Canyoneering Route Description

Chamber of the Basilisk - 3A I
Goblin Valley State Park, Utah

Quick Facts

2012-09-16, 2 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 2.5 hours) Pictures Icon -- time includes a lot of wandering around.
2016-03-06, 2 people, 1 Day (Travel time in route 2.5 hours) Pictures Icon -- time includes a lot of wandering around.

Time Required - 1 to 2 hours
Distance - 1.75 miles Total, 450 feet Technical
Rappels - 1 Rappels, Longest Rappel 100 feet.
Elevation Range - 5010 - 4840 Feet
Shuttle Required - No Vehicle - Passenger  Permit Required - Yes

Gear Used for Canyon

Rappelling and anchor gear, Ropes and or pull cords for rappels up to 100 feet and 20 feet of 1 inch webbing for sling placement.

General Comments

Chamber of the Basilisk qualifies as more of a hike with ropes.  The entire route is non-technical except for the one rappel down into the chamber.  This chamber is very scenic and worth the visit.  If you are there at a time of day with good lighting you may be able to get awesome pictures from down in the chamber.

The Chamber of the Basilisk is in Goblin Valley State park and is accessed from the main parking area where everyone hikes around to go play around in the goblins. From the parking area you will make your way to a small white dome you can see about 0.3 miles to the southeast. From the dome, route find your way east up through the maze of hoodoos and goblins to the top of Chamber of the Basilisk. Rap down into the chamber. From the chamber you will climb up a rubble pile to get out to the back (east) side of the range. The exit route just walks open desert north then east around the range and back to the parking spot.

The first 2 times I did Chamber of the Basilisk it was difficult to find a simple easy to follow route into Chamber of the Basilisk so there was a lot of wandering around in the maze of goblins. However, wondering around this area is pretty fun, so its not a big deal to wander around a bit. Written directions will be very difficult to properly convey the best route from the trailhead up to Chamber of the Basilisk. The approach portion of this route description has a lot of pictures which should make navigating your way through this maze relatively easy. Even with pictures this can be a complicated place to navigate so be prepared for some head scratching and fun scrambling around.

My first two trips took about 2.5 hours each time since we were not in a hurry and we wandered around a lot looking for the place. Most groups will likely take about 1.5 to 2 hours at a slow pace.

A permit is required and can be obtained on the drive in at the front gate / visitor center for Goblin Valley State Park. There is also an entrance fee for Goblin Valley which was $7 when I was there.

The length of the rap is under 100 feet. Unfortunately I forgot to take an accurate measurement both times I was there! Uhg!. Rather than guestimate how much shorter than 100 feet the rap is I prefer to slightly over rate the length so no one gets there with too short a rope. this is why I call the rap 100 feet knowing it may be a bit shorter.

Driving Directions

To get to the Trailhead

From the junction of Highways 24 and 95 in Hanksville Utah, drive north on Highway 24 about 19.5 miles to a turn off on the left (west) onto Temple Mountain Road (exGoblinValley).  The signs marking this turn for Goblin Valley State park are large and easy to see. 

Turn left to go to Goblin Valley State Park and drive 5.15 miles to a left (south) turn onto Goblin Valley Road (exGoblinVlyRd).

In 6.5 miles you will be at the entrance for Goblin Valley State Park (GoblinVlyGate).  This is where you can stop in the visitor center to pick up a permit.

0.5 miles after the entrance / visitor center is a tee in Goblin Valley Road (GobliTee).  Turn left and drive 0.7 miles to the a large parking lot where you will start the route (tGoblinVly). 

To leave the Exit Vehicle / Escape Pod

No exit vehicle is needed.  This is done as a loop route.

Maps - - - - GPS coordinate information listed at the bottom of this route description.

For information about my waypoint naming convention and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Map Link Icon
Click the links for maps of the route.
Map of the drive into the route.
Map of the entire route.
Map of the approach (zoomed in).

Details

The Approach:
The route starts where stairs drop down from the parking lot next to some covered picnic tables (tGoblinVly).  Before leaving the trailhead to go to Chamber of the Basilisk take a look at the hills about 0.4 miles to the southeast. Note the tallest wide white peak then look to the right and note the second tallest white peak. Look closely and notice a small white capped dome down in the reddish brown hills below and slightly right of the second tallest white peak. To begin the route walk down the stairs then route find your way southeast toward the small white capped dome.

Example Pic. First make your way to the small white dome.

As you drop down and walk the valley floor toward the white dome you will loose sight of it due to rolling terrain.  About 0.24 miles for the parking lot the route goes over a small mound (BasiliskRP01). Continue southeast about 300 feet to a wash cutting through the reddish brown rock band. The reddish brown rock band will likely block your view of the white dome in this area.

Example Pic. Go around the back (south) side of the dome then up to a small saddle.

When you get to where the wash cuts through the reddish brown cliff band (BasiliskRP02) you can see the white capped dome again. Walk about 400 feet southeast to the white capped dome then route find your way around the right (south) side of the dome to a saddle at the base of the dome.

From the saddle behind the white dome (BasiliskRP03) look east and note a very tall goblin spire about 300 feet away.  Note a cave like hole down low and left of the tall spire.  Route find your way east over two the cave like hole then around to the right of it and scramble a few feet up to a notch.

Example Pic. Walk past the cave like hole then up to a small notch to pass through.

Example Pic. Walk past the cave like hole then up to a small notch to pass through.

From the notch (BasiliskRP04) after the cave like hole, walk east up what can loosely be called a wash for a little over 200 feet to where the wash goes through a small pass by the base of a series of tall hoodoo / goblins in a row.

Example Pic. A short distance from the notch note a series of tall hoodoos and make your way over to a pass near the base of them.

When you get to the pass near the base of the tall hoodoos (BasiliskRP05) look east where the route opens up into a wide open flat valley like area. Walk about 200 feet northeast over to where you can scramble up into the hoodoos (BasiliskRP06).

Example Pic. Walk across the open valley like area to where you can scramble up into the hoodoos as shown.

Example Pic.

When you scramble up into the hoodoos (BasiliskRP06) you will find a worn path to follow up to the top out.

From where the path tops out (yBasiliskTp) you are ready to descend to the rappel in point for Chamber of the Basilisk.

The Canyoneering / Technical Section:

Example Pic.

From the top out of the path (yBasiliskTp) drop down the other side walking down the hill and following a drainage down to the southeast. Make your way down the drainage to the spot to rappel into the chamber about 180 feet away. This drainage has some walking and some scrambling over large boulders and as you get closer to the rappel you will duck and go under some boulders.

Rap 1 (dBasilisk-R1) is anchored from rocks protruding from the ground and drops about 100 feet mostly free hanging down into a huge chamber. At the bottom of the rappel you are in a huge chamber with holes in the side.

To exit, scramble about 80 feet up the slope out of the chamber.

The Exit:
After scrambling up out of the chamber you will be on the other side of the hills facing out (yBasiliskBt) toward open desert.  Follow use trails east down the slopes then north to follow along the base of the cliff side.

About 0.5 miles north is the northern end of the cliff base (BasiliskRP07). From here follow use trails to the left (west) going back toward the parking area.

About 700 feet west the use trails will leave the wash (BasiliskRP09) and follow use trails up the RUC (north) side of the wash. Follow the use trails through hills back to the parking area.

About 0.3 miles farther you will be at the northern end of the parking lot (BasiliskRP10).  Find your car to complete the route. 

GPS Waypoint Information

GPX Files Available for DOWNLOAD.
Downloadable GPX files for many of the canyons listed here are now available at the BG-Gear Store.  In addition to the waypoints, the GPX files also offer routes and tracks for the canyon.  Over time more GPX files will be added.

If you want to avoid manually adding waypoints into your GPS or mapping software, want the additional routes and tracks or simply want to support the efforts put into BluuGnome, head over to the BG-Gear Store and grab the files that interest you.

Elevations are approximate.  Waypoints with no elevation data will display NaN in place of the elevation.

For information about my waypoint naming convention and map symbols, refer to the Glossary page.

Notes for GPS information:
BEFORE
entering coordinates from this website, please ensure your system (GPS or mapping software) is set to the same datum used here.  Waypoint coordinates are listed with WGS84 datum and in Lat/Lon hddd.ddddd° format.  Entering coordinate information with inconsistent datum's can result in the waypoints being off by hundreds of feet.  It is important to keep this in mind when entering waypoints from any source.

Chamber of the Basilisk (1) - Drive in to Trailhead
  1. exGoblinValley          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.63072   W -110.56675        Elev: NaN Feet
    Exit for Temple Mountain Road off highway 24. This is also the turn off for Goblin Valley State Park..
  2. exGoblinVlyRd          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.65338   W -110.65455        Elev: NaN Feet
    Exit where Goblin Valley Raod leaves Temple Mountain Road and goes west to Goblin Valley State Park.
  3. GoblinVlyGate          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.57811   W -110.70756        Elev: 0 Feet
    Entrance to Goblin Valley State Park. Visitor center and fee entrance gate here.
  4. GobliTee          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.57164   W -110.70899        Elev: 0 Feet
    Tee in the Gobblin Valley Road. Turn left (southeast) at the tee to go to the main parking area.
  5. tGoblinVly          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56412   W -110.70323        Elev: 4,965 Feet
    The is where the trail starts down some stairs by covered tables near the parking area and drops down into the goblins. Before leaving the trailhead to go to Chamber of the Basilisk take a look at the hills about 0.4 miles to the southeast. Note the tallest wide white peak then look to the right and not the second tallest white peak. Look closely and notice a small white capped dome down in the reddish brown hills below and slightly right of the second talles white peak. To begin the route walk down the stairs then route find your way southeast toward the small white capped dome.
Chamber of the Basilisk (2) - Approach and Canyon
  1. tGoblinVly          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56412   W -110.70323        Elev: 4,965 Feet
    The is where the trail starts down some stairs by covered tables near the parking area and drops down into the goblins. Before leaving the trailhead to go to Chamber of the Basilisk take a look at the hills about 0.4 miles to the southeast. Note the tallest wide white peak then look to the right and not the second tallest white peak. Look closely and notice a small white capped dome down in the reddish brown hills below and slightly right of the second talles white peak. To begin the route walk down the stairs then route find your way southeast toward the small white capped dome.
  2. BasiliskRP01          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56177   W -110.70026        Elev: NaN Feet
    The route over toward Chamber of the Basilisk goes over a small mound here. Continue southeast about 300 feet to a wash cutting through the reddish brown rock band. The reddish brown rock band will likely block your view of the white dome in this area.
  3. BasiliskRP02          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56123   W -110.69956        Elev: NaN Feet
    This is where washes cut through part of the reddish brown rock band. From here you can see the white capped dome you could see from the parking lot. Walk about 400 feet southeast to the white capped dome. As you get to the dome route find your way around the right (south) side of the dome to a saddle at the base of the dome.
  4. BasiliskRP03          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56071   W -110.69834        Elev: NaN Feet
    A saddle on back (southeast) side of the white dome. From the saddle look east and note a very tall goblin spire about 300 feet away. Note a cave like hole down low and left of the tall spire. Route find your way east over two the cave like hole then around to the right of it and scramble a few feet up to a saddle / notch.
  5. BasiliskRP04          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56135   W -110.69787        Elev: 4,975 Feet
    Notch to scramble up to just after passing a small cave like hole. From this notch walk east up what can loosely be called a wash for a little over 200 feet to where the wash goes through a small pass by the base of a series of tall hoodoo / goblins in a row.
  6. BasiliskRP05          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56141   W -110.69712        Elev: NaN Feet
    Wash goes through a small pass by the base of a series of tall hoodoo / goblins in a row. On the other side of this pass the wash opens up into a wide open flat valley like area. Walk about 200 feet northeast over to where you can scramble up into the hoodoos. It is difficult to describe this in writting, use pictures and or GPS.
  7. BasiliskRP06          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56168   W -110.69648        Elev: 5,019 Feet
    Spot on the northeast side of a wide valley like area to scramble up 6 or 8 feet to walk up a path through the hoodoos. Walk about 70 feet up the path to where it tops out.
  8. yBasiliskTp          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56186   W -110.69641        Elev: 5,009 Feet
    Path up out of the valley tops out here. Drop down the other side walking down the hill and following another wash like spot down to the southeast. Make your way down the drainage to the spot to rappel into the chamber about 180 feet away. This drainage has some walking and some scrambling over large boulders and as you get closer to the rappel you will duck and gounder some boulders.
  9. dBasilisk-R1          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56152   W -110.69587        Elev: 4,947 Feet
    Rap 1 - Chamber of the Basilisk anchored from rocks protruding from the ground and drops about 100 feet mostly free hanging down into a huge chamber. At the bottom of rappel you are in a huge chamber with holes in the side. Scramble about 80 feet up the slope out of the chamber.
  10. yBasiliskBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56142   W -110.69506        Elev: 4,900 Feet
    Exit of the Chamber of the Basilisk. After scrambling up out of the chamber follow use trails east down the slopes then north to follow along the base of the clif side.
Chamber of the Basilisk (3) - Exit
  1. yBasiliskBt          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56142   W -110.69506        Elev: 4,900 Feet
    Exit of the Chamber of the Basilisk. After scrambling up out of the chamber follow use trails east down the slopes then north to follow along the base of the clif side.
  2. BasiliskRP07          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56829   W -110.69379        Elev: NaN Feet
    Northern end of the cliff base. From here follow use trails to the left (west) going back toward the parking area.
  3. BasiliskRP08          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56879   W -110.69733        Elev: NaN Feet
    Fork in the wash. Follow southwest up the left fork to contiue back to the parking area.
  4. BasiliskRP09          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56723   W -110.69850        Elev: NaN Feet
    Leave the wash here and follow use trails up the RUC (north) side of the wash. Follow the use trails through hills back to the parking area.
  5. BasiliskRP10          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56519   W -110.70271        Elev: NaN Feet
    Trails meat teh eastern end of the Goblin Valley parking area here.
  6. tGoblinVly          Lat/Lon (WGS84):  N 38.56412   W -110.70323        Elev: 4,965 Feet
    The is where the trail starts down some stairs by covered tables near the parking area and drops down into the goblins. Before leaving the trailhead to go to Chamber of the Basilisk take a look at the hills about 0.4 miles to the southeast. Note the tallest wide white peak then look to the right and not the second tallest white peak. Look closely and notice a small white capped dome down in the reddish brown hills below and slightly right of the second talles white peak. To begin the route walk down the stairs then route find your way southeast toward the small white capped dome.