On the way from Capitol Reef National Park to Green River, UT, we stopped by Goblin Valley State Park which merits a post all by itself. It lies north of Hanksville, UT off Highway 24. It is not a very big park as it covers only 3.6 acres (1.5 ha), but it is worth a visit. Nearby there are camping sites and even a couple of yurts. Families with young children favor this park as it is very accessible to the younger ones who can roam freely throughout the area.
From Hanksville the drive is 32 miles long to get to the park entrance where the majestic Wild Horse Butte dominates.
Inside the park are thousands of hoodoos or phantasmagorical rock formations unseen elsewhere. A movie, Galaxy Quest, was filmed at Goblin Valley because of the fantastic, out-of-this-world scenery.
This last photo helps explain where those “goblins” came from.
The hoodoos at Goblin Valley are made of Entrada Sandstone, the same rocks found at Arches National Park and in Cathedral Valley section of Capitol Reef National Park. All of these places are on what is considered the Colorado Plateau. In the Jurassic period, some 170 million years ago, Goblin Valley was the tidal flat of an ancient sea where sandstone, siltstone, and shale were deposited and transformed into solid layers of rocks. The Colorado Plateau started to be uplifted 10 million years ago, after which erosion by wind and water began carving Entrada Sandstone into goblins. Erosion is continually changing Goblin Valley and those hoodoos or goblins will continue to be born, shaped and weathered and eventually fall down to the valley.