Ranger Kathryn's Arches

September 9, 2012

Backlit sunrise goblins

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 9:44 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,


Moments after sunrise, eroded sandstone figures resembling chess pieces stand guard on a mesa in Utah.

Death of a goblin. For scale, Chris.

In the 1920s, cowboys searching for their cattle happened upon a few secluded valleys sheltering thousands of sandstone goblins. This small tract of land in the middle of nowhere in southeastern Utah was first photographed in 1949, and the public became enamored of its lumpy beauty.

Differential erosion sculpted the fantastical shapes that inhabit Goblin Valley State Park. If you’re on your way to anywhere nearby, enjoy the delight of roaming among the mushroom-shaped pinnacles — which look their finest in low-angle light.

Goblin Valley, just as the sun first kisses it.



  1. I camped there one night a few years ago……Loved the place, way cool. It felt like being in a giant stone age, Mcdonalds playground. I regret not going hiking on some of the trails there, but I was in a hurry to Zion.

    Comment by David Richardson — September 9, 2012 @ 1:45 pm | Reply

  2. I’ll make sure to stop and visit the goblins when I’m down there in a few weeks. Could be interesting under a full moon…

    Comment by Andrew McAllister — September 9, 2012 @ 5:56 pm | Reply

  3. definitely a unique place. if memory serves me correctly, it was extremely windy when we were there. lots of sand in the eyes, mouth, nose, camera……

    Comment by john — September 10, 2012 @ 6:57 am | Reply

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