain threatens, because
the water gushes through. After a
rain it takes a few days for the water
in the slot canyon to subside.
Feeling a chill in the air in Goblin Valley, we made our way towards southern
Utah along the incomparable Scenic Route 12, stopping first at Kodachrome
Basin and then riding our bikes through Zion National Park.