2 On The Road Blog

After 12 years of full-time rving, we've sold our truck and trailer but we're still traveling. Email us at wowpegasus@hotmail.com if you would like to contact us.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Goblin Valley State Park

We visited Goblin Valley State Park in Utah.  Double click to enlarge this photo so you can read the display.
We purposely got a photo of the goblins with people walking among them so you could see the scale of the valley.  Can you see them?
A zoomed in view.
Yes, it's a weird landscape.  The 1999 science-fiction parody comedy film named Galaxy Quest was filmed here.
Nolan standing beside some of the small "goblins".

The park brochure tells us - "
From the deposits laid down 170 million years ago by a vast inland sea, Goblin Valley State Park was sculpted by forces of natures such as uplift and erosion by wind and water.  Today, results of these geologic forces are witnessed in the stone gnomes inhabiting the valley."

The park had over 1/2" of rain the night before we got here so the sand was wet in a lot of places.

The park brochure gives us this geology lesson - "The wonderful stone shapes of Goblin Valley result from millions of years of geologic history.  The goblins are made of Entrada sandstone, which consists of debris eroded from former highlands and redeposited here on a tidal flat (alternating layers of sandstone, siltstone and shale).  The goblins show evidence of being near an ancient sea with 1) the ebb and flow of tides, 2) tidal channels that directed currents back to the sea and 3) coastal sand dunes."
This is about as thick as the vegetation got here in the valley.
The cliff in the back ground was very interesting up close.  You could really see the layers of sandstone, siltstone and shale.

Our close-up shots seemed to be gray but this was the goblin on top of the hill.

Nolan called these the "kissing cousins".
Yeap, that's me down there.  To the left and up from me is a "face" on the cliff,
The distance cliffs are the San Rafael Reef, the start of the San Rafael swell, which is a giant dome-shaped anticline of sandstone, shale, and limestone that was pushed up during the Paleocene  Era, 60-40 million years ago. Since that time, infrequent but powerful flash floods have eroded the sedimentary rocks into numerous valleys, canyons, gorges, mesas and buttes. The Swell is part of the Colorado Plateau, an large uplifted area caused by  one plate of the earth's crust sliding under the North American plate.
Double click on this photo to read a better explanation of the San Rafael Swell.
The park brochure said that one of the cowboys that first saw this area in the 1920's called it Mushroom Valley.  I can understand why he called it that.  This one looks like a morel.

The rest of the photos are all taken from one spot and show the panoramic view.


Up close of the formation in the preceding photo.

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