83°F
weather icon Clear

Kodachrome’s colorful landscape picturesque

If you plan on a spring outing to Southern Utah, especially along Scenic Byway 12 to Bryce Canyon National Park or the Escalante area, an easy yet rewarding side trip is Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Here you will find a glorious landscape with five official hiking trails that lead to 67 sedimentary sandpipes, a large arch and monolithic spires. The trails vary from about one-half mile to 6 miles round trip.

The park, established in 1963, was named by the National Geographic Society on an expedition in 1948. Noting the landscape’s eye-popping color, somebody took the trouble to get permission to appropriate the name already copyrighted by Kodak Film Corp., which manufactured Kodachrome, the favorite film for color photography in those days. Being so memorable, the name stuck.

The 2,240-acre park lies at an elevation of about 5,800 feet, in a semidesert in the upper Sonoran life zone. Vegetation includes pinyon and juniper, big sage, Mormon tea, Fremont holly and prickly pear cactus. Look for tracks of resident wildlife, such as mule deer, mountain lion, white-tailed antelope squirrel and coyote, along the trails.

You might want to start with the one-half mile Nature Trail where interpretive signs identify the flora, fauna and basic geology found in the park. Another great trail is the Shakespeare Arch/Sentinel Trail, a 1.7-mile loop trail. This features a fine arch that rises up about 75 feet from the ground.

Although not technically in the park, Chimney Rock is worth the drive out a 1½-mile, well-maintained, gravel road. You’ll find there a 170-foot spire, tallest in the area.

There is a campground with a few dozen sites, for recreational vehicles and tents. Some may be reserved and some are first come, first served. Flush toilets and hot showers are available. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. year-round. Call 435-679-8562 or visit www.stateparks.utah.gov for more information.

If camping isn’t your thing, there are even bunkhouses available in the park. These fill up fast, though, so be sure to make a reservation.

If you have the time, venture about 11 miles south from Kodachrome State Park on the main gravel road and you will see the left turn to Grosvenor Arch, well worth visiting. (Don’t travel this road if it is raining or threatening to rain.)

Grosvenor, named for a former president of the National Geographic Society, is in what is still called Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to reduce its size. The formation is special because it is a double arch of immense size, the larger arch spanning about 100 feet.

You can view the arch from the parking area, but taking the 200-yard trail is worth it to see for yourself its marvel and speculate about how it was formed so gracefully by nature. Being paved, this trail is handicap-accessible.

Many of Deborah Wall’s columns have been compiled into books about hiking in the Southwest. She is also the author of “Great Hikes, a Cerca Country Guide” and a co-author of the book “Access For All, Seeing the Southwest With Limited Mobility.” Wall can be reached at Deborabus@aol.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Wrestler advances to national tourney

Hunter Moore, an incoming senior at Boulder City High School, will represent Nevada in the Fargo National Championship, after dominating his way through the Western State Championship wrestling tournament held June 22-25.

Swimmers continue to make waves

After helping Boulder City High School’s girls swimming team win its eighth consecutive 3A state championship — which dates back to 2013 — sophomore Phoebe McClaren and junior Tara Higley were honored among the top swimmers in Southern Nevada singled out by Nevada Preps/Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Lady Eagles get all-state honors

After helping lead the Lady Eagles to a state tournament appearance, Boulder City High School’s softball program placed five girls on the 3A all-state team, tied for the most in the classification.

Lagan earns gold at national championship

Alexis “Lexi” Lagan, Boulder City’s first female Olympian, sat atop the podium after taking home first place in air pistols during the 2022 National Pistol Championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on June 3-13.

Fishers angle for best spot

Anglers covered the shorelines at Veterans’ Memorial Park on Saturday, June 11, as Boulder City hosted the Southern Nevada free fishing day event.

Eagles dominate state volleyball honors

After winning their second consecutive state championship, Boulder City High School’s boys volleyball team dominated the 3A all-state award landscape, taking home seven of 17 available honors.

94-year-old still out on the green

Feeling younger than ever, 94-year old Virginia “Birdie” Hurst is an avid golfer who has no plans to slow down.

Eagles’ pitcher Welbourne singled out

Kanon Welbourne, a junior at Boulder City High School, was named the Mountain League’s pitcher of the year for his dominant performance throughout the season and helping the varsity baseball team win the league title.

Carver named MVP

After helping her softball team finish first in the 3A Desert League and clinch a state tournament berth, Boulder City High School senior Paeton Carver was named conference MVP.

Girls hone skills through club play

Looking to start their next dynasty at Boulder City High School, a group of upcoming girls volleyball stars have been working hard during offseason, playing club ball for the Eagles 16U team.