Entrada Canyon Trail, Entrada Canyon Trailhead, Goblin Valley, Utah

Entrada Canyon Trail - 2.1 miles

Entrada Canyon Trailhead

The Entrada Canyon Trail passes through striated mounds of quaternary deposits

The Entrada Canyon Trail passes through striated mounds of quaternary deposits

Round-Trip Length: 2.1 miles
Start-End Elevation: 4,985' - 4,968' (5,047' max elevation)
Elevation Change: -17' net elevation loss (+158' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Entrada Canyon Trail - 2.1 Miles Round-Trip

The Entrada Canyon Trail runs 1.05 miles southeast from the Goblin Valley picnic area to Observation Point and the main Goblin Valley amphitheater.

The trail weaves through deep-red canyons of quaternary deposits, eroded Entrada sandstone debris that formed mounds held together by Cryptobiotic soil crusts.

Cryptobiotic soil is a living ground cover comprised of cyanobacteria and varying amounts of lichen, moss, green algae, micro fungi, and bacteria.

Cyanobacteria is one of the oldest known life forms; it's thought these organisms were among the earth's first land colonizers, and integral in the formation and stabilization of the earth's early soils.

Cyanobacteria harvest the sun's energy through photosynthesis, producing oxygen that helped convert the earth's original carbon dioxide-dominated atmosphere into an oxygen-rich one capable of sustaining life.

When wet, Cyanobacteria moves through the soil and binds rock and soil particles, forming a fibrous mesh that stabilizes the surface.

Cyanobacteria is also critical to vascular plants, which are unable to utilize nitrogen as it occurs in the atmosphere. Cyanobacteria is able to convert atmospheric nitrogen to a synthesizable form plants can use, a vital resource for native vegetation:

Begin at the Entrada Canyon Trailhead in the campground picnic area. The Entrada Canyon Trail climbs through steep red mounds to a crest at the Curtis Bench Trail split (.2 miles : 5,051').

Cross the service road and follow cairns (right) down a steep chute into the canyon. The trail levels and twists in a narrow, slot-like wash to the Observation Point parking lot (1.05 miles : 4,968'). Goblin formations appear in greater numbers along the canyon rim as you near the main amphitheater.

Stay vigilant, as there are many indistinguishable side canyons and counter-intuitive turns along the way. While difficult to become truly lost, it's easy to become disoriented and make a wrong turn.

If off-course, climb a canyon wall and look for the road or either parking lot - these landmarks are readily identifiable and should help you navigate back on track.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N38 34.330 W110 42.723 — 0.0 miles : Entrada Canyon Trailhead
  • N38 34.200 W110 42.666 — .20 miles : Curtis Bench Trail split
  • N38 34.052 W110 42.472 — .55 miles : Twisting travel in wash-slot
  • N38 33.883 W110 42.216 — 1.05 miles : Observation Point - Entrada Canyon Trailhea

Worth Noting

  • Avoid this trail when wet, or when rain is imminent. These tight canyons can become muddy, flooded, and largely impassable after cloud bursts.

  • Microbiotic crusts are delicate and break under a single footstep. Repeated foot traffic can completely remove this protective layer. Once damaged, the soil beneath is exposed to wind, water and rapid erosion.

  • Though microbiotic crusts can reconstitute, it can take a very long time. Limit travel to established trails, washes, and hard rock whenever possible.

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • Camping is permitted in developed areas only. Backcountry camping is not permitted in Goblin Valley State Park.

  • $16 per night : $8 per extra vehicle

  • There are 24 sites and 2 yurts ($60 per night). Yurts sleep 5.

  • Pay showers are available.

  • Backcountry camping is permitted just outside the Park on BLM land, and in the San Rafael Swell. There are also several well-established car camping sites on these lands.

  • Concessions and supplies are very limited in the Park. The closest towns with supplies are Hanksville (34 miles) and Green River (42 miles).

Rules and Regulations

Day Visits:
$7 Per Vehicle
$4 Per Vehicle with a Utah senior 62+
$16 for overnight campground : $8 per extra vehicle

Dogs are permitted on trails and lands within Goblin Valley State Park. Dogs must be leashed and never left unattended, especially in cars.

Directions to Trailhead

Goblin Valley State Park is located 41.9 miles from Exit #149 on I-70 near Hanksville, Utah.

From I-70, exit #149 and turn south on HWY 24 toward Hanksville. Drive 24.8 miles south to the turnoff for Goblin Valley. Drive 5.3 miles west to Temple Mt Junction. Turn left and drive 11.8 miles to the Visitor Center and Entrance Station. Follow signs to the Campground Picnic Area (Entrada Canyon Trailhead) or Observation Point and Valley of the Goblins.

Goblin Valley State Park is located approximately 215 miles from Salt Lake City UT, 50 miles from Green River UT, and 400 miles from Denver.

Contact Information

Goblin Valley State Park
c/o Green River State Park
P.O. Box 637
Green River, UT 84525-0637

435.275.4584 - main line
801.322.3770 - camping reservations
800.322-3770 - toll-free camping reservations


Utah State Parks and Recreation
PO Box 146001
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-601

Bureau of Land Management
125 S. 600 W.
Price, UT 84501

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