Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah

The final stop on our route through the southern Utah. Kodachrome Basin State Park is a small state park that packs a punch when it comes to delivering the natural beauty.

If you think the name of this Utah state park might have been taken from the name of well-known color film products, you are correct. The dramatic colors of the park led the National Geographic Society, with consent from Kodak in 1949, to name the park Kodachrome.

The first time David and I visited Kodachrome Basin State Park in 2009, we only spent a few hours in one afternoon. We flew from Richmond, Virginia to Las Vegas for a one-week vacation (I’m so glad those days of one- or two-week vacation is over) to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. While staying near Bryce Canyon we took a short drive to Kodachrome Basin State Park. It was my first trip to Utah and I was instantly impressed by what this little park had to offer. 

So when we traveled in our RV through the area, I reserved a camp site for us to stay at the park for three days. Not only they have sites that can accommodate big rigs like Stimpy, but they also have a few full hook-up sites. Very nice after having been boondocking for previous 9 days.

Basin Campground in Kodachrome Basin State Park
View from the couch
Nature trail near the campground
This rock formation looks like a leaning sedimentary pipe that acted as the capstone for the hoodoo.
Chimney Rock
Cathedral-like formations near the Chimney Rock

Shakespeare Arch-Sentinel Trail

We hiked this 1.7-mi loop trail during our visit. The trail features Shakespeare Arch, the only large natural arch in the park, Sentinel Spire, and great views of the surrounding area. The trail beyond Shakespeare Arch (hiking the loop counterclockwise) is best hiked with the help of hiking poles if you aren’t sure-footed persons. I found that some sections were a bit slippery from sands.

Shakespeare Arch
Sentinel Spire
A section of the trail traverses a slope. Not too scary for us but one hiker was quite nervous about it.

There are many things to see and do in and around Kodachrome Basin State Park. Although the park has only a few hiking trails, it’s next door to Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, where you can visit the impressive Grosvenor Arch and hike the Cottonwood Narrows, among other things. Bryce Canyon National Park is nearby. You can easily stay here for a week and use it as a base to explore the area around the park.

Have you been to Kodachrome Basin State Park?

2 thoughts on “Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah

  1. Great post Keng! Before I clicked through I thought to myself, “Kodachrome, like the old film?” I was glad to see you mentioned that in your write-up. I have never heard of this park, but it looks like it would be a great to visit when in the area, especially to get away from the crowds of the nearby National Parks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Julie. It’s worth a visit next time you go by the area around Utah Highway 12. So many state parks are overlooked because they don’t receive enough publicity the same level national parks receive. Before the era of social media like Instagram, I never heard of Smith Rock State Park in Oregon. So, I was a little embarrassed for having lived in Oregon for several years.


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