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Camping:  Kodachrome Basin State Park

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Kodochrome BasinKodachrome 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 Spiresspires. 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.

WildflowersIf you are traveling to Southern Utah, the best time is in the spring. The many colored wildflowers contrast beautifully with the standard desert hues.

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 Eagle's View Trailuntil 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.

CampgroundThe 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.

ConcessionThere 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 clean.

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 Society.

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.

Nearby Areas:

Bryce Canyon National Park

Escalante State Park

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument


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Kodachrome Basin State Park

Kodachrome Group Areas


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