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Mars on Earth

There is this little spot out in the actual middle of nowhere in Utah. It’s exactly what I imagine it’s like to be on Mars, except you know, with oxygen.

It’s approximately 12 miles off of Utah-24 between Hanksville and Interstate-70 and it is SO worth the stop.

The day we were there, it was around 108 degrees. It felt like 120.

From the parking area, this is the view. A surreal hodge podge of boulders stacked atop one another covering the ENTIRE valley.

But what is not readily visible…is that they are HUGE.

These super cool formations are really just hoodoos – much like what you will find at Bryce Canyon National Park. According to google:

“The unusual stone shapes in Goblin Valley result from the weathering of Entrada sandstone. … As a result, the edges weathered more quickly, producing the spherical-shaped ‘goblins’. The Entrada sandstone from which the hoodoos developed was deposited in the Jurassic period around 170 million years ago.”

We spent a good hour wandering around, climbing on and just generally exploring without wandering too far from the car. It IS Utah, and aside from the heat and lack of water, should it decide to start raining, such a spot is exactly where you might get stuck from a flash flood.

As I said, it’s so far out in the middle of nowhere (we were on our way from Capitol Reef National Park to Arches), it’s so dry, it’s so red – it really does feel like another planet.

Goblin Valley fits right in with some of my favorite spots. It’s not widely known. It’s crazy unique. And it’s fairly easy to get to…if you are okay with the literal middle of nowhere (which I am).

What about you? What’s your favorite no-one-has-ever-heard-of-this-place spot?


  1. Paola says:

    This place looks so surreal! It looks really like Mars…so bizarre! Thank for sharing this. I would love to go and see it but It is definitely too far away for me :/

  2. It’s a bit far for me too, but OMW it looks like an awesome place. Those sandstone formations are so intriguing and each one is different. Some of them actually look like goblins too. Fascinating

  3. Kelley says:

    This is amazing! I would love to visit. I’m currently trying to plan a trip and you’re selling me on Utah… But would it be too cold in November?!

  4. This place looks like a dream! I would love to visit it one time.

    Your pictures are amazing btw, they look like postcards!

    Sending lots of love,


  5. Stephanie says:

    Pencilling on my bucketlist! It just keeps getting longer. Hopefully they all get ticked off. I love finding all the places people dont usually hear about. Thanx

  6. hal says:

    these images look so cool – i’ve wanted to go to Utah for so long & now i want to go even more!

  7. This place looks so cool! I totally did’t realize how big it was until i seen the picture of you standing in front of some! That is crazy!

    • Amanda Krill says:

      Exactly!! From the parking area they seemed like they might be knee high…and then you walk down to them and they are giant!

  8. April J says:

    Utah is so crazy! We went to Arches National Park in Moab, UT this year (similar landscape) and I just couldn’t even believe the formations. Your photos are awesome btw – love to see the scale of the hoodoos!

  9. Utah is on my list for 2018 and I will definitely check this place out. It looks right out of the movies. Pinning it for reference! 🙂

    ❥ tanvii.com

  10. jin says:

    I’ve heard and seen photos of this place and I’ve been dying to go in person and see with my own eyes! It really does look like Mars on Earth! Amazing landscape – Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me. It truly is a stunning scene!

  11. I went to Bryce Cannon when I was just a small child, probably around 10 years old. Even then I thought it was such a cool place. I was there in the winter, so it was covered in snow, I remember feeling so small standing there. What a beautiful place!

  12. Nick says:

    Wow I can’t believe this is the first time I’m hearing of this place. Its definitely a place I would like to venture to the next time I’m in Utah.

    • Amanda Krill says:

      There are just SO many cool places in Utah. Once of the most under-rated states for sure. And definitely one of my favorites.

  13. Ressa says:

    Wow, you were not kidding when you say “Mars on Earth,” I think Goblin Valley is the closest depiction of it! What a beautiful landscape to see in person! Thanks so much for sharing this great location!

  14. Samantha says:

    I’ve never heard of Goblin Valley, but it looks really cool (not temperature wise!) and unique. Those boulders are huge; including that photo standing next to a boulder really puts it into perspective!

  15. brook clifton says:

    the place really makes me imagine that if we will be able togo in that place, that will make us feel like we were in mars.

  16. Vanessa says:

    Looks like some places you can see in Arizona where I grew up!

  17. Shell says:

    This place looks absolutely amazing!!! So gorgeous!!!! Being that I’m a huge Trekkie I couldn’t help thinking this would be a great spot for my family to have a photo shoot in our costumes!

  18. That is just crazy how big the boulders really are! Definitely a very neat place to visit.

  19. Susannah says:

    Wow! This looks like an AMAZING place to explore!

  20. MarciaF says:

    One of my third graders was in the west and raved about Utah. He loved seeing settings like this and it stuck with him the entire school year.

  21. Caleena says:

    This place looks really cool! If I make it to Utah I will definitely put this on the “to explore” list.

  22. The pictures really go with the name of your post! How cool!!! I love the way those rocks formed and would love to spend some time exploring them!

  23. Wow! I didnt know that there was a mars on earth! Lol. I would definitely visit here soon. It looks so fun.

  24. This is so fascinating!! I can’t wait to get out there with my family and explore things just like this! So very cool!

  25. I can’t wait to explore this place. Something new to see after a long time. Thanks for sharing.

  26. kristal says:

    I had no idea about any of this. It would be interesting to see this in person.

  27. An ex of mine visited Utah and the photos he sent me was amazing. It really is a beautiful place and your post just confirms it. I had no idea that this existed but its breathtaking.

  28. Heather says:

    It looks so outer-worldly! I love visiting national parks and other spaces that allow us to reconnect with nature. This certainly needs to be on my travel bucket list. No rocketship required!

  29. Jojo Hua says:

    Wow, this is pretty crazy! It’s great that we are able to see what Mars is actually like right here on Earth!

  30. Oh wow, I had no idea how huge the rocks are until I spot you in the photos. They are gigantic! Thank goodness you did a comparison~ Sigh… isn’t that global warming in act?

  31. Steve says:

    This place is so incredible, it really does look like Mars! Crosslake Minnesota is my favorite place!

  32. Luci says:

    120 degrees that is hot, it such a beautiful place but I wish it wasn’t so dang hot.

  33. Steve says:

    The redness of it does make it look like Mars. But those huge shapes are so odd and bizarre, that a no longer reminds me of Mars but some sort of fantasifull cartoon. So intriguing and unique, what a find!

  34. Elizabeth O says:

    Wow!! This place is a must see. It’s really look a like of mars. The stone shapes are really fantastic and incredible. It looks so fun!!

  35. Thena says:

    This place looks really cool, adding to my list of places to go!

  36. Tara says:

    sadly i lived in UT and never made it out there, shame on me! super cool place, going to have to go back and explore!

  37. Shawna says:

    That landscape is so intimidating, but yet so incredibly intriguing! I love off the best adventures like this and I’m so saving this for a future trip! Thank you for this idea!

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