UT – Goblin Valley State Park . . . scary encounters of another kind

I rarely visit state parks due to the entry fees (wish there was an annual statewide, multi-state pass or federal add-on). I’m living on a tight budget and with plentiful federal pass areas to explore, it’s hard to make them a priority. However, after seeing magnificent photos of the area plus inclusion in my handy WOW guidebook, I’d added Goblin Valley to my list. So when predicted rains prompted me to seek a Plan B, I landed here. 

I quickly became a Grouchy Goblin after paying the $13 entry fee to subsequently find a seriously overflowing parking lot. Supposedly this was a very unusual day. I met regulars who said they’d never seen more than 5 cars. On this day I’d say there were easily 100 people. In the below photo, the flat boxed-in area, was like a giant sandbox. To the kids and parents, the sandstone features were play structures. It was tough witnessing the damage to fragile soil and hoodoos. My readers know I avoid crowds, I travel during off season, and as much as I love an occasional hug from a child, enthusiastic shrill screams were like fingernails on the chalkboard.

But I was here. I’d paid my $13. I needed some exercise. There were 8 miles of trails to explore. It was time for an attitude adjustment. So I started walking . . . and as can be expected the further away from the “sandbox” I got, the quieter and more pristine the environment became. Jan’s smile returned. 

The birthing of goblins

A hoodoo by any other name must be a goblin or a gnome or a toadstool or . . .

Wild Horse Butte 

The Three Sisters

I finally found some color among this otherwise monochromatic mocha landscape. I believe these are blooms of the locoweed. 

Fossil? 

Date(s) Hiked: April 8, 2016

Road Trip Day(s) #49 out of 88

On this long road trip, my days weren’t always filled with what I call Cherry Picker’s Delights. This outing is one that had crawled to the top of the list of bad memories. Funny though how time and photos can change perceptions. I wasn’t sure I’d include this trip on my blog. My mind always returned to that place of squealing children and fields of tiny mocha hoodoos. Now I can say I’m glad I decided to revisit the photos.

Note: I should also mention this is an area popular with the ATV crowd.

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