National Interest Spot

The Ultimate Goblin Valley State Park Guide for Visitors to Southern Utah

While Southern Utah’s five incredible national parks may get most of the attention from visiting travelers, you would be remiss to discount the region’s many incredible state parks. One of the most popular and most beautiful of these state parks is the amazing Goblin Valley State Park. Renowned for its valley filled with stunning rock formations, Goblin Valley State Park rivals Bryce Canyon National Park in terms of beautiful rock formations. In addition to the beauty of the park, there are also several incredible things for visitors to do within the park as well. In this Goblin Valley State Park guide, I will spotlight the many spectacular viewpoints, trails, and activities that are available to travelers who visit the park.

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

In my Goblin Valley State Park Guide, I will provide you will all of the information that you will need to plan a fun and memorable trip to visit the park. I explain the best way for travelers to get to the park from outside the state or outside the country, outline the best times to visit the park, highlight the top things to see and do while you are there and give you my suggestions on the best things to see and do outside of the park while on your trip. With this information in hand, it will be easy to plan a trip to Goblin Valley State Park that you will remember for a lifetime.

How to Get There

Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Location Map

Goblin Valley State Park is located in the southern part of the state of Utah in the American Southwest. If you are planning on travelling to the area from elsewhere in the United States or from outside of the country, there are a number of cities in the region that have large international airports. The closest international airports in the region are either Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) in Salt Lake City, UT or Denver International Airport (DEN) in Denver, CO. However, depending on what else you plan to see on your trip, there are other airports in the area that are within a day’s drive of Goblin Valley State Park. For more information on airport options, I have included a regional map for you to review in my Goblin Valley State Park guide below.

Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Area Airports Map

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CityDriving DistanceDriving Time
Salt Lake City, UT223 miles\359 km4 hours
Denver, CO392 miles\631 km6 hours
Las Vegas, NV429 miles\690 km6 hours, 30 minutes
Albuquerque, NM466 miles\750 km7 hours, 45 minutes
Phoenix, AZ568 miles\914 km9 hours
Tucson, AZ681 miles\1,096 km10 hours, 45 minutes
Los Angeles, CA696 miles\1,120 km11 hours, 45 minutes
San Diego, CA758 miles\1,220 km12 hours, 30 minutes

For travelers who will be in the southern Utah or northern Arizona or Nevada area and would like to add a visit to Goblin Valley State Park to the travel itinerary, I have included a map and table in my Goblin Valley State Park guide below that outlines some of the key cities and tourist destinations in the area to assist in making your travel plans.

Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Area Map

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CityDriving DistanceDriving Time
Capitol Reef NP59 miles\95 km1 hour
Leprechaun Canyon59 miles\95 km1 hour
Arches NP97 miles\156 km1 hour, 30 minutes
Moab, UT101 miles\163 km1 hour, 30 minutes
Canyonlands, NP109 miles\175 km1 hour, 45 minutes
Corona Arch110 miles\177 km2 hours, 15 minutes
Escalante, UT142 miles\229 km3 hours
Bryce Canyon NP187 miles\301 km3 hours, 30 minutes
Natural Bridges NM172 miles\277 km4 hours
Zion NP249 miles\401 km4 hours, 30 minutes
Kanab, UT253 miles\407 km4 hours, 30 minutes
Monument Valley263 miles\423 km4 hours, 45 minutes
Springdale, UT315 miles\507 km5 hours
Page, AZ327 miles\526 km5 hours, 45 minutes
Goblin Valley State Park Guide

If you are heading to Goblin Valley State Park from one of the popular tourist cities in the Southern Utah and Northern Arizona area, I have included some directions to the park for you to reference in my Goblin Valley State Park guide below. All you need to do is click on the heading below to view the directions from that city.

Directions From Moab, Utah
  • Coming out of town, turn right onto US-191N/N Main St and continue for 31.5 miles.
  • Turn left to merge onto I-70W and continue on I-70W for 32.6 miles.
  • Take exit 149 for UT-24W towards Hanksville, UT.
  • Turn left onto UT-24W and continue on UT-24W for 24.2 miles.
  • Turn right onto Temple Mt Road and continue on Temple Mt Road for 5.2 miles.
  • Turn left onto Goblin Valley Road and continue on Goblin Valley Road for 6.7 miles until you reach the entrance gate.
Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Moab, Utah to Goblin Valley State Park Directions Map
Map of directions from Moab, Utah to Goblin Valley State Park
Directions From Escalante, Utah
  • Head east on UT-12 for 63.6 miles.
  • Turn right onto UT-24E and stay on UT-24E for 47 miles.
  • Turn left to stay on UT-24E and stay on UT-24E for another 19.6 miles.
  • Turn left onto Temple Mt Road and stay on Temple Mt Road for 5.2 miles.
  • Turn left onto Goblin Valley Road and continue on Goblin Valley Road for 6.7 miles until you reach the entrance gate.
Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Escalante, Utah to Goblin Valley State Park Directions Map
Map of directions from Escalante, Utah to Goblin Valley State Park
Directions From Springdale, Utah
  • Follow UT-9 W/Zion Park Blvd for 19.1 miles.
  • Turn right onto UT-17N/N State Street and continue to follow UT-17N for 5.9 miles.
  • Take the ramp onto I-15N.
  • Continue on I-15N for 104 miles.
  • Take exit 132 for I-70E towards Richfield/Denver.
  • Continue on I-70E for 148 miles.
  • Take exit 149 and merge onto UT-24 W towards Hanksville, UT.
  • Continue on UT-24W for 23.8 miles.
  • Turn right onto Temple Mt Road and continue on Temple Mt Road for 5.2 miles.
  • Turn left onto Goblin Valley Road and continue on Goblin Valley Road for 6.7 miles until you reach the entrance gate.
Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Springdale, Utah to Goblin Valley State Park Directions Map
Map of directions from Springdale, Utah to Goblin Valley State Park
Directions From Kanab, Utah
  • Take US-89N for 66.7 miles.
  • Turn right onto US-89N/N Main Street and continue on US-89N for an additional 31.4 miles.
  • Turn right onto UT-62 and take UT-62 for 12.4 miles.
  • Turn left onto UT-62E and continue on UT-62E for 26.3 miles.
  • Turn right onto Browns Ln and take Browns Ln for 2.7 miles.
  • Turn right onto UT-24E and take UT-24E for 17.6 miles.
  • Turn slight left onto S Highway 24 and continue to follow UT-24E for 64 miles.
  • Turn left to stay on UT-24E for an additional 19.6 miles.
  • Turn left onto Temple Mt Road and stay on Temple Mt Road for 5.2 miles.
  • Turn left onto Goblin Valley Road and continue on Goblin Valley Road for 6.7 miles until you reach the entrance gate.
Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Kanab, Utah to Goblin Valley State Park Directions Map
Map of directions from Kanab, Utah to Goblin Valley State Park
Directions From Page, Arizona
  • Take US-89 out of town towards Utah.
  • Stay on US-89 for 72.3 miles.
  • Turn right onto S 100E (passing Holiday Inn Express and Suites Kanab on the right) and continue for 0.3 miles.
  • Continue onto E Center Street for 0.4 miles.
  • Continue onto US-89N/N 300W and stay on US-89N/N 300W for 66.7 miles.
  • Turn right onto US-89N/N Main Street and continue for 31.4 miles.
  • Turn right onto UT-62 and take UT-62 for 12.4 miles.
  • Turn left onto UT-62E and continue on UT-62E for 26.3 miles.
  • Turn right onto Browns Ln and take Browns Ln for 2.7 miles.
  • Turn right onto UT-24E and take UT-24E for 17.6 miles.
  • Turn slight left onto S Highway 24 and continue to follow UT-24E for 64 miles.
  • Turn left to stay on UT-24E for an additional 19.6 miles.
  • Turn left onto Temple Mt Road and stay on Temple Mt Road for 5.2 miles.
  • Turn left onto Goblin Valley Road and continue on Goblin Valley Road for 6.7 miles until you reach the entrance gate.
Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Page, Arizona to Goblin Valley State Park Directions Map
Map of directions from Page, Arizona to Goblin Valley State Park

Top Things to See and Do

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

One thing that Goblin Valley State Park is definitely not in short supply of is incredible things to see and do. In addition to its many amazing viewpoints, the park also has several great hiking and mountain biking trails for visitors to enjoy. Whether you like to get out and be active in your travel explorations or just enjoy seeing the beautiful views from the comforts of your car, there is plenty to do for all types of travelers. If you are starting to plan your trip and would like to know which sights and activities in Goblin Valley to add to your itinerary, I have included my picks for the top things to see and do in Goblin Valley Start Park below.

Download Park Map and Brochure

Take a Sunrise or Sunset Photo

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

One of my favorite things to do when visiting Goblin Valley State Park is to take sunrise and sunset shots. The incredible rock formations in the valley look incredible in the soft early morning and late evening light and you will see some of the most beautiful sky colors. If you would like to get shots of the Goblin Valley from the Goblin Valley Observation Point, the best time to photograph is at sunrise. For those who would like to plan out their shots before visiting, I have included a Goblin Valley sunrise and sunset map in my Goblin Valley State Park guide for you to review below.

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Visit the Goblin Valley Observation Point

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

One of the best places to enjoy the beauty of Goblin Valley State Park is from the Goblin Valley observation point. This elevated viewpoint looks out over the incredible Goblin Valley and has parking in case you would like to go hiking and ample shade for relief from the sun on hot days. This is one of the most popular stops in the park, so make sure you arrive at the park early during peak season if you would like to get a parking spot.

Hike thru the Goblin Valley

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

While appreciating the beauty of the rock formations from afar is nice, getting up close and personal with these incredible rock shapes is a truly unique and magical experience. One of the best ways to get up close with the rock formations is to take a hike thru the Goblin Valley. You can descend down into the valley from the observation point and there are several meandering trails thru the valley that allow you to get some close-up pictures. I definitely recommend this if you have the time!

Hike to the Three Sisters

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

One of the coolest features that you will find inside Goblin Valley State Park is a rock formation known as the “Three Sisters”. This interesting rock formation includes three goblin formations next to each other on the top of a small rock mesa. While it is interesting to photograph from afar, it is really neat to see up close. If you are interested in getting a closer look at the Three Sisters, there is a trail that will take you close enough to get some incredible photographs.

Hike to the Goblin’s Layer

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

If you are up for a little adventure, taking a hike out to see the infamous “Goblin’s Layer” is a lot of fun. It is a roughly 2.3-mile hike (out-and-back) from the Goblin Valley Observation point to Goblin’s Layer, with very little elevation gain. The hike itself isn’t that difficult, but there is very little shade, so make sure you bring plenty of water. The Goblin’s Layer is actually a beautiful slot canyon that has been covered in rockfall. You can climb up to the entrance, but if you would like to get inside, you will need to rappel into it. To do this, you will need to obtain a permit from the Goblin Valley State Park Visitor Center. For an overview of this hike, please refer to the map that I have included in my Goblin Valley State Park guide below.

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Hike to Molly’s Castle Overlook

One of the most interesting and beautiful features within the Goblin Valley State Park is a large 5,265-foot elevation summit that is located adjacent to Wild Horse Butte. Molly’s Castle actually sits a half-mile outside of the park, but the butte is large enough to see from the park trails. For those who are up for a short hike, you can get fairly close to Molly’s Castle to take some beautiful pictures by hiking the Molly’s Castle Spur Trail. If you are interested, I have included a map with the trail stats for you to review in my Goblin Valley State Park guide below.

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Go Mountain Biking

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

If you are looking for a little added adventure when visiting Goblin Valley State Park, I would suggest bringing your mountain bikes along with you. In June of 2015, seven miles of incredible singletrack mountain bike trail opened up in Goblin Valley State Park for visitors to enjoy. The trail is located near the top of a small mesa to the west of the park’s campground. While the trail does not weave in and out of the incredible rock hoodoos, it is a fun and challenging trail with some spectacular views to enjoy as you ride. For more information, check out the Wild Horse Trail System trail info on the UtahMountainBiking.com website.

When to Visit

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

While its location in the American Southwest might lead you to believe that the weather in the Moab area is hot year-round, the area’s high elevation leads to much larger swings in the temperature than you might expect. If you are in the process of planning a trip to the Moab area to see the Goblin Valley State Park, I would suggest reviewing the information I have included below on the average temperature and precipitation levels in Moab throughout the year before deciding when to book your trip.

Average Temperature (°F)

Because of its higher elevation, the disparity in the average temperature from the winter months of December thru February to the summer months of June thru August is much higher than you will find in many other parts of North America. During the hot summer months, it isn’t unusual to see high temperatures that can exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit while temperatures in the winter months can be cold enough for snowstorms and ice buildup on slick-rock trails. If you ask me, the best times of the year to visit Moab are during the late spring months of April and May or the early autumn months of September and October. During these months the temperatures are much more moderate, and the crowds are much smaller than you will find during the busy summer months.

Average Precipitation (Inches)

The Moab area doesn’t see a whole lot of rain throughout the year, which is why the area is technically classified as a high desert. However, even the small amount of rain the area does get can result in dangerous flash floods in the slot canyons and washouts of the backcountry roads in the area. This can make exploring the treasures of the Moab area, including the wonderful Goblin Valley State Park more difficult. If possible, I would suggest visiting during the spring months of April and May as those months tend to be drier than the autumn months of September and October.

Other Things to See in the Area

Canyonlands National Park

Few areas in North America are as beautiful as the canyon-filled deserts of the American Southwest. Not only is there a seemingly endless supply of incredible landscapes to marvel at, but there is no shortage of amazing activities in the area to keep you busy as well. If you are planning an extended trip to Southern Utah and are looking for some additional stops to add to your itinerary after you have visited Goblin Valley State Park, I have included links to some guides that you might find interesting in my Goblin Valley State Park guide below.

Where to Stay

Goblin Valley State Park Guide

Campgrounds

When visiting the national parks, monuments, and other areas of interest in the United States, it is a really neat experience to camp out during your visit.  Some of the best campgrounds in America can be found inside the country’s national parks, monuments, recreation areas, and surrounding areas.  This is especially true in Southern Utah. The extra dark skies in the area make it a great place to stargaze. If you are interested in camping out during your visit, I have included a map and list of some recommended campgrounds for you to review in my Goblin Valley State Park guide below.

Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Moab, Utah Area Campgrounds Map

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Hotels

If camping is not your speed, you need not worry as there are a variety of good hotels for you to choose from in the area as well. In fact, the incredible town of Moab, Utah is just a short drive from Goblin Valley and is a perfect place to book a hotel for your visit. If you are in the process of planning your trip to Southern Utah to see the Goblin Valley State Park, then you are in luck. I have included a map and list of recommended hotels at different price points for you to review in my Goblin Valley State Park guide below.

Goblin Valley State Park Guide - Moab, Utah Area Hotels Map

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Activities in the Area

Off-Roading Southern Utah

There are a lot of beautiful and amazing things to see in Southern Utah, but there are also a lot of really fun activities that you can do during your visit as well. If you are starting to plan your trip and are looking for some fun activities to enjoy while you are in the area, I have included some suggestions for you to review in my Goblin Valley State Park guide below.

Hiking Trails
White Water Rafting
Nature and Parks
Mountain Bike Tours
4WD Tours
Climbing
Nature and Wildlife

Photo Gallery

The Goblin Valley State Park is a very beautiful and picturesque place. If you are interested in seeing more of this beautiful state park, I have included some of my favorite photographs that I took during my visit in a gallery for you to review below.

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8 replies »

  1. This is a great guide and your pictures are wonderful. I’m sorry to say we missed both the Three Sisters and the hike due to time constraints. I’m happy to report that our next travel trailer will be outfitted with AC for just this kind of place, which we always seem to visit in summer when it’s boiling hot (which it was when we were in Goblin Valley). 🙂

    • That’s a bummer that you missed those things, but what great news that your new trailer will have AC. That is HUGE!!!! You are going to be able to explore so many amazing areas and not have to worry about miserable, sleepless nights in 100+ temps at 2am. Big win for you!! 😀

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