Goblin’s Lair and Carmel Canyon Trail

Probably one of the more interesting hikes we did on our recent trip to Utah was in Goblin Valley State Park. We did a short hike to Goblin’s Lair (or Chamber of the Basilisk) and then came back through Carmel Canyon Trial to our cars. Overall it was around 4-4 1/2miles (not sure about the exact mileage).

Goblin Valley makes you feel like you are on another planet with the weird stump-like rocks.

The trail is pretty well marked with foot prints, but I can see how it might be difficult to follow if there was any rain. Your best bet, when starting at the parking lot, is keeping the large rock face to your right and using the river bed as a rough guide.

We did our hike in the late morning/afternoon so the sun was pretty harsh (sorry about the bright pictures). After a while we came to this huge rock slide-aka the strenuous part of the hike.

For some time we were a little uncertain as to where we needed to go. Then, one person from our group ventured behind the large pile of rock and found this:

When first climbing into this cave-like entrance we could not see a thing due to the bright sunlight. The further we went down the more intrigued I became. There is this massive chamber in the middle of the desert behind some fallen rocks.

Honestly, if there was not a trail you would walk right past the chamber without even glancing in its direction. Mind=blown.

The blue tints and warmth coming in from the sun made Goblin’s Lair even more mystical, like you had just walked into Narnia or some other magical place. Apparently you can rock climb down into the Goblin’s Lair as well with a guide. After climbing out of Goblin’s Lair we wandered further down the trail to find another little chamber.

This time hiking was a bit more tricky as we crossed a layer of loose rock that could be comparable to walking through sand on the side of a cliff. Nevertheless we made it all the same without any slips.

Once we had all made it back down the main trial we headed back through Carmel Canyon Trail to the cars. This part of the trail was very picturesque.

We saw some rock structures such as The Three Sisters and Molly’s Castle. We walked through a few narrow areas as well and then lost the trail (oops), so we just hiked up to the road and walked back. If you have time to do this hike it is definitely worth the stop. I’d give it an 8/10.

It’s your turn! Leave a comment about a hidden treasure you’ve discovered 🙂

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