Goblin Valley State Park

This is surprise destination number 1.  Monday I drove over to GVSP, which is located about 45 miles southwest of Green River, Utah – about a 3 1/2 hour drive from where I was staying in Grand Junction, CO.

Since I’ve kept y’all in suspense I will cut right to the chase and show you the most-photographed formation in the Park.  This is called “Three Sisters”.  It reminds me of chess pieces.


“Goblins”, or hoodoos as they are sometimes called, are formations which consist of a spire or other base which has a rock, or hardened sandstone orb, sitting on top of it.  I posted pictures of a similar place last year when I was staying in Kanab, UT.

The formation above was sitting a short ways off the road soon after I entered the Park.  Once I got to the main parking area, this is what I was looking at.  This is a three-picture panorama, looking down left to right, from the elevated parking area:




While there are other formations out and about, this main area is three square miles of various goblins.  People are free to walk amongst them, although climbing on them is not allowed and there are serious (felony) penalties for toppling them.  If you look closely at some of the distance shots you’ll see people in many of them which will help give you an idea of how big this place is.

Here is a small sampling of what I saw (and by the way, I arrived at the Park at 930am local time and my Fitbit informed me I had my 10,000 steps for the day in by noon!).






I will post many more pictures in the coming days but wanted to at least let the cat out of the bag as far as where I had snuck off to.

Here is how I found out about the Park.  When I was at Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park in Colorado I saw a book in a gift shop with this on the cover:


(Photo and book credit: Gary Ladd)

Inside the front cover the only reference to the photo was “Thin ribs of resistant sandstone protrude from the midsection of a wind-blasted goblin”.  The book features scenic attractions in Colorado but the notation didn’t indicate WHERE in Colorado the photo was taken.  So I Googled “goblin formations” to try and find out where it is.  Well, I never found out any more about that particular formation but I did discover other photos while ultimately led me to find out about Goblin Valley State Park.  I didn’t see anything quite that elaborate here, but some of the formations I did see were still very interesting.

The reason there are so many formations in this concentrated area is that in the Jurassic Period (140-170 million years ago) there was a lake here and as the water evaporated the sand, silt and clay, along with wind and water erosion, caused these goblins to form.

Here is a small goblin which was sitting all by itself near the access road to the Park.





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