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The Valley of the Goblins is an otherworldly landscape that is unique in Utah.
In this small valley, thousands of rock hoodoo formations rise from the flat landscape in intricate and intriguing shapes.
These hoodoos, known as "goblins," were formed "because of the uneven hardness of sandstone," [according to](https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/goblin-valley/hiking-in-goblin-valley/) Utah State Parks.
"Some patches resist erosion much better than others.
The softer material is removed by wind and water, leaving thousands of unique, geologic goblins.
Water erosion and the smoothing action of windblown dust work together to shape the goblins," they continue. The Valley of the Goblins covers about three square miles, although you can hike even further and connect to several other areas if you so choose.
This valley is also unique when it comes to hiking areas, as there aren't any designated routes through the landscape.
Instead, the valley "is a free-roaming area that can be explored at your leisure," according to Utah State Parks.
You can choose your own adventure and get as up close and personal with the hoodoos as you'd like, hiking through the wide-open valley floor or following drainages into narrow canyons. With this freedom comes a natural responsibility to treat the landscape and the rock formations with respect.
The hoodoos themselves are quite fragile and can topple easily.
Please do not touch, push, climb on, draw on, or in any way modify or change the landscape in this valley.
Tread softly as you travel, and try to stick to logical paths through the landscape. The route shown here is a short loop through the main valley, measuring just one mile round-trip.
This loop departs from the main parking lot, travels through some of the best hoodoos on its way to the far side of the valley, and then returns to the parking area.
The footing on this recommended loop is all easy to negotiate, although there are still a few drainages to cross and short, steep pitches to hike up and over.
If you choose to head deeper into the Valley of the Goblins, make sure you have the region downloaded for offline navigation in FATMAP so you can find your way through the hoodoos.
If you head into the second section of the valley located further to the south, the hoodoos get much taller and can obscure your line of sight—offline maps are very useful! Sources: [StateParks.Utah.Gov](https://stateparks.utah.gov/parks/goblin-valley/discover/)