(Although this isn't a fishing post, it's such a great place that I thought many of you would enjoy photos of such a unique landscape. I uploaded larger images than normal, so don't be afraid to click one you'd like a better look at.)
My family, along with my brothers-in-law, took a little trip to the desert this weekend to experience one of the best kept secrets of Utah, Goblin Valley.
Neither Arturo nor Raymundo (B-I-L's) had ever been and my family missed it last year. With my paid time off at work stacking up, it was high time that I took the week off and went on a road trip.
It's pretty hard to get a guy like me to go hiking unless there's water to be found at the end, but the Valley of the Goblins is a welcome exception to this and I've been visiting for years.
The drive from Utah Valley is long and sleepy, especially between Price and Green River.
After about 183 Miles and well over 3 hours later, we were relieved to arrive at our campsite and stretch out our saddle-worn hides. It's a neat campground (if you require a shower, modern toilets, and water) and its location can't be beat. Some tent pads have good, sun-screened, covered tables, where others don't offer much of a screen.
Personally, my favorite spots are #'s 11 and 12. They have their own little back canyon and trails that wind up the hillside. No sunscreens, but it's all about location. They're in the center-left of the image below:
Definitely a nice place to spend the night.
After a nice rest, it was time to set up camp and get ready to scramble around what seemed like another planet.
"This is bat country..."
Being in Goblin Valley is surreal. I'll shut up for the most part and let the pics do the talking.
We hiked all over the northernmost bowl of the park. It's definitely the most populated area of the park, but it's full of splendor at every shift of the eyes. The park itself actually stretches quite a long way south, with similar valleys the whole way. Access to those is by foot and the park closes nightly at 10:00pm.
Some of the formations are more memorable than others, like "The Wizard", or "Goblin King", who silently watches over his domain.
Once we'd made our way to the highest point we could all access, it was great to see the vast expanse of open desert stretching off into the horizon. It amazes me to witness such a dramatic change of landscape, contrasting the nearby desert plains.
When we got back to camp, we finally saw some of the weather that was forecast. Though it sprinkled lightly for awhile, it wasn't much of a bother and the storm left us in awe as and excellent day in Goblin Valley State Park was framed nicely by a bold rainbow and a magnificent display of mammatus clouds.
We got some coals hot and roasted some smoked sausages, elk sirloins, and marshmallows for a good meal and then it was off to the tents.
The next morning, the brothers and I thought we'd explore the hills surrounding the campground for awhile before packing up. The view is great from up there and, despite the presence of good trails, most people don't venture up them. Plenty of neat stuff to see up there.
The rocks (and the goblins in the valley) have the neatest erosion patterns all over them.
Definitely worth the 10 minute hike to get on top of that.
On our way home, we stopped in to see the entrance of the San Rafael Swell, from Temple Mountain Road, where we enjoyed the petroglyphs and finished our trip.
It was a great time for everyone! Arturo and Ray were blown away, as are most people upon their first glimpse of the great Valley of the Goblins.
Thanks for reading. With the whole week off, there will be more to come shortly...
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