While we wait for passenger flights to the real planet of Mars, why not visit this state park for a little taste of interstellar travel. Goblin Valley State Park in Utah looks like a martian landscape straight from the red planet, complete with towering alien structures. You can explore a whole new world, all without leaving Earth's atmosphere.
Not so coincidentally, the movie Galaxy Quest had filming locations here, thanks to the alien atmosphere.
Goblin Valley State Park is home to whimsical formations that look like a cross between their namesake, goblins, and martian rock structures.
You can wander through mazes of sandstone, making you feel like you've traveled to the surface of Mars in all its orange glory.
The other attraction to the park is the epic stargazing provided by the dark conditions due to little light pollution in the area.
You can see seriously incredible scopes of the Milky Way, and even join a full moon hike when they are running.
The rock formations are the product of 150 million years worth of water, wind, and time.
If you want to feel like you've joined an interstellar project exploring the depths of space, or if you wish to see history up close and personal, this park is the perfect spot for both.
There is a $15 entrance fee per vehicle, and the park is open year-round from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The park is considered one of the darkest areas on Earth.
This means you will get even more galactic glimpses and some seriously cool photos if you want to try your hand at night sky snaps.
Maybe that mission to Mars is a little far off for our liking, but we will happily take this adventure in its place.
At least here there's no risk of actual aliens... we hope.
Goblin Valley State Park
Price: $15 per car
When: Year-round, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Address: 18630 Goblin Valley Rd., Orangeville, UT
Why You Need To Go: You can wander around Earth's version of Mars and explore towering goblin formations, then catch some seriously stunning starscapes.
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