Roughly 60 miles east, and then north on Highway 24 from Capitol Reef National Park , thousands of spooky rock formations inhabit Goblin Valley State Park (435/564-8110, reservations 800/322-3770 or www.reserveamerica.com , year-round, $6 day use, $16 camping). Little eyelike holes in the “goblins” make you wonder who’s watching whom. All of the goblins have weathered out of the Entrada Formation, here a soft red sandstone and even softer siltstone.
Carmel Canyon Trail (1.5-mile loop) begins at the northeast side of the parking lot at road’s end, then leads into a strange landscape of goblins, spires, and balanced rocks. Just wander about at your whim; this is a great place for the imagination.
Curtis Bench Trail begins on the road between the parking lot and the campground and goes south to a viewpoint of the Henry Mountains; cairns mark the 1.5-mile (one-way) route.
The turnoff from Highway 24 is at Milepost 137, 21 miles north of Hanksville and 24 miles south of I-70; follow signs west five miles on a paved road, then south seven miles on a gravel road.
Temple Mountain Bike Trail traverses old mining roads, ridges, and wash bottoms about 12 miles north of the state park. Popular hikes near the state park include the Little Wild Horse and Bell Canyons Loop, Chute and Crack Canyons Loop, and Wild Horse Canyon. The park is also a good base for exploring the San Rafael Swell area to the northwest.