Kodachrome Basin State Park

Categories: Utah

Kodachrome Basin State Park is an easily accessible, family friendly little state park with a high density of scenic rock formations and short trails. Many of the hikes are short and easy but there is even horse riding available.

In case you know what Kodachrome is, then yes, the park is named after it. Kodachrome was a very popular color slide film manufactured by Kodak. In 1948 when the film was still new, a National Geographic expedition travelled through the park and called the area Kodachrome Flat in the published story. The name caught on immediately but when the area became a state park in 1962 the state changed it to Chimney Rock State Park, fearing a trademark violation. A few years later it was changed to Kodachrome Basin State Park, with Kodak’s permission. So it used to be very fun to show up with your Kodachrome film and take pictures in Kodachrome basin. I can tell you from experience that it was the perfect combination for vibrant colors and contrast.

This is called Ballerina Spire but I don’t get it. It’s a TUSK, c’mon!

This tusk formation is my favorite but it’s extremely difficult to get an unobstructed balanced picture of it due to the arrangement of trees and bushes and gullies around it.

I think this is simply called Indian Cave. It’s not a cave but it’s covered in lots and lots of finger grooves. I haven’t seen this anywhere else, so I wonder what the story is behind it. 

These were some smooth and round formations tucked into the back of the basin.

Kodachrome Basin is known for its multitude of free standing rock towers scattered about the juniper forest.

I had come to attend a networking event in Bryce Canyon and arrived early enough in the afternoon to visit the basin and stretch my legs after the drive. I hadn’t been there in 20 years and all I really remembered was vibrant colors and this really cool pilar I had gotten a cool picture of back in the days of film. So I quickly chose a hike I thought would take me there, and I chose correctly. But, it didn’t take long to get there so I kept on the trail and headed off towards some more distant options. I was glad I did because I realized the first time I visited the park I really didn’t see much of anything that wasn’t close to the road.

This cool tower looked like the spine of a dragon was sticking out of the ground. It was getting close to sunset and you can see the moon rising on the far right.

I reached the far point of my hike in this dark corkscrew mud canyon. It’s was pretty neat and ended in a dry falls.

When I came out of the mud canyon it was sunset, and too late for me to get anywhere more interesting.

It was getting dark and I had several miles to walk back.

The last 1/2 hour I was completely dependent on moonlight to see where I was going. I was glad it was nearly full.

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