Goblin Valley, Little Wild Horse, & Blue John Canyon
This is a remote area, however, there are some amazing places to visit just minutes off the main roads. Goblin Valley State Park is one of the most popular places visited each year with a great slot canyon hike nearby called “Little Wild Horse.” There’s a great campground right at Goblin Valley or you can stay in a Motel at one of the nearby towns. Capitol Reef National Park and the Horseshoe Canyon District of Canyonlands National Park are also in this area.
Day 1- (Goblin Valley)**
Spend a day and late into the evening, seeing Goblin Valley. There are no set trails, you just wander through a valley with the most amazing sandstone figures from one foot high to over 100 feet. The evening sunset brings the colors to life and some say the goblins as well.
Distance to Goblin Valley turn off from:
- Green River- 36 miles
- Hanksville- 20 miles
* (12 miles from turn off to Goblin Valley)
Day 2- (Little Wild Horse/Bell Canyon)**
You’ve got to go to Little Wild Horse Canyon. This is a fun, narrow slot canyon accessible for leisure adventurers. You can go up and down the Little Wild Horse or at the top of the trail you can traverse to the top of Bell Canyon and hike back down a different slot canyon.
Distance from Goblin Valley- 5 miles
Day 3- (Canyonlands- Horseshoe Canyon District)**
The turnoff to Horseshoe Canyon is across the street from the turnoff to Goblin Valley, about 100 feet south. You travel down a graded dirt road for 32 miles. You will come to a small parking area. There is a pit toilet and that’s about it. From the trailhead you will walk down a sandy wash to the High Gallery, Alcove Gallery and Great Gallery ancient Indian petroglyphs. (The hike is 7 mile round trip- you can hike further down the canyon to the bottom of Big Drop which is the end of Bluejohn Canyon.)
Day 3 (Option 2- Blue John Canyon to Horseshoe Canyon)**
This is an option for those who are experienced canyoneers. After leaving the main highway on the Horseshoe Canyon Road, at about the 25 mile point there is a fork. Go right (south) and it will take you to the trailheads of Bluejohn Canyon. There are different trailheads to choose from, West Blue John, the Main Bluejohn Canyon or East Blue John. Make sure you bring topo maps of the area and are prepared with canyoneering gear for rappels and climbs. Estimated time through Blue John Canyon to the trailhead of Horseshoe canyon is 10 hours. You will want to leave a vehicle at Horseshoe Canyon trailhead so you can drive back to get your other vehicle.
Day 4-5 (Capitol Reef National Park)
Capitol Reef NP has three primary sections, a scenic drive through the Grand Wash with hikes to Cassidy Arch, Hickman Bridge and petroglyps. The other to section are more primitive; Cathedral Valley and the Waterpocket fold (Notam-Bullfrog road). You can easily spend two days hiking and sightseeing through the redrock canyons of Capitol Reef.
- Hanksville- 35 miles
- Torrey- 10 miles
** Note: There are no services in this area. You must get gas, water, food in nearby towns- Green River and Hanksville.
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