Entrada Canyon

One-way Distance: 1.2 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation: 4906 - 5028 feet
Cellphone: 0 bars
Time: 1 hr.
Trailhead: Valley of Goblins
Fee: $13/vehicle
Attractions: Unique geology, quaint little canyon

The Entrada Canyon trail is within Goblin Valley State Park which is located off of Utah Highway 24 between Green River and Hanksville. The turnoff to the park is 24 miles south of I-70 and 20 miles north of Hanksville. There are signs at the turnoff for Goblin Valley and each of the main crossroads along the route that make it very easy to find your way. It is about 12 miles from Highway 24 to Goblin Valley. The road is paved all of the way and so are the roads within the park. The campground fills up quickly so it is best to make reservations well in advance if you plan on camping. There are also a couple of camping areas around the Temple Mountain road as well as a few primitive spots along Temple Wash.

The Entrada Canyon trail stretches for about 1.2 miles between the campground and the goblins. This post describes hiking the trail one-way beginning at the goblins and ending up at the campground. The park brochure lists the trail as moderately strenuous. According to the rating system for this site the trail is more in the range of easy to moderate. Small children should be able to handle the hike without any trouble other than the distance. Perhaps the slideshow at the end of this post will help with the decision.

The Entrada Canyon trail runs parallel with the Goblin Valley Road. At times it is possible to hear vehicles on the road but the trail is totally secluded from view.

The trail follows the meandering bottom of the canyon through the weathered deposits of Entrada Sandstone. In Arches National Park the Entrada sandstone has weathered to form most of it's arches whereas here it has transformed the landscape into small canyons and spectacular valleys of lifeless goblins.

A few ridges of rocks stand sentinel over part of the canyon and add some variety to the adventure.

There are a few nice specimens of chert along the trail. Rock collecting is prohibited within the park but that is no problem. If you would like to do a little collecting, outside the park, while you are in the area then do a little hiking along Temple Wash. There are many fine specimens of chert, agate, jasper, alabaster, moqui balls, petrified wood, wonderstone and much more that can be found with a little searching.

The canyon varies in width and depth and in fact never really gets deep enough to be called a canyon at all but if they want to refer to it as such then so be it. Most people may feel they are hiking in a rather nice ravine or draw. Terminology aside it is an interesting hike.

After about a mile the trail eventually comes up out of the canyon and crosses the Curtis Bench trail.

There isn't a whole lot that finds enough moisture to grow in this environment but the milk vetch was doing well near the campground on this spring day.

The trail ends, or begins, at the campground which is nestled in beneath the cliffs of Wild Horse Butte. There are flush toilets at the campground and a few water spigots and a sign that says the showers are for campers only. The Entrada Canyon trail isn't the type of hike that would make you want to drive any great distance by itself but if you are already at Goblin Valley or camping close by then it can be a pleasant addition to your visit. If you would like to see it for yourself then all you have to do is 'Take a hike'.