Looking for some outdoor adventure, but tired of the crowded parks at the same old locations? Take a step outside the box, and into Emery County, to discover some exciting places many Utahns don't even know about. From the spectacular geography at Goblin Valley State Park, to the world-class OHV trails and slot canyons, there are countless new adventures to have and memories to make in Emery County.
Goblin Valley State Park
Showcasing beautiful scenery and stunning geology, Goblin Valley State Park is a must-visit destination for families, adventurers, and scientists.
The rich geology at Goblin Valley State Park is a large draw to photographers wanting to capture the area's world-famous "goblins."These hoodoos are the end result of erosion where - because of the uneven hardness of the Entrada Sandstone - some patches resist erosion much better than others.
Goblin Valley's intricate landscape is such a unique site, people from all over travel just to walk amongst them. It's even been showcased in Hollywood movie productions. One section of goblins was featured in the movie Galaxy Quest, starring Tim Allen, depicting an alien planet.
World class OHV Riding
Emery County is also home to world-class OHV trails, just begging to be ridden.
The Behind the Reef Trail takes visitors through a beautiful desert view. The trail is considered an intermediate level, so most riders should have no problem. With its breathtaking scenery, and family-friendly route, this in one ride you don't want to miss.
For those looking for more challenging rides, The Eva Conover Trail, Coal Wash Trail, and Devil's Racetrack are where you want to be. The Devil's Racetrack offers technical rock climbs, narrow sections, steep drops and high banking turns. While the Eva Conover and Coal Wash are not as difficult, riders can still expect a challenge - with steep hills on the Eva Conover and fast flat trail on the Coal Wash.
If you really want to test your skills, the Fix-it Pass offers a worthy challenge. With more twists, turns and obstacles than The Devil's Racetrack, this 17.8-mile trail has truly earned its name.
There are many other trails to explore in the area; including places like Swasey's Cabin, Eagle Canyon and Hondo Country. For a map of premiere OHV riding opportunities, visit Utah State Park's website.
Slot Canyon Hiking
Sometimes all you need for a great outdoor experience is a pair of hiking boots and a sense of adventure. For those who prefer to lace up and hit the trail, Emery County is here to help with phenomenal desert trails and gorgeous slot canyons just begging to be hiked.
Just east of Goblin Valley State Park, the Little Wild Horse and Bell canyons are favorites among new visitors and locals. The two slot canyons allow hikers of all experience levels a glimpse into Utah's beautiful canyons. These two hikes can be done separately, but most visitors enjoy combining them into a loop hike. As an 8-mile round-trip, the loop takes about four hours to complete. Be wary of flash flooding if the weather forecast calls for rain.
For a nice half-day hike, visit either Crack Canyon or the Ding and Dang. Crack Canyon is another favorite among hikers with little-to-no technical ability. Occasionally, rock boulders along the trail can add a bit of spice to the hike, but they're easily maneuvered. For the more technical canyoneer, the Ding and Dang hike makes for a great half-day loop - taking travelers up and down narrow canyons with some steep drops.
Those wanting more of a challenge can take on the Chute of Muddy Creek, a 15-mile route that usually takes hikers 8-10 hours to complete from trailhead to trailhead. Be sure to wear some shoes that you are willing to get wet, because the river is your trail on this hike. The water along the trail is usually no more than ankle deep, but has been known to rise up to the waist in certain conditions.
While the Chute of Muddy Creek does not have many obstacles along the way, it is considered to be a strenuous hike due to its distance and because the hike is down in a watery area. This hike is quite popular during warmer times due to the shade and cool water. A shuttle is required for this trail.
Green River's 'SUPER SIX'
Eat and sleep in Green River while getting your recreational time in at the Super Six - six hidden gems found in and around the area to help push your adventure forward.
Arches National Park
Capitol Reef National Park
Goblin Valley State Park
Canyonlands National Park
San Rafael Swell
Day 1: Travel to Green River and visit Swasey's Beach and Crystal Geyser.
Day 2: Explore Goblin Valley State Park and hike in the nearby slot canyons.
Day 3: Stop by John Wesley Powell River History Museum and hike more nearby trails. Or, if you brought you OHVs take a spin around the San Rafael Swell.
For more information about any of the parks, hike or trails mentioned in this article, visit: stateparks.utah.gov