Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Goblin Valley State Park - Explore Nature's Playground

Utah is full of unique, hidden surprises!  Goblin Valley State Park in Utah may be a bit off the beaten path, but it is the ultimate playground and a favorite among kids (young and old)!  

Accessible via Highway 24 (a scenic drive itself), Goblin State Park is a valley of hundreds of geologic goblins formed where soft sandstone has been eroded by wind and water.  If you have a little girl, chances are you have seen the movie Frozen at least 100 times.  Remember the scene with the "Rock Trolls"?  That is what Valley of the Goblins reminded us of!  Be careful, you may just find yourself singing, "Is it the clumpy way he walks? Or the grumpy way he talks? Or the pear-shaped, square-shaped, weirdness of his feet?"  ("Fixer Upper" from Frozen Soundtrack).

Camping at the State Park is somewhat primative.  There are no hookups at the sites.  Generators are allowed during daytime hours and there is a dump station and rest room.  The picnic tables are covered, which provides sweet relief from sun and rain (we had both extremes during our stay).  The wind does come up pretty quickly and swiftly, so if you are in an RV make sure you watch your awnings carefully or keep the, in, and if you are camping make sure your tent is well secured!  Sandstone cliffs line the campground and there are several dunes to play on as well.

From the campground you can hike Entrada Canyon Trail to Valley of the Goblins.  It's an easy 1.5 mile hike (one way) through a canyon where you will see and explore goblins that are not otherwise accessible.

(A little off trail exploring)

The Valley of Goblins is seriously one of nature's finest playgrounds.  Our kids loved playing "American Ninja Warrior) and pretended some of the canyons were The Warp Wall.  Plan on spending at least an hour exploring, but you could easily spend a full day there.  

There is an outhouse facility at the Valley of Goblins, but no water so make sure you pack plenty (and remember you still have a 1.5 mile walk back to the campground).  Don't forget fuel for your adventures!
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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Hike to Corona Arch - Moab's Hidden Gem

We decided to turn our trip to the Young Living Convention into a 3 week vacation!  (Have I mentioned how much I love my job?!?  If you are looking to live a life of wellness and abundance, then we need to talk!). We traveled all across and up and down the state of Utah.  I am convinced one could spend a year or more visiting this incredible state.  We started in Moab, so that is where I will be starting this series of blog posts.

Let me start by saying I absolutely love National Parks, but when you think of Moab, Utah you often think of Arches and Canyonlamds National Park.  I want to share with you a gem of Utah that is a bit off the beaten path.

Corona Arch Trail

Getting There:  From the junction of US 191 and Utah 279, head west 10 miles on Utah 279.  The drive itself is scenic with towering canyon walls and bank of the Colorado River. 

 The highway was constructed to service the Cane Creek potash mine and if your lucky you'll catch the train on one of its travels.  The highway passes by Indian petroglyphs and dinosaur footprints.  Immediately before the Corona Arch parking area (which will be on your right), you will see the Gold Bar Recreation Area and Campgrounds on your left.  Gold Bar is a BLM campground that offers riverside primitive camping on a first come first served basis for just $10 a night.

Preparing for the Hike:  Remember, you are hiking in the desert!!!  The temperature soared above 110 degrees on our hike.  The hike is only 3 miles round trip and is relatively easy (a few technical spots where you have the support of a safety cable or ladder), but plan on it taking longer than expected due to the heat.  We hiked with 5 children ranging in ages from 1-7 years old.  My husband and I each carried one of the younger ones and our 4, 6, and 7 year old walked. We were out on the trail for approximately 3 hours and boy was it HOT.  We all needed some peppermint essential oil to keep us cool!

The Hike:  
From the trailhead, follow the trail as it climbs and register across from the railroad tracks.  This is important!  We had no cell service and saw only 1 other couple on the trail the entire three hours we were out there.  Remind your children that if they get lost to "hug a rock" (stay put!).

Cross the track and follow an old, eroding road bed through a gap in the slick rock.  You will follow the trail of cairns, which are stacks of rock that mark the trail.  Our children had great fun trying to spy the next one.  You'll continue along this trail of cairns to the northeast where eventually you'll reach the base of a large sandstone cliff.  Continue following the cairns along the base of the cliff to the fist safety cable and then around to the second.  Shallow steps have been cut into the slick rock to help you up the second cable, but smaller children may need some assistance on this one.

Here you'll catch your first glimpse of Corona Arch (Bow Tie Arch will be to the left of it).  

Climbs short ladder up over a ledge and follow the cairns to the top of a large, wide slickrock bench. 

 From this point it is easy to scramble along the slickrock beneath BowTie Arch and on to Corona Arch.  

Corona Arch is a partly freestanding arch with 140 X 105 foot opening.  The arch will provide some much appreciate shade.  Take a break, hydrate, and enjoy the "wow" before heading back.

Well done!  I'd love to see photos of your hike!  Follow us on Instagram @pocketful_of_treasures