Kodachrome Basin State Park
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Kodachrome Basin is located 12 miles South of the scenic highway 12, near
Cannonville. Although the park is located near many other national parks
and monuments it has a charm all its own that is worth visiting.
The park consists of a beautiful basin surrounded by multi-colored cliffs
and spires. Geologists suspect these spires were formed from the filling in
of ancient geyser tubes. Regardless of how they were made, the scenery in
the park is spellbinding.
The park gets its name from a National Geographic expedition in 1948. The
photographers on the expedition named the area after their favorite film to
capture brilliant colors. After a brief name change in the beginning, Kodak
has been proud to have the park bear their product name.
If you are traveling to Southern Utah, the best time is in the spring. The
many colored wildflowers contrast beautifully with the standard desert
There are several hiking trails located in the park. The Eagle’s View trail
climbs the surrounding cliffs and provides a bird’s eye view of the park.
This trail was used as a cattle trail until about 30 years ago. In 1987 it
was improved into the hiking tail it is today. The improvements were the
work of an industrious Eagle Scout named Jeff Shakespeare.
The Panorama trail is a three mile loop that takes you by many of the parks
features. Mountain bikes are allowed on this loop as well. The Grand
Parade trail is a 1.5 mile loop, once again, great scenery is to be found.
The Shakespeare Arch trail leads out to a hidden arch.
The park has a very nice 24 site campground. Each campsite features a fire
pit and picnic tables. There are modern toilets and showers available as
well. The surrounding juniper trees help to isolate and separate the
individual campsites. Site number 18 is handicapped accessible. Site
numbers 17, 19, and 21 would be my choices to camp in.
There are also several different group camping areas. Of the four
available (Oasis, Grey Fox, Chucker, and Arch), I’d definitely lean toward
the Arch group area. This area is isolated from the main campground and
therefore has a bit more privacy.
The campgrounds in Kodachrome Basin are very popular. Reservations are
recommended for the main campground or group areas.
There is a privately run concession in the park which provides some camping
supplies and general sundries. Cabins are also available for rent.
Horseback and coach rides can be scheduled as well.
There are a few places to camp around the park as well. If you continue
straight on Cottonwood Canyon road past the park entrance you’ll come to a
trail to your right. There are a number of places to free-lance camp out
this road. Please use backcountry camping techniques and keep the area
There are a number of things to do and places to go located around the park.
Kodachrome Basin makes a great base camp to explore the Grand Staircase
Escalante Monument. The road leading to Kodachrome Basin turn off continues
into the heart of the Grand Staircase Escalante. Drive about 10 miles past the turn off for the
park road and you’ll find Grosvenor Arch. Grosvenor Arch is a double arch
named for the one of the long time stewards of the National Geographic
The Cottonwood Canyon road travels the length of the Grand Staircase
following the Cottonwood Creek. You’ll be treated to a travel through an
area seeing fantastic scenery and very few people.
Enjoy your time in Utah’s desert country.
Bryce Canyon National Park
Escalante State Park
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Group Areas
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