I got a very late start on Friday night. I pulled out of my garage at 8:00p. I figured I could get as far as Green River, but when I got close to GR, I knew I had more in me and pressed on to Goblin Valley State Park. I passed a bunch of boondockers at the edge of the park, but I remembered the only time I’d been to Goblin Valley, there was a huge empty parking lot at the Visitor’s Center/Pay station. That would be the perfect place to park and sleep a few hours before pressing on to Natural Bridges in the morning. Heh. I finally got to the parking area (completely empty), and parked my car in the far corner of the lot so I wouldn’t be in the way of anyone/anything else. I crawled into the back of the SUV, stuffed reflexive panels into the windows, and scrunched down into my sleeping bag to sleep.
The next thing I knew, it was light outside and someone was knocking on the car door. I pulled the panel away from the window, and to my surprise the lot was still completely empty, but there was a young ranger standing outside trying to look very official. I cracked open the door and said, “Can I help you?” He replied in a gruff voice, “You cannot camp here.” I could tell he was a little taken aback that he was talking to a white-haired old lady. Hahahahaha. I said, “I’m not camping, I just parked here. No campfire, no tent, no awnings... really, I got here at midnight and just parked.” He was not buying it. “That’s called car camping! And you have to move now! Well, FIRST you have to pay $30 for camping, then you can go.”
So, this is how I learned that I can’t park overnight in a safe, empty state park parking lot. I’ve checked now, and it is also not allowed at any national parks either. Live and learn...
I paid the $30 and decided to go INTO the park while I was there before pressing on toward Natural Bridges.
Goblin Valley is a place like no other I’ve ever seen. Bryce Canyon is famous for its hoodoos...Goblin Valley has formations that look like mini mushroom clouds.