A GUIDE FOR THE INDEPENDENT TRAVELER IN THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST
"With the completion of the Interstate Freeway System, it became possible to travel all the way across the country, from coast-to-coast, and never see a thing...." Charles Kuralt
GOBLIN VALLEY, UTAH
It is a valley full of strange creatures frozen forever in time. A still place, shadowy, a gathering of...Goblins! Coblin Valley state Park in Utah. Could be a little scary. Utah State Park ranger Randy Ford: "You just let your imagination go and realize what you're looking at is whatever your mind comes up with. That's what the kids like a lot about this place. You see Donald Duck or they see Miss Piggy or different muppets running around out here."
In the picture at the right, note the woman standing to the bottom right of the "Goblin."
Cowboys looking for stray cattle first came upon this valley and at first they called it Mushroom Valley, but decided all those rocks down here do look more like goblins.
The neat thing about this state park is...there are really very few rules. The biggest rule is, don't be stupid.
"Anymore," says Ranger Ford, "wherever you go everybody's yelling at people...don't touch, don't touch! Here, as long as people don't deliberately damage something and just use their heads and look at the balanced rocks...you can tell what you can climb and and you shouldn't...or what you can touch and shouldn't."
The goblins fascinate adults, too. It fascinates Europeans. Apparently more Europeans know about Goblin Valley than anybody else.
"You been listening to the people here," Ford said. "Nobody's speaking English, they're all European. I think we're advertised more in Europe than we are in our own state."
It took millions of years but the softer sand blew away and washed away in the wind and rain and left the harder sand standing in weird and...goblin-like...formations.
That's one explanation. The park does close at dark and who really knows what the goblins do when they have the place all to themselves.
Goblin Valley State Park is located about 40 miles SW of Green River, Utah. Go west on I-70 from Green River 11 miles to State Highway 24. South on 24 for 24 miles to the park entrance. Turn right and go 5 miles on a pvaed road, then south about 7 on a gravel road to the park. There are signs all the way.
There is a 21-unit campground with restrooms and drinking water. There are hot-water showers and an RV dump. You can call for reservations at 800-322-3770, M-F, 8 am to 5 pm Mountain Time.
Motels and restaurants in Green River or back out onto highway 24 and 22 miles south to Hanksville.
This area of Utah is rich with pkaces to go. Nearby is Capitol Reef National Park and the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Farther SW are Zion and Bryce National Parks.
They have a website here.
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