A New Adventure At Kodachrome Basin State Park

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I remembered driving past signs for it last year, but really had no idea what to expect.  I Googled it before we decided to go, but still wasn’t sure.  

We were going to be in the area at Bryce Canyon already though and figured, why not?  I mean, it’s basically on the way from Escalante to Bryce.  That was it.  We were going.

mormon tea and rock formation at Kodachrome basin state park utah

After spending all morning hiking Navajo Loop and to the Mossy Cave, we were a little tired out and didn’t want to hike eight more miles.  Plus, Kodachrome felt way hotter than Bryce Canyon.  

There wasn’t much shade, but even then, it still felt a lot warmer which made us want to hike even less, but we pushed on and did a couple short trails around the park.

Kodachrome basin state park utah

The first was the nature trail.  It’s a short trail at the end of the park road, or almost at the end of it, and it was nice and flat, which was perfect for how hot it was.  

It weaved around rocks and had little signs along the whole thing telling you about the different types of plants in the Utah desert.

Bushes and cliffs in valley at Kodachrome basin state park utah

I actually enjoyed reading those since I see these plants all the time but didn’t know what most of them were.  And now I finally know what Mormon Tea looks like.  I had heard of it last year, but didn’t actually know what it looked like, or that I had seen it on a regular basis.  

Once we finished the nature walk, we headed out to see Shakespeare Arch and the rest of that area.  We drove to the end of the unpaved road and turned around to go back to the Arch trailhead.  

rock formation at Kodachrome basin state park utah

The hike to the arch is pretty easy and right around a mile round-trip, but the trail keeps going past the arch. Unfortunately the arch collapsed in April 2019 so you can’t see it but you can still enjoy the hike.

After it gets more strenuous and is closer to three miles for the whole loop.  We stopped at the arch because we were starving and if I haven’t already mentioned, it was hot.  It was kind of hard to spot at first because the arch is in front of more rock so it blended in.

nature trail view at Kodachrome basin state park utah

After that hike we decided to head back to Escalante to get some food.  We ended our awesome day of hiking with a delicious pizza and a broken tent.  

Overall I liked Kodachrome, but it was so hot that we just didn’t want to do anything.  I would definitely recommend going in the spring, fall, or winter when weather is cooler.  It’s the perfect stop if you’re doing a road trip or in the area of Bryce Canyon and Escalante.

Updated July 2022: previous text is from the original, below has been added.

Shakespeare arch at Kodachrome basin state park utah

Where is Kodachrome Basin State Park?

Kodachrome Basin State Park is right between the town of Escalante and Bryce Canyon National Park. It is 48 minutes from Escalante and 35 minutes from the Bryce Canyon Visitor Center.

view from shakespeare arch at Kodachrome basin state park utah

How much is Kodachrome Basin State Park?

The Kodachrome Basin entry fee is $10 per vehicle. Camping is $25 to $35 per night and the bunkhouse (no running water, bring your own bedding) is $85 per night.

shakespeare arch at Kodachrome basin state park utah

What is there to do at Kodachrome Basin State Park?

Lots of hiking! And stargazing! There are eight trails in the park ranging from 0.4 miles (the nature trail we did) to 7.3 miles (the Indian Cave, Mammoth Spire, and Panorama Point loop).

All of the trails at Kodachrome Basin are easy/moderate and all but one are under three miles so you could do quite a few of them in one day if you wanted to.

overlooking cliffs at Kodachrome basin state park utah

Is Kodachrome Basin State Park worth it?

Yes! This is, I think, a hidden gem in southern Utah that I would like to get back to and do more hiking at. It’s a beautiful park and a great place to escape the crowds of Escalante and Bryce Canyon nearby. Consider a side trip to the Willis Creek slot canyon while you’re out here, too.

bare tree and cliff at Kodachrome basin state park utah

Kodachrome Basin photo gallery

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Have you been to Kodachrome Basin?  What did you think of it?  What is your favorite thing to do there?

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