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  1. #1

    Default Goblin Valley State Park, UT

    Goblin Valley State Park is located about 35 miles from Hanksville, UT along UT 24, between Canyonlands National Park & Capitol Reef National Park.

    Goblin Valley State Park Website

    Although not as well known as either of the two National Parks, it is well worth a stop. You will not find a more unusual location in the state; maybe in the entire country.

    Wind & water erosion over millions of years has created the unusual "Goblins" for which the park is named. Although created under the same conditions as Arches National Park, Goblin Valley was a tidal flat & the result was softer rounded structures unlike anywhere else.

    Although you can view the valley from the parking lot and covered pavilion, I highly recommend making the short hike down into the valley itself.

    The View from the Parking Lot & Pavilion

    Once on the floor you walk through the structures, viewing them from all angles. You can spend anywhere from a few minutes to many hours wandering around the valley. If you have your choice of times, the morning & evening light creates wonderful shadows great for taking photographs.

    Walking in the Valley

    Walking in the Valley

    Walking in the Valley

    In addition to the Goblins on the valley floor, there are interesting structures throughout the park. Hiking trails take you past many of these formations.

    An easy way to catch both the early morning and late evening is to stay in the park overnight. Because there is no artificial light anywhere in the valley, the view by starlight or moonlight is inspiring. There is a campground in the park about a mile from the valley. Although there are no hookups, there are flush toilets & hot showers and a dump station. For anyone making a tour of the National Parks of Utah, Goblin Valley makes a great addition to your stops.

  2. #2


    Thanks for the informative post and photos. We will definitely have to put that Park on our list of destinations for our next trip out west!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Melbourne, Australia

    Default Great report

    Thank you. It's going on my list too.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default The Waterfall Master returns!

    Hey, Jon, long time no hear-from! Very cool to see the latest photos from your collection!

    If you've not looked at one of Jon's recent blog posts --- you're in for a visual treat. Here's a good place to start!

    And then, you really need to look at his latest waterfall photos....

    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 12-04-2011 at 12:05 PM. Reason: added lihk for Jon's photo

  5. #5



    Followed the link...Beautiful waterfall pictures!

    I have a question about the waterfall pictures: Try as I might, I can't seem to get the flowing, misty water look without over exposing the trees and surrounding area! Please help! I have a Nikon D60. Thanks!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default Increase the length of the exposure

    Quote Originally Posted by Year25 View Post
    Try as I might, I can't seem to get the flowing, misty water look without over exposing the trees and surrounding area! Please help! I have a Nikon D60. Thanks!
    Here's a quick tutorial -- -but basically you create a longer time exposure.

  7. #7

    Default Thank you

    Time to haul out the tripod, I guess!

  8. #8


    Not only do you need a tripod, but most of the time you need a method of cutting down the amount of light to decrease the shutter speed. If there is lots of shade you might get away with choosing aperture priority & setting it as your smallest f: stop (for example f: 22). Be sure auto ISO is off & you have chosen your lowest ISO.

    If that doesn't give you a slow enough shutter speed you need to add a neutral density filter to your lens. This is a filter that doesn't change the color, just cuts down the light. They are described by the number of stops they reduce the light - I use a 3 stop, a 10 stop & at times, a variable ND filter.

    As to the shutter speed, it depends on the water. In general, the greater volume of water going over the falls or in the stream, the faster the shutter speed, but you really need to try a bunch of different speeds to find what works best for each situation. At an ISO of 100 & f: 16 I typically shoot anywhere from 1/4 - as much as 5 seconds.

    Depending on your camera, you may need to shoot manually - metering can be difficult with moving water, particularly the highlights. It is easy to burn out the brightest parts of the falls or stream.

    A great page for more suggestions for shooting waterfalls is Ron Bigelow's Waterfalls page.

    Good luck!

  9. #9


    Thanks for the info! I took a bunch of pictures of the Black River Falls in MI last summer, trying to get that misty look. I kept changing the shutter speeds, but I don't think I changed the aperture. The shots went from horribly over-exposed to dark and grainy. I was shooting in a fairly dense forest, no tripod, didn't change the ISO. I have a UV filter on my lens, but that is it for filters.

    I used to have much better luck getting my 35mm Pentax SLR to do what I wanted, back in the day. I LOVE my DSLR, but I really have a terrible time getting it to do what I want when I take it off of "Auto". Also, my DSLR doesn't have a split screen focusing circle inside and it doesn't have an infinity mark or setting on the lens, either (or any distance numbers).

    Anyway, thanks again for the info and link, much appreciated!

  10. Default

    Did you know that you can now rent a Yurt at Goblin Valley State Park?


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