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The Goblin's Lair (Chamber of the Basilisk)

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Goblin Valley State Park

The Goblin's Lair (Chamber of the Basilisk) is a 2.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Hanksville, Utah that offers the chance to see wildlife and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 2.4 mi Elevation gain 219 ft Route type Out & Back
Dogs on leash Hiking Rock climbing Cave Views Wildlife Rocky Scramble No shade Fee
Description
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Getting There

Hidden away on the parks eastern boundary, beyond the cliffs that form the far wall of the Valley of Goblins, is a massive cavernous formation known as The Goblins Lair. Not truly a cavern, the lair is actually a beautiful slot canyon, the entrance of which has been sealed by rock fall. Depending on time of day, light may pour in through ceiling vents more than 100 feet above the chamber floor. Once a secret gem known only to a few, a marked trail now guides visitors to the hikers entrance of the lair. The trail begins at the observation point, and follows the Carmel Canyon loop before splitting off after 1/2 mile. Some moderate scrambling up scree slopes and over boulders is required. Caution is advised. Permits for those wishing to rappel into the Goblins Lair are available at the visitor center desk. A $2 permit fee (per group) is charged for the maintenance of the route. For rappelling, access is from the west side. People climb up from the west, rappel down into the Chamber and exit and hike out from the east on the trail.

Large parking lot with restrooms. Campground with water and showers nearby

Goblin Valley State Park PO Box 637 Green River UT 84525 (435) 275-4584 or Utah State Parks and Recreation PO Box 146001 Salt Lake City UT 84114-6001 (801) 538-7220 stateparks.utah.gov

50 miles southwest of Green River off State Highway 24

Weather
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Reviews (216)
Photos (183)
Recordings (159)
Completed (587)
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Allison Goldthorpe
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Hiking
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Brenna Gammell
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Hiking
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Devin Trently
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Beautiful area. Felt like I really was gonna run into some goblins or something. When you get to the cave it is easy to miss but look for a small sign directing you up a bunch of fallen rocks. The cave is very cool and a decent size. Also, if you keep hiking past the first cave you will come to another smaller cave. Definitely worth a visit. Looked like you can keep going past this one too, maybe there are more. Didn't see a single other person! Combine with the Carmel Canyon loop.

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Christopher Abbott
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HikingGreat!

Mom and dad with three young kids. It was hot, but that was our fault for not going earlier. However my kids enjoyed the cave. I think they would’ve enjoyed going up the bottom and into the cave more, didn’t know that was an option until afterwards! Still fun to see!

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Sergey Vronskyy
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HikingNo shade

Nothing special

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Erick Cruz
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Hiking

Awesome cave, nice and fresh. The hike there is very hot. Take lots of water

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Colton Babb
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HikingGreat!
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Sydney Rose
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Hiking

Pretty easy hike out. Super exposed so I would not recommend on a sunny hot day. It was overcast and cool and perfect when we went. At the end there is a steep rock scramble up that then leads down into an awesome cave (if you’re adventurous enough to climb into it). Beautiful views. The trail is fairly well marked but a couple times we almost went off trail. Most of it is on hard surface but there’s a short sand section. Would recommend!

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Gail Wills
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Hiking
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Chu Tran
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Jacquel Gilbert
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Hiking

Nice easy trail. Very quiet and not many people at all. No shade. Saw a fox running or maybe a coyote. Hard to tell from far away

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Roberta J
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Hiking
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Tyler Holbrooks
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Hiking

Fun hike down to the cave at the end. Unless you go in the evening, the cave will be the only shade you can find. Also, the climb down into the cave may not be for everyone. We were able assist my 5 year old son down and up.

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Charlie Christenson
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Hiking

Correct climbing approach for goblins lair rappel

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Charlie Christenson
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HikingRockyScramble

Terrible approach try again

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Brian S
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It's an okay hike. Mostly it's not really scenic and the end reward is...cool. Nothing spectacular but not particularly long hike so all in all worthwhile

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Kate P
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Hiking

A fun trail along the valley floor, quite exposed to sun. The best part is the Goblin’s Lair, which is quite a scramble. After climbing up on the trail to the entrance of the lair, there are large boulders to carefully climb to descend into the “lair.” I would recommend veering to the right as you descend the last of the rocks into the lair as opposed to the left which is a bit scarier/harder to climb. We did this as our only hike during a quick visit to Goblin Valley and found it to be great and worthwhile. You can also extend it with a quick meander through the goblin rocks in the valley beneath the parking lot to see more of the “goblins.”

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Andrew Miller
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Hiking

Exposed to the sun - start early. Cave at the end is amazing and very cool (temperature wise)

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Lizhou Chen
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HikingFee
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David Platt
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Hiking

Nice hike mid-day to escape the sun while inside the cave. The scramble up/down the cave is fairly non-technical, especially if you stick to the right on the descent into the cave. Ther views in the cave are pretty but there's not much to explore except the pitch black unmarked tunnel all the way to the right of the scramble, facing the cave mouth, for the adventurous. On the return hike I did the second half of the Carmel Canyon, which wasn't particularly noteworthy.

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Ethan Gallentine
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Hiking

Moderately strenuous with a heavy pack in places. (My wife and kids came with me because the reviews touted it as an easy family hike, yet that’s misleading). While there’s a mile or so of easy, flat terrain, the trail as a whole is definitely not easy (perhaps impossible) for young kids and a dad with a 40 lb child in his hiking backpack. The scenery is beautiful and worth going if you’re up for some 100 ft ascent/descent of scrambling at the end to get to the Goblin’s Lair, which was difficult and frightening (if my wife and I had gone alone, we could have handled it. The young kids could not).

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Jared Corbett
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HikingNo shadeScramble

Most of the trail is flat, plain, and hot, with a scramble up to the lair at the end. Lots of lizards and beetles. The lair itself makes the hike worth it. Cool place to rest and explore, and it is not nearly as crowded as the valley of the goblins.

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Dulce Castro
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Love the Trail the end is worth it the cave made worth and to cool down

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Scott Hansen
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Hiking

My fam loved the Lair.

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Ranson McConahay
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HikingNo shadeScramble

I really enjoyed this hike. Towards the beginning it gets a little confusing, the signs are unclear and the map on the app isn’t super helpful but we figured it out without much difficulty. If not for the scramble at the end and the somewhat steep slopes toward the beginning it would definitely be rated as easy, most of the trail is pretty much flat. The AllTrails map isn’t quite exact, at on point if follows the wash near the trail rather than the trail but it’s not too bad. There is no shade until the end. I went in mid May and it way fairly hot so bring lots of water. The cavern at the end was pretty cool. Once you get into the cavern if you look to the left there’s a little cave. I want in quite a ways and didn’t find the end, the was a spot where the ceiling looked kind of precarious so I didn’t keep going. If you get claustrophobic I would NOT recommend going into the tunnel. I’m pretty scrawny and I was on hands and knees the whole time and the were some fairly tight spots. To be clear if you get claustrophobic I would still recommend the hike and going into the cavern, it wouldn’t be a problem at all, just the small tunnel inside. If you have little kids with you the scramble at the end might be a little stressful, there a lot of nooks and crannies where kids could hide or places to get hurt but as long as you keep an eye out you should be fine. Over all I would recommend it and would totally do it again. It has some nice views of the cliffs surrounding the Valley of Goblins as well as views of some cool plateaus in the distance.

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Karissa Church
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Hiking

Really easy, my 5 year old did it with me. He enjoyed looking at lots of lizards. The lair was really cool.

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