Fondest memory: It was true that two couples sat in the same picnic shelter, rain pouring down in buckets. But one was enjoying the moment more than the other. My wife and I felt a certain satisfaction in knowing just how proficient we had become at what was now the routine of setting up camp and its accompanying tasks of cooking and cleaning up its residual mess. We had been at it for a month. We sat and ate pancakes and sipped hot tea to fend off the cold while our picnic shelter mates made due with a cold snack and beverage. We were both using the shelter to get out of the rain but our utilization was far more involved; it was not a random act but pure calculation. We had scoped this reserved group shelter out earlier in the day with my wife noting it would be a good place to cook if the weather turned sour as forecasted.
The weather had a lot to do with us being at Kodachrome Basin State Park in the first place. We had originally planned on coming here en route to Bryce Canyon National Park a few days earlier but with impending snow forecast for Bryce we rushed up there instead. After two gorgeous days in Bryce the weather made a turn for the worse and we headed south back to Kodachrome at a lower elevation to beat the snow. It worked our perfectly with the state park providing free showers as well as handy covered picnic shelters. They were probably installed more for sun protection than for rain but when camping rain is still a better choice over snow. (concluded below in Fondest Memory)
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
the art of making pancakes
Fondest memory: Kodachrome is a small state park in Utah and while not quite in the league as Bryce or the state's other renowned National Parks, it is nonetheless a beautiful spot. The campground was far nicer than its counterpart at Bryce, with great privacy, some tree cover for shade or rain protection, and the aforementioned free showers. The park had a couple of short scenic drives as well as a few short hikes to take in the scenery. The best part was there were very few people with which to share any of this with. A pit-stop perhaps but a very pretty one just the same.
Our picnic mates weren't there long enough to offer them a cup of tea. Actually, we didn't have any extra cups so that wasn't really an option. They were off as quickly as they arrived while we remained to enjoy the remnants of a warm meal. Our clean-up was just as effortless and quick. It was a routine after all and one that would serve us well in the months to come. Though we had been at it for just over a month, we still had another four months to go. There would be a lot of pancake breakfasts and something told me they would just get better and better.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Kodachrome Basin State Park area info
Favorite thing: The other good thing about Kodachrome Basin State Park, they have showers! They were relatively cheap but you also have to pay the park entrance fee. Still a worth while addition if only to take a hot shower. Kodachrome Basin State Park is off of Cottonwood Canyon Road. The cool thing about this dirt road is that it will take you all the way to Page! Actually, right near the Paria Canyon Ranger Station. Page is about 20 minutes east. An amazing back country drive. I've done it with mini vans, just check with the Ranger station in Escalante on road conditions if you want to do a little exploring.
- Adventure Travel
Favorite thing: Kodachrome is located about 22 miles east of Bryce. To get there, take hwy 12 east to Canonville and take a right. A winding, twisting road continues onward from there and leads into the park. It takes approximately 30 minutes to reach Kodachrome from Bryce Canyon.
Canonville Visitor's Center
Favorite thing: The Canonville Visitor's Center provides information about Kodachrome, Grand Staircase-Escalante and other parks in this region. It has limited hours and is only open seasonally, but makes a good stopping point (if open) to get information about hiking, camping or other activities in this region.
Grande Parade Trail
Favorite thing: The Grande Parade Trailhead is located at one of the first pullouts you'll see while driving the main road. The trail is not so easy to follow and, at times, went through a drainage ditch. The formations surrounding the trail are colorful and scenic, but you can see them from the road. I much preferred Eagle's View and Panorama Point to this one.
Eagle's View Trail
Favorite thing: The Eagle's View Trail is an extremely steep climb to, well, a birds eye view of the park. The trail has a 40 or 45 percent grade, I forget which, but its a pretty tough climb up a narrwo trail along a rocky slope. I wouldn't recommend this one if the trail is snowy or icy, but, fortunately, this area was snow free. Still, it was a pretty shaky uphill. Keep in mind too that Kodachrome is situated at 5,000 plus feet elevation, about what you'd find in Denver. This kind of uphill will get your heartrate elevated pretty quickly if you're from sealevel.
But after your legs stop burning, you'll be treated to a view of Kodachrome in all its colorful rock splendor.
Favorite thing: This trail is a 3 mile loop leading from the main Kodachrome road to Panorama Point and back. Its mostly flat as can be, but it climbs just a bit to give you the full view of Panorama Point- a mixture of pink cliffs, oddly shaped rocks and mountains in the distance.
I liked this trail since it was well marked, easy to follow and had scenery virtually everywhere. The trail passes the amusing Fred Flintstone Rock and moves onward toward the wide open vista. En route, you'll also see a sign that reads "ancient Indian cave." Nothing spectacular here, just a large hole in the rock that is presumably a cave. From there, the trail continues past more stiking chimney formations before heading out to Panorama Point. Its an easy trail that can be done without difficulty in about an hour.
Big Bear Geyser Trail
Favorite thing: I'm not sure where the geyser portion of the trail's name came from, but this trail connects to the Panorama Trail for an additional 2 miles or so and passes 2 formations known as Big Bear and Mama Bear. Again, I don't know exactly how the formations got their names, but they are pretty big. The trail leads to geysers which I assume are inactive but are in the shape of bears. Its a bit more of a workout than the Panorama Trail. I'd recommend this one only if you want to extend your hike for another ninety minutes or so.
Favorite thing: The nature trail is a paved trail of less than a mile. There is a booklet provided at the start of the trail which identifies certain plants found along the way. Personally, I found the scenery surrounding the trail to be far more interesting than the trail itself. But its makes for a nice rest break and a chance to learn about plants and animals.
Favorite thing: One of the most common animals you'll see out here is the jackrabbit., These cute little guys move pretty fast. I kept seeing them hop into and out of the brush, but they would disappear before my camera was ready, so I have no souvenier photographs of this animal.
Favorite thing: This is Kodachrome Basin's general store and information center. Camping supplies and other essentials can be purchased here, although it appears that the business is only open seasonally. It was deserted in November, as was the rest of the park.
Favorite thing: These sandstone chimneys are yet another of Utah's unusual rock formations which resulted from erosion of this changing landscape. are believed to be comprised of sediment that filled ancient geysers which long since dried up.
This one looked more like an erupting geyser to me.
Favorite thing: Not to be outdone by Utah's bigger and more nationally recognized parks, Kodachrome has a few arches of its own. Shakespeare Arch, one of its most famous, is a short drive along a dirt road near the park's entrance. And, Grosvenor Arch, considered one of the finest arches in the state, is just a short drive away.