Where is Kodachrome Basin State Park
2905 South Kodachrome State Park Road
Cannonville, Utah 84718
Kodachrome Basin is a state park in Utah. The park is 9 miles southeast of Cannonville; 12 miles south of Utah Route 12; 20 miles southeast of Bryce Canyon National Park; and 300 miles south of Salt Lake City. It is accessible through Cottonwood Canyon Road, a paved route that stems from the town of Cannonville. Just east of the entrance to Kodachrome Basin US State Park, the road transitions into a dirt road that travels through Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The park features a unique landscape that once resembled that of Yellowstone National Park and now houses multi-colored sand pipes that are thought to be the residue of solidified sediment.
How Big is Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park encompasses almost 2,500 acres of canyon desert terrain. This magical landscape is filled with rare geological formations, caves, arches, horseback riding trails, and walking paths. The scenery is dominated by 67 monolithic stone spires that are known as sedimentary pipes. Many of these formations matured in a unique way. Hundreds of millions of years ago, they were once geysers that formed into natural rock pipes over time. Overall, they boast intricate sandstone layers that have developed for over 180 million years. These towering chimneys jut up as tall as 170 feet from the valley floor.
Kodachrome Basin State Park Weather
At Kodachrome Basin State Park, the summers are hot and dry, while the winters are very cold, snowy, and cloudy. The average temperature over the course of the year is 45°F, with an average of 0.89 inches of rain and 7.8 inches of snowfall. In the summertime specifically, temperatures can raise up to 80°F and drop to as low as 45°F at night. The average daily high from June to September is 71°F. The colder season lasts a little over 3 months, from the end of November to the beginning of March. The average daily high sits around 43°F, with lows around 10-20°F when the sun sets. December and January are the coldest months out of the year in Kodachrome Basin. Around that time, daily highs reach around 34°F. Cloudiness varies dramatically from season to season. The clearest part of the year beings around May and lasts until October. Then, around the end of October, the cloudy season starts to set in for the rest of the year.
When did Kodachrome Basin Become a State Park
The multi-colored monoliths in Kodachrome Basin State Park reveal a special kind of beauty beneath the clear, blue sky. In 1948, the National Geographic Society began to explore and photograph the area. It appeared on the September 1949 issue of National Geographic. The original expedition members named the area Kodachrome Flat, after the brand Kodak Film. The company was known for their vibrant color renditions, similar to how the massive sandstone figures throughout the park change in color as the day progresses. In 1962 the area officially became a state park. Officials were nervous there would be legal repercussions from the Kodak Film Company and therefore named it, Chimney Rock State Park. Years later, Kodak gave permission to rename it Kodachrome Basin State Park once more.
Things to do in Kodachrome Basin State Park
Visitors come to Kodachrome Basin State Park from all over the country. There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the park with the stunning scenery and numerous hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails. And that’s just touching the surface. Our State Park Visitors Guide highlights some popular activities to take part in at Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Hiking is one of the most popular activities to do in Kodachrome Basin State Park. The backdrop is breathtaking, between the red rock canyon and monolithic chimneys surrounding each and every trail. There are a total 6 hiking trails in the park, all varying in length and difficulty level. For an easy walk, the Kodachrome Nature Trail is a great option. It’s a quarter-mile and will take you through the park’s scenic landscape. The Panorama Loop Trail is a 3.5-mile easy to moderate hike. There are a few slopes that lead to a magnificent view of every area of the park. You can also check out Angel’s Palace Trail for a trek through wildflowers.
There are also many trails designated for horseback riding. The park offers horse rentals and guided tours along the Panorama Trail. Head to the park office for tour information. Red Canyon Trail Rides comes recommended and will take you through the park’s beautiful scenery and explain its rich history. There are both one- and two-hour long rides to choose from.
Mountain biking is another great way to explore the park. Cyclists typically head to the Kodachrome Basin Full Loop Trail. The hilly terrain and shady areas make for a terrific ride. The sandstone arches form a cave-like structure, which offers riders the chance to cool off from the hot sun. Another popular mountain biking trailhead is the Big Geyser Trail. It offers a 71-foot, steep climb, with stunning views from the top.
The park is known for its dark skies and bright, starry nights. Because Kodachrome Basin is a far distance from any major city, the sky is lit full of stars throughout the nighttime. The park will even sponsor stargazing events during the course of the year. Late summer to early fall is the best time to see a few constellations due to the earth’s tilt during this season.
Photography enthusiasts flock to Kodachrome Basin State Park for a chance to capture its unique landscape. The natural beauty fills up every square inch of the park, meaning you don’t have to be a professional to take a world-class photo.
Geocaching is an activity where participants use certain devices and navigational techniques to find specific containers hidden by others. It is currently sweeping the nation as a fun, creative way to get outside. There are quite a few caches hidden within Kodachrome Basin State Park. Start by downloading the coordinates and test your navigational skills.
Kodachrome State Park Frisbee Golf Course
Kodachrome Golf Course starts and ends right at the visitor’s center. It’s a 9-hole disc golf course that is set on a long and challenging course. The course also offers fantastic views throughout. Head to the visitor’s center to buy or rent the discs.
The surrounding areas of the park are also worth exploring. One of them being Grosvenor Arch, a double arch sandstone within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It towers 150 feet from the ground and is nearly 100 feet in diameter. It was named after Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor, the president of the National Geographic Society from 1875-1966.
All the colorful canyons and arches within the park can be explored from an ATV ride. Many dirt paths wind throughout the south of the park into the larger Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and the Lake Powell National Recreation Area. You can also take an ATV to Cottonwood Canyon, the Paria River, and Grosvenor Arch.
There are several pavilion areas filled with picnic tables, fire pits, barbecue grills, and electrical hookups. These areas are great for campers and daytime visitors alike. You can enjoy a quaint meal at one of the tables, while gazing out to the fantastic scenery.
When to go to Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park can be visited year-round and is open from 6 AM to 10 PM. Campers are permitted to stay overnight. Remember, the summers are quite hot and the winters reach freezing temperatures. The most popular time of year to visit is between May to October, although every season provides something special. For example, in the wintertime, the red rock canyon and 160-foot sand pipes provide a sharp contrast from the snowy terrain on the ground. This makes winter a great time for photography. Additionally, the spring, summer, and fall seasons do not disappoint. Hiking, biking, camping, and horseback riding are all popular activities during this time. All in all, there is no right month to visit the park; it all depends on your interests and which activities you want to take part in.
Must-Have Things to Bring to Kodachrome Basin State Park
Here are the top ten essentials to bring on your visit to Kodachrome Basin State Park. List of Parks will cover everything you need to know, from snacks to clothing to equipment and gear.
As mentioned earlier, there are countless photo-worthy moments in Kodachrome Basin State Park. You’ll want to bring some sort of camera to capture the unique landscape. From the multi-colored spires to the natural arches, there are so many opportunities to snap a quality picture.
Stargazing is one of the most popular activities to take part in at the park. There are hundreds upon hundreds of stars to see on a dark night at Kodachrome Basin and throughout Utah. Bring a pair of binoculars to get a better look at the fully lit sky. Even better, try to bring binoculars that have a night vision feature, as you will most likely continue to use them when the sun sets.
Water is one of the most important items to bring on your visit. No matter which outdoor activity you participate in, hiking, biking, horseback riding, etc., water is essential to drink throughout the day. Keeping your body hydrated plays a crucial role when taking part in any kind of physical activity. It will help to keep your energy up and improve your overall function.
Water isn’t the only thing that helps to keep your body fueled. A sufficient amount of food is another important thing to bring along. Staying well-nourished will help to keep you present and alert throughout the day. You can choose from a wide variety of foods to bring but try to pack something with many nutrients and a good amount of protein.
Many visitors head to Kodachrome Basin State Park for the epic camping opportunities. There are a ton of campgrounds to choose from, all with incredible views of different areas of the park. Packing the necessary gear and equipment can make or break a camping trip. Remember the essentials like a flashlight, firewood, matches, etc.
No matter what time of year you plan to visit Kodachrome Basin State Park, whether it’s in the middle of summer or winter, always bring plenty of layers. It can get quite chilly at night during the summer months. Because the park is located on a desert terrain, temperatures tend to drop drastically. Bring an extra jacket, socks, hat, or whatever else to keep you warm. For the winter, it’s vital to wear a quality coat that will compact heat and keep you warm in freezing temperatures.
Mountain Bike Gear
There are plenty of awesome mountain biking trails in the park. It’s important to properly prepare and pack for the trek. Bring your bike, knee and elbow pads, a helmet, a basic repair kit, and anything else you might need for maintenance.
In the spring and summer months, there are hardly any clouds throughout the day. Because of the clear skies, you may be more susceptible to a sunburn. Remember to pack a lot of sunscreen and to reapply throughout the day. The last thing you want is to go home with a bad burn.
If you’re planning to take one of the trails, bring a park map in case you get lost. Most of the trails aren’t too long, but many of them intersect with each other. This is can a little confusing, especially if its you’re first time in the area. Go pick up a map at the visitors center before venturing off to a trailhead.
As mentioned earlier, the sun can get pretty intense, especially between May and October. Don’t forget a pair of sunglasses to help block the rays. Polarized lenses would be the best option, but really any pair of sunglasses will do the trick.
Where to Stay in Kodachrome Basin State Park
There are quite a few campgrounds at Kodachrome Basin State Park. For example, Basin Campground has stunning views of the sandpipes and offers 13 recreational vehicle spots. They all have full hookups and can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet in length. The campground is closed between December and February, but then opens in March for the rest of the season. Bryce View Campground is another popular option. There are 11 RV sites that can hold vehicles up to 20 feet long. With amazing views of the canyon, visitors can enjoy them from the fire rings or picnic tables. Some other popular camping sites include Arch Campground near the visitor’s center and Oasis Group Campground, a tent-only group site that offers some spectacular desert views.
Food Nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park
The nearby restaurant, Bryce Canyon Pines, is one of the local’s favorites. It’s situated in Bryce, Utah and offers a wide variety of comfort food, like soup, pie, mashed potatoes, and burgers. The restaurant has been around for over 50 years, providing quality, homemade meals to travelers and locals alike. Other popular options include Stone Hearth Grille, i.d.k barbecue, Showdowns Restaurant, Pizza Place, and Rustler’s Restaurant.
Airports Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park is an easy drive from several bordering states. This means you can fly into a number of airports, followed by a quick drive to the park. The McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, Nevada is just four hours southwest of the park. Provo Municipal Airport in Utah is three hours north and the Salt Lake City airport is an additional hour and a half up. South of the park is Arizona, where you can fly into the Phoenix Airport and east of the park is the Albuquerque International Sunport.