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(Lindsay Whitehurst | The Salt Lake Tribune) The view from the Carmel Canyon trail in Goblin Valley State Park.
Hike of the week: Carmel Canyon Trail in Goblin Valley
First Published Jun 06 2012 10:21 am • Last Updated Sep 11 2012 11:32 pm

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.

At a glance

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

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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.

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