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Goblin Valley to I-70 via Temple Mountain Road? (Insights?)

Providence, Rhode...
Level Contributor
8 posts
41 reviews
32 helpful votes
Goblin Valley to I-70 via Temple Mountain Road? (Insights?)

[Frequent southwest travelers (grew up in desert climes), we often wander on BLM roads on trips out west to get off the beaten path - While not 'rock crawlers' (lightweight day hikers) we venture pretty far and wide (and very safely) using ordinary mid-size AWD SUVs (think Ford Escape, Jeep Cherokee, etc... usually deliberately rented - spare me any 'don't use rentals' sermon - we're grownups and avoid stupid stuff - easy to turn around if the road looks even remotely questionable - have done so many times - endeth caveats]

We're back out to Utah in Sept on a Denver-NM-AZ-UT-CO goofing off loop.

After a little time at Capitol Reef in Torrey, one new section for us is Torrey to Moab. We're going to stop at Goblin Valley, but...

- Once again, I've been 'lured'... into the map (other wanderlust addled may have experienced the same). I'm intrigued by 'Temple Mountain Road' - This seems that it might be a decent non-paved backroad sojourn alternative from Goblin Valley to I-70 Exit 131 (instead of Rte. 24), no?

- This would also allow us to enjoy the west to east passage through the canyon and cockscomb formations along I-70 (Route 24 route would require a significant double-back detour to see this)... then on to Moab. (Needless to say - I found that we have a little time that day).

But I can't seem to find ANY info, notes, travel trip reports, anything really about this road online so far. So once again, I ask my peeps...

Any of you Utah backroad gurus got any thoughts? Bad road? Too much, too deep, too sandy? Is the Temple Mt. Road route ugly? Not worth the time? Easier (or nicer) to simply motor up Rt 24?

Any/all thoughts, ideas, insights appreciated. Thanks all for reading and replies. (Many I love trip advisor and all you other crazy outdoor & travel junkies.) Cheers! Bob W. Bristol RI, US

15 replies to this topic
Providence, Rhode...
Level Contributor
8 posts
41 reviews
32 helpful votes
11. Re: Goblin Valley to I-70 via Temple Mountain Road? (Insights?)

Thanks all for the update

- Still looking into Little Wild Horse (my hiking companion usually not crazy about caves or slots - not exactly clostrophobic, but not interested in them either, because of the close confines).

Thanks a ton for the updated info on the road. Appreciate it muchly!

(TripAdv folks always seem to come though with really spot-on stuff, ya?)


Bob W.

Bristol RI, US

Park City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah, Winter Sports
Level Contributor
21,497 posts
451 reviews
196 helpful votes
12. Re: Goblin Valley to I-70 via Temple Mountain Road? (Insights?)

Really nothing to be afraid about in Little WIld Horse Canyon, that's the beauty of it. Great beginner's slot canyon yet still giving you a great experience. If you're at Goblin Valley, I wouldn't miss it. If your companion is freaked by the slot, you just turn back and don't have that much time invested.

Have fun.

Green River, Utah
1 post
13. Re: Goblin Valley to I-70 via Temple Mountain Road? (Insights?)

We are staying on blm land 5 mi. N. of Goblin Valley. ( Lots of dry camping everywhere in tis area.)

We took a day trip from Goblin Valley rd, onto Temple Mountain rd. which goes all the way to I-70. Very doable.

I haven't been S. of Goblin yet, but I would guess most of the roads are similar in this area. As long as they aren't wet. If and when you get in this area, you have to take the Wild Horse Canyon hike. It's a must! Stop and get info on it The best canyon of all the ones around it by far. Also, check out the cave off of Goblin Valley Rd. another must. You can see the cave from the road off on the left leaving the SP. We camped right there over looking the cave. Very quiet and beautiful stars at night. Safe Travels.

Level Contributor
2,668 posts
146 reviews
98 helpful votes
14. Re: Goblin Valley to I-70 via Temple Mountain Road? (Insights?)

Did the back way to I -70 this weekend. Road is gravel and scenic through first part with very nice vistas. Might camp up there in the future. After you make the turn the road is less interesting but still in good condition.

Chute Canyon is a good one for those not looking to scramble or who want to take their dog. It never really narrows but is still a beautiful canyon. On Back of Rim Rd.

Little Wild Horse is not technical but there are a few spots that require a little climbing.

1 post
15. Re: Goblin Valley to I-70 via Temple Mountain Road? (Insights?)

Drove this with family in Toyota Sienna 4WD (low clearance) after a storm. There was one section that had about 8-12" of mud from the T-storm the night before near the mountain about 2mi from the Goblin Valley Rest stop (you'll see it if you study Google Maps). We gunned across it without a problem. Other than that, much better than expected. A really enjoyable respite from I-70, off the beaten path. Highly recommend, but be smart and talk to locals and Goblin Valley Visitor Center staff beforehand, and not in the afternoon if storms are in the area.

Edited: 08 August 2017, 11:17
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