claralieu, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

claralieu, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Know Before you Go: Goblin Valley State Park


Although Goblin Valley is certainly not as famous as its neighboring Mighty Five National Parks it still deserves a coveted spot on your Utah vacation itinerary!

Here’s why - the park is home to precious sandstone hoodoos.

These rock formations give the park a truly wild landscape and reveal the magic and splendor that Utah’s backcountry has to offer

Start Planning

stone formationsclaralieu, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • The tour should take about 2-4 hours, or more, depending on how much you plan to hike. Actual drive time is approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes. 
  • The tour starts on Highway 24, 20 miles north of Hanksville, UT, and 37 miles south of Green River, UT. 
  • This route is suitable for two-wheel-drive vehicles.
  • The trails on this tour are in desert terrain, and most have high sun exposure. Bring plenty of water and appropriate sun protection. 
  • There are no trails in the Goblin Valley. You are free to explore this area on foot, but we recommend you at least take a compass and a map with you. 
  • Access to water is limited to the Visitor Center, Campground Restrooms, and Overlook Restrooms. 
  • The nearest hotels and restaurants are in Hanksville, UT, and Green River, UT. There is no food in the park besides what is available for purchase in the Visitor Center. Bring food if you’re planning on spending the day. 
  • Damaging or defacing the goblins or any rock surfaces in the park is illegal and strictly prohibited. 
  • The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. If you arrive before or after the visitor center opens, you can deposit your cash entrance fee at the Iron Ranger outside the visitor center. 

What To Expect

goblin valley national parkclaralieu, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • To Spend 2 - 4 hours exploring
  • To Be Active - Goblin Valley is best explored outside the car. If you’re able, we recommend hitting the trails and exploring the valley for yourself.
  • To Learn - on this tour, we cover the geological history of the area, as well as its early inhabitants and creation as a state park. 


goblin valley state parkNikater, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

  • The entrance fee is $20 per vehicle. 
  • You can purchase park maps at the visitor center.
  • Goblin Valley State Park has a newly redesigned 20-hole disc golf course. The course is free to play, and discs are available to rent at the visitor center for $1 each. 
  • 25 campsites are available to reserve, at $45 a night, which includes the park entrance fee. There are also two yurts available for reservation. For current yurt rates and availability, or to make a camping reservation, please visit the website, or call the reservation hotline at 1-800-322-3770.

Safety Information

tourists in goblin valley state parkCC BY 2.0

  • Hiking Safety: Bring water & adequate sun protection, and hike in groups. 
    • If you venture into any slot canyons, like the Goblin’s Lair or Little Wild Horse Canyon, then keep an eye on the sky. Flash Floods can happen quickly (hence the name). If it’s raining, stay out of canyons. If it’s cloudy, think twice before entering. Flash floods can happen even if it’s not raining where you are.
    • Since there are no trails in Goblin Valley, the chances of getting lost are greater. Take a map and a compass, and pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t hike alone, and let others know where you’ll be. 
  • Driving Safety: Please obey the posted speed limits. 

Start Packing

rock formations in goblin valley state parkEnrico Stirl a.k.a. Germaneon, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

  • Sneakers
  • Hiking Clothes
  • Water Bottle
  • Bug Spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses and/or hat
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Snacks
  • Cash
  • Car charger *Very Important*
  • Phone Mount
  • First Aid Kit
  • Compass

When you visit a state park, you’ll eventually come across the phrase “leave no trace.”

It is important to leave an area exactly as you found it.

We can enjoy Goblin Valley because of efforts to preserve its natural beauty so let’s do our part. At Shaka Guide, we promote ethical and responsible tourism.

Please, pick up your trash, respect plant and animal life, and keep yourself safe, too.

Leave no trace of your visit behind so future generations can continue to enjoy these wonderful places.

We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at aloha@shakaguide.com

For more detailed information to help you plan, check out our Goblin Valley Itinerary.

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