We met Ken and Cindy went we first arrived in Bryce Canyon City. They were camped beside us. They are from Utah and come to this area frequently and stay for extended periods of time. We asked them what we should not miss while we were there. They recommended several places and one of them was Kodachrome Basin State Park.
The Kodachrome Basin State Park is just nine miles south of the Scenic Byway 12 and it is known for its sandstone chimneys. In 1949, the National Geographic Society came to the area and were photographing many of the unique formations and, with the approval of Kodak, they named the area Kodachrome Flat after the new Kodak film that they used to photograph the basin. The name stuck and in 1962 when the area became a state park, it was named Kodachrome Basin State Park. Located on the Colorado Plateau, the park has over 70 monolithic sandstone spires that are 6 to 170 feet tall. We were told that this may be the largest collection of sandstone chimneys in any given area. These stand-alone towers are also called sedimentary pipes. There is debate among geologists as to how these came to be. Regardless of how they were formed, these pipes are impressive.
We took a hike up Angel’s Palace Trail to the top of a butte. From that vantage point, we could see much of the Kodachrome Basin below and Bryce Canyon in the distance. It was an awe-inspiring sight due to the color and contrast of the landscape.
One thing that has surprised us is how hot it feels here during the day. The high temperatures have been in the mid-70s but it has felt more like mid-90s. At night the temperatures have dropped to the mid-40s. (It is great sleeping weather.) It is normal for there to be a broad range of temperatures in this plateau area and summers can be extremely hot. Consequently, the park officials recommend that you wear lots of sunscreen, a hat, and drink at least one gallon of water a day to keep yourself hydrated because of the altitude.
Kodachrome Basin State Park is open year around and there are two small campgrounds. There are a few sites with hook ups. The facilities looked new and modern. In addition to hiking, they also have horseback riding. The only negative is that there is absolutely no cell service there because it is so remote.
Our fellow campers gave us great advice (Thank you Ken and Cindy!). This state park is definitely worth a visit.