This past weekend we headed out on what will probably be the final camping trip of the year. Five camping trips in one year for us is a big thing. We hadn’t gone camping for about eight years. It’s been great getting out and spending a few nights at a time in the tent. We still have some way to go before we are really happy with our gear, but we’re getting there slowly but surely. We’re going to buy some more pieces over the winter months, so that we’re ready to camp again in the spring.
Goblin Valley State Park in central Utah is somewhere we had never been before. It’s about three and a half hours southeast of Salt Lake City, right out in the middle of nowhere. The drive down was really nice as you go through some old historic downtowns such as Helper and Price. We stopped at each town and took a handful of photos, really cool old movie theaters and bars were in each town. Everything was still closed since we drove through each town so early, but I’m sure we’ll travel through those two towns again someday, as they are on the way to every national park in southern Utah.
Before you make it down in to the Goblin Valley area, you can drive through Green River. We had been told that the town is the place to get gas and supplies before heading further on through the desert. We filled up the tank and ate some lunch at this really tasty taco truck right in the middle of town, that Jenn had found using Yelp. It was so yummy. They had great chips and guacamole, tacos and rice. Skip the fast food places in town and head to the Tacos La Pasadita taco truck!
Another half hour down the road from Green River was our camping site. BLM land just north of the state park. This camp site was pretty scenic, everyone was pretty excited to stay here. Big sandstone cliffs on either side of a small wash, with little camp sites spread throughout. We set up camp and explored around until it was time to eat dinner.
Later in the evening there was a big group campfire as usual, along with a bit of RV stuck-in-the-sand drama that made Friday night a bit interesting. Later in the night I tried some star photography, but I have yet to go through and edit those photos. Hopefully I got something worth posting.
Saturday morning everyone seemed to sleep in, then headed over to the stuck RV to see what had gone on the night before. The RV was eventually removed from the sand and we all headed over to Goblin Valley. This place is pretty cool and weird at the same time. It’s crazy to think the whole area was under water at some point in time. The little goblin rocks and freaky valley walls are really something to see in person. There’s also a bunch of greenish mountains around as well, very bizarre. It was neat to walk around (just the smaller first valley of three total) and see all these crazy shapes and walk on the really soft sandy ground. Very otherworldly.
After exploring around for an hour or two, we took off to Hanksville, a town about 20 minutes south of Goblin Valley. Jenn was looking to eat a big meal instead of our camping meal. We had a late lunch at Duke’s Slickrock Grill, and it was really good. Tasty chili bowls, burgers, fries, beer and dessert was had. We drove back to camp afterwards and got a little rest and exploring in before it got dark. We built up a small fire and just relaxed at our campsite for the evening. A little more star photography was done before bed, then it was off to sleep, which ended up being a nice deep sleep, not complaining!
Sunday morning we woke up early and broke down camp. Our plan was to head home south, through Capitol Reef National Park. This turned out to be a good plan, as Capitol Reef is a beautiful part of Utah that really should be seen by everyone. We only drove through the center of the park, along the Fremont River, but that was enough to see that the area was pretty nice. We checked out the visitors center, petroglyphs and a few vantage points as we made our way down the highway.
The rest of the trip home was just about cruising through the back country of Utah on the way back to the interstate, which we finally came upon in Scipio. Then it was a short cruise back up to Salt Lake City.
The last five months have been a blast, road tripping and camping in places we’ve never been before. We’re definitely stoked for next spring, hopefully we can do it all over again. Thank you to our friend Teri for setting up all of these cool camping trips! In total there was usually about 5-6 families on each trip. We had so much fun it was ridiculous, can’t wait to do it again!