Goblin Valley State Park, Emery County, Utah
Photographer: Keith Beisner

Certain rock types weather into curious shapes and patterns by combinations of internal factors such as fractures and sediment grain size and external factors such as frost action and salt crystallization. Sandstone, granite, volcanic rocks, and limestone are all excellent mediums for creating bizarre rockscapes that can include smooth, rounded, and undulating forms (hoodoos or “goblins”), pinnacles, tafoni (holes and small alcoves), and honeycomb structures.

Where horizontal bedding, alternating hard and soft rock layers, and vertical fractures combine, the Entrada Sandstone weathers into rounded, columnar “goblins”.