Hike of the week: Carmel Canyon Trail in Goblin Valley
Directions • This trail is in Goblin Valley State Park, which has a $7 entry fee per vehicle. From the parking lot, the Carmel Canyon trail is to the left, away from the redrock formations in the Valley of the Goblins.
The 1.4-mile trail leads to the valley floor, a generally cooler, sandier area of the park compared with the Valley of the Goblins. At times, the trail is hard to follow keep an eye out for the very occasional signs and more-frequent cairns. The loop has an optional side trail to overlook Molly's Castle, a broad, flat formation topped with spires of redrock. The short overlook trail is relatively high, about 15 feet, and narrow, but offers a pretty view.
More formations come into view as the trail loops back out of the canyon through a dry creek bed. The path becomes more strenuous as it climbs through sandy earth, and also includes a very small slot canyon to climb though.
Lindsay Whitehurst Carmel Canyon Trail Goblin Valley
Destination • Carmel Canyon Trail
Hiking time • 1 hour
Round trip miles • 1.4 miles
Elevation gain • 99 feet
Difficulty • Easy/moderate
Trail head restrooms • Yes
Dogs allowed • Yes, leashed
Bikes allowed • No