This landscape may seem out of this world, but surprisingly, these rock formations are found in Southern Utah. Goblin Valley State park is home to hundreds of hoodoos (goblins, as the locals say) which are mushroom-shaped rock pinnacles. The valley is beyond beautiful and welcomes hikers, bikers, and explorers. You can spend hours walking through the valley admiring these strange looking forms. My only regret? Not bringing a large group with me to play hide n seek! It would have been epic!
Where to stay:
Goblin Valley is a remote park in Southern Utah that lies close to the town of Hanksville, which is where I stayed. The Whispering Sands Motel was a perfect choice for my trip because of the ideal location near the park. They are open year round so you don’t have to worry about them closing during the winter. What I really enjoyed about my room was the cabin feel to it! With wood paneling on the walls and ceiling, it made the stay that much more exciting! When I checked into my room, sitting on the table was a ‘on-the-go’ breakfast for those travelers that didn’t have time to stop at the local spots for breakfast. What a thoughtful detail! In addition to the ‘on-the’go’ breakfast they also gave me a coupon for the Duke Slickrock restaurant which has an amazing breakfast. From the welcoming staff, the sparkling clean room, and the cabin-like vibes it’s an easy choice to stay at the Whispering Sands Motel.
Where to explore:
Upon entering the park, you will arrive at a parking lot with the iconic view of Goblin Valley. Park there and walk over to the viewing deck to take in the scene. I did just that but I didn’t last too long because there was fun to be had in the valley below! I quickly made it down the short hill and began my exploration through the hoodoos.
After 10 short minutes of walking around, the rain came in. At first, it was a light sprinkle and I hid below one of the hoodoos to wait it out. After a few more minutes it started coming down harder and it was evident that it wasn’t going to give up anytime soon. I made the decision to start heading back to my car. To my surprise, the entire valley had turned into a slick, muddy playground. It was absolutely entertaining watching other travelers slip and slide through the muddy terrain to make it back to their cars. I didn’t have any problems until I go to the hill that I had earlier run down. After several attempts and very muddy shoes, I made it back to the parking lot!
The not so great weather conditions turned out to be a hilarious experience that I will never forget! With that said, I didn’t get the chance to explore the different trails. However, this website is a great resource to find specific trails to hike and even to get to the Goblin’s Lair. I am looking forward to coming back one day and giving them a go!
In addition to hiking, there is also mountain biking, disc golf, and night sky viewing activities. Fun for both adults and kids put Goblin Valley State Park on your bucket list for this year!
I want to thank the Whispering Sands Motel for hosting me and recommend this accommodation to anyone traveling to this area!
Don’t let the colder weather discourage you from visiting National Parks! Bryce Canyon during winter was an absolute dream. We can’t wait to come back one day. Below are some other parks that we enjoy visiting during the offseason!
Additional Utah Posts to Read: Why Hogan Camping in Monument Valley Should Be On Your Bucket List