Goblin Valley State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Utah. Goblin Valley, located south of Price, is known for its fantastic rock figures. It is one of our favorite spots for Spring or Fall break in Utah, but those times can be busy, too. Goblin Valley offers such a fun exploring adventure for families.
There is a campground complete with flush toilets, showers, shade, and fire pits. The new addition to the park are a couple of Yurts (Mongolian tents) that have electricity (limited as they are solar powered), a wood floor, and a locking door. They also come fully furnished with a bunk bed (queen and twin), a fold out futon, a table and four chairs, and an outdoor barbecue with two outdoor chairs. They are fully secure with a door that locks and a front porch. Additionally, they have a heater and a swamp cooler. I was very surprised by the large size– about 25 feet in diameter.
We booked 3 months in advance, and both Yurts were full every day, even though we were there Tuesday through Thursday. We found the Yurts to be pretty nice, as long as you don’t think you’re staying at the Hilton. Since we last visited the yurts prices have increased a lot, but it as a great way to stay right in the park. More info on the campground and yurts on Goblin Valley’s website.
Goblin Valley State Park
The park features a small Visitor’s Center with a gift shop, a Junior Ranger Program, and the campground. There are three hiking trails. There is also, of course, a valley full of goblins (or mushrooms as my boys liked to call them).
We tried one of the trails called Carmel Canyon and enjoyed it very much. It starts at the north end of Goblin Valley and winds away from the goblins. At first, we were confused because we thought it might give us a closer look, but it ended up looping around and our boys had a great time scrambling up tiny rocky inclines and sliding down boulders. We really enjoyed the hike.
Goblin Valley itself is sort of an “open” hike meaning you hike down into the valley and do whatever you want. We wondered how long they’ll keep allowing this before they stake out some trails and don’t let you climb anymore. For now, though, we played hide-and-seek, chased, climbed, ran, and fell (after about 20 minutes I said to my oldest, “You’re going to fall!” to which he replied, “I already fell 3 times. It doesn’t hurt.”) We returned to the valley several times and had fun hiking to and then along the back wall.
This is where you will spend more of your time on your visit to Goblin Valley State Park. Exploring and having fun in the main valley. Our kids never stop running around. It really is nature’s playground.
As we lay our 4 year-old in his own bed after the vacation he said, “Mom, are we going back to Goblin Valley? I think we should just live there!”
Things to do Near Goblin Valley
We weren’t sure what to do at Goblin Valley State Park for 3 days, but it turns out there was plenty. We spent one day at Capitol Reef National Park (about 1 hour away), and also hiked Little Wildhorse Canyon. There is a nice trail right by the park called Wildhorse Window that we enjoyed, too. We also stopped at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry, so be sure to check those out, too.
We highly recommend a visit to Goblin Valley. If your kids can handle a big drive, you can probably even make it a day trip. There is a lot to do in the area, so it is a nice spot for a family vacation. The unique rock formations make exploring Goblin Valley a great adventure.
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What backpack/carrier do you guys use for these longer hikes?
We have an Evenflo hiking backpack that was a hand-me down from awhile ago. I tried to look them up and it looks like Evenflo doesn’t even make them anymore. Ours is very simple, no pockets or zippers. It just carries children 20-40 pounds. There are lots of hiking backpacks out there made by lots of different companies. You will have to do some research and choose one that you like. Sorry I couldn’t be more help.
Thanks Natalie! Wade said he and the kids saw those yurts when they were building them and wondered what they were! We’re going to book one right away!