I’ve travelled to a lot of places around the United States, but the most majestic place is easily the southern Utah desert. Its amazing rock sculptures and canyons keep me coming back yearly. I decided to take a group of five friends and I alone into the south this summer. After some planning we decided to head to Goblin Valley National Park and Little Wild Horse Canyon.
Our first stop was at Goblin Valley about fifty miles out of Green River. It is just outside the Rafael Swell, which looks like mountains grew out of the earth then collapsed and fell on their sides. There is a lot to do here that is a ton of fun, and that is why I consider it my most favorite of the national parks. Goblin Valley is an ancient dried up lake. As the water receded it left a valley full of walls, pillars and what are called goblins; rock structures that are from five to fifteen feet high that look something like an abnormally shaped golf ball on a very thick tee. The valley is covered in hundreds of these goblins that space from a few inches to twenty feet apart depending on where in the valley you are. It makes the valley a perfect place to play games! My fellow friends and I found kids to play games with us, which makes the valley an amazing playground! If you’re not one who likes to run around, but maybe likes to explore this is also a great place. There are lots of walls and cliffs with shallow caves and trails that are asking to be explored. Be careful on the walls though, they can be very narrow, and extremely high. Take a fall off one of them and it may be your last. There are three separate sections of the valley. If you travel to what appears to be the back wall you will find it continues around it. The farther you get from the parking lot the larger and more spaced out the rocks become. It soon turns into a fun confusing maze of trails. However, as long as you remember what direction the parking lot is you can always find your way out by walking that direction.
Only two miles away from Goblin Valley, in the Rafael Swell, is another amazing destination to discover called Little Wild Horse Canyon. This slot canyon with black stained red rock walls gets up to a hundred and fifty feet deep, and at some places becoming narrow enough that you have to squeeze between the rocks. Inside the canyon you’ll discover little holes in the side of the walls that were caused by the water running through it from flash floods. Don’t be too surprised if you find water left over. The sun never hits the bottom of the canyon so the water never dries up. There are also many rock obstacles you will have to climb up and down to navigate the canyon. Little Wild Horse Canyon has a sister canyon called Bell Canyon. When you do the full eight mile trip you can go up one canyon and down the other. Bell Canyon has some amazing rock structures you can see above the canyon. It is however not as squeezed or long as Little Wild Horse Canyon.
On the trip we explored many more amazing places, but Goblin Valley and the Rafael Swell slot canyons continue to always be my favorite. It’s tons of fun, a great campground, and awe inspiring. I recommend going to anyone looking for a good time.
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