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Hike of the week: Carmel Canyon Trail in Goblin Valley

Published June 12, 2012 4:41 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

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