Utah…Goblin Valley and the Water Pocket Fold

I’m in the process of gleaning any remnants from previous projects, hoping to keep the quality of photography high. While this blog follows my travels, it is first and foremost about the photography. A couple of these images are pretty basic, blue skies and little drama. The reality is, that is sometimes Utah in the summer, and I just wanted to show you what lies behind the ridge line in the first photograph.

The first image above was made at Goblin Valley State Park in Utah. You wouldn’t necessarily find it unless you were specifically looking for it. It’s overshadowed by its sexier cousins up near Moab, namely Arches and Canyonlands. It’s almost on the way to Capitol Reef National Park. It’s just a blink before Hanksville, and if you’ve heard of Hanksville, then you probably have traveled a good bit in Utah. They do make a fine burger in that little hamlet. In the image above you’ll find a few formations just as you enter the park and behind it lies the “water pocket fold.”

This next image above shows the “hoodoos” that make up the majority of Goblin Valley. The hoodoos form when more erosion resistant rock lies atop a layer of sandstone. As the sandstone erodes away it leaves these mushroom looking formations. That’s about all there is to the park, but you could spend several good hours wandering among this alien landscape.

These next two images are of the water pocket fold. This is a long valley that extends for over 100 miles and is a prominent feature of Capitol Reef National Park. You can spot from several different angles as you’re traveling across Utah.

Finally, we’ll take a look in the image below of the water pocket fold from the canyon floor. I spent a memorable night beneath the stars there, waking to coyote prints all around my sleeping bag. I never knew they were there. 

For more images of Utah and the desert southwest click here.


23 thoughts on “Utah…Goblin Valley and the Water Pocket Fold

  1. I used to live in harsh, arid country in outback Australia, but I still the starkness surprisingly beautiful. The vast empty spaces, the vibrant blue skies contrasted against the red sandy soil and rock formations is strangely appealing. Your stunning pictures brought back these memories. Thank you.

    • It’s a fairly small park, and it’s one of those places you wouldn’t likely get to without spending a good bit of time in the area. But with some extra time it’s worth the visit.

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