The Goblin Keeper
Our Utah trip continued with a visit to Goblin Valley State Park. Goblin Valley is a dense collection of eroded hoodoos. I've been there numerous times. However, this trip was a bit different as the park has put in a nice little selection of mountain bike-specific trail. Thanks to Snowcatcher's research, we had to visit. I'm glad we did; bikes aside, it's a lair of desert magic. Better yet, surrounding the park mysticism is miles and miles and miles of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) enchantment.
Goblin Valley resides in southeast Utah and is located southwest of the town of Green River and north of the hamlet of Hanksville. The Henry Mountains seemingly rise out of nowhere to an elevation over 11,000 feet. Perhaps we should have a "why the Henry's are there" blog sometime.
A handful of posts back, while sitting at 30,000 feet, I mentioned I was flying over a region where I had spent time doing hydrologic and geomorphic fieldwork. Well, here I was; right back in the middle of the study area again — kuule beanz! It's not quite as isolated as it was 29 years ago, but it's still in the middle of heaven. We even had the bike trail, which is less than a year old, mostly to ourselves. On a side note, if you're a rock hound, lots of exposed chert may be found scattered around.
Some nice specimens of agate caught our attention too.
Wild Horse Butte rises to an elevation of 5,760 feet above the San Rafael Desert.
Colorful weathered Buttes dot the San Rafael Desert.
Stratigraphy of Wild Horse Butte tells the tale to those trained in this language. I'm not one of them.
I wonder what things will look like after another 1,000,000 years of geologic erosion. A time machine would be nice. In the following pic, the small road-looking feature just above right of photo center is actually Wild Horse Creek. The distant upthrust rocks just below the clouds in the photo upper right are the southern reach of the San Rafael Swell.
Another fine example of exposed agate caught our attention.
Looking south and to the left, Navajo Mountain touches the sky at 10,387 feet. On the right, the Henry Mountains greet the sky at more than 11,000 feet. The intricate canyon reaches of Lake Powell lie in between.
Who said nothing can grow in a desert?
All that's missing from this shot is a sun-bleached bovine carcass.
This is Goblin Valley proper. I grew up calling these erosive features hoodoos.
And another blog has come and gone. But, I have more, stay tuned...