A Walk Among the Goblins in Utah – A Photo Essay

Believed to be evil, greedy, or mischievous, goblins are mythical creatures who bring trouble to humans, appearing in the folklore of multiple European cultures first attested in stories from the Middle Ages. Goblin Valley State Park, off Highway 24 at the San Rafael Swell in Utah includes an area where soft sandstone has eroded into interesting shapes, somewhat resembling these mythological goblins. In some spots the rock formations are close together and produce a maze-like playground ideal for exploration.

Paula and I visited Goblin Valley on December 26, 2020 on the first day of a five-day swing through canyon country in southern Utah. Most of our time there was spent walking in the Valley of Goblins, spanning nearly three square miles of free-roaming area that can be explored without need of rigid route finding. We thoroughly enjoyed the visit, having a great deal of fun. There were a lot of “wonder where this goes,” and “what’s over there?” comments throughout.

Late in the afternoon we also visited nearby Little Wild Horse Canyon, but didn’t go very far into the slots as dark was fast approaching. Paula was disappointed because she really wanted to experience a true slot canyon. We will find one for her as our future adventures continue.

When we left the area, we headed out on Scenic Highway 24 to Torrey, UT for our next day at Capitol Reef National Park. We were treated to a remarkable sunset along the way, with several stops for pictures. I’ve always been a huge fan of the Utah red rock country, so this trip brought back many fond memories of earlier excursions. It was so nice to share them now with Paula.

This gallery includes pictures from Goblin Valley State Park, Little Wild Horse Canyon, and a sunset along Highway 24. Enjoy the photos, and please feel free to comment.



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