Goblin Valley State Park makes a great day trip from the Lodge at Red River Ranch. It only takes about an hour to get there, and can be easily accessed from Highway 24.
Goblin Valley is a large basin filled with hoodoos. These sandstone formations are the work of countless years of erosive forces. Many Indian tribes are known to have lived in this region, and they almost certainly knew about its location. Some authorities believe various tribes regarded Goblin Valley as a sacred place. It wasn’t until the end of the 1920s that Goblin Valley was “discovered” by Arthur Chaffin. After his full exploration, Goblin Valley soon became an exciting destination for tourists. It was made an official state park in 1964.
Once you pay the nominal fee, you are free to explore Goblin Valley with few limitations. Go ahead and climb on the massive hoodoos, play hide-and-seek or tag among the rocks, you can even have a picnic on top of the sandstone. Just be respectful and you can really have lots of fun in the park. Also, remember to bring lots of water and sunscreen. Goblin Valley can become very hot, even in the cooler months.
You can’t sleep in the valley, but there are two convenient campgrounds inside the park. These usually fill up quickly, so if you plan on spending a weekend, get to Goblin Valley as early as you can. There are a few other attractions in the park beside the actual valley. Little Wildhorse Canyon is one of the most popular slot canyons in the San Rafael Swell; it is only a few minutes from the hoodoos.
Goblin Valley State Park is a neat place to spend some time with your family and friends. It is one of our favorites here at the Lodge. We hope you like it as much as we do.