Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah
Updated: Mar 2
Kodachrome Basin State Park in Utah features amazing desert scenery and sandstone formations, that are worth the trip off the beaten path. You can stay for a few days, utilizing the campgrounds or bunkhouses in the park, or make it a quick day-trip while visiting Bryce Canyon National Park and Grand Staircase Escalante.
Fun: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (out of 5)
Difficulty: Very Easy Easy MODERATE Hard Very Hard
(Hikes range from very easy to hard depending on the hike)
Distance: 0.5 miles to 6 miles, depending on the trail
Elevation Gain: Flat to 300 feet
Terrain: Sand, dirt, sandstone, exposed trails
Time: A few hours to a few days
When to Go: Anytime of the year but best time is spring or fall due to hot summers
Day Use Fee $10 per vehicle
Basin and Bryce View: no hookups $25
Basin: full hookups $35
Arch: water and power hookups $35
Flush or vault toilets depending on where you are in the park
Fire wood for sale
Laundromat - awesome for long road trips
Lodging – camping or bunkhouse
THINGS TO BRING
Food for camping of snacks for day use, no restaurants on site
Water containers and bottles
Good hiking shoes
Bikes if desired - a few of the trails are great for mountain biking
Sunscreen, exposed trail
Kodachrome State Park was named after a new brand of Kodiak film by National Geographic in the 1940's because of the color and beauty that was found there. There are sandstone spires and pipes and mountains with layers of orange, red and white.
Kodachrome Basin State Park has become one of my favorite Utah adventures. I rated it as "Moderate" because there are a variety of hikes and activities for everyone. We stayed two nights camping in the park. There was plenty to do within the park and the surrounding area. It is a great base if you are adventuring in Bryce Canyon or Grand Staircase Escalante Monument. There is beautiful desert scenery on each hike and within the campgrounds.
THINGS TO DO Camping
Kodachrome State Park has three main campgrounds: Basin, Bryce View and Arch. All three campgrounds have tent and RV options. There is also a large group site called Oasis. Each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table.
The Basin Campground is my favorite in the park. It is nestled in the actual basin area of the Park and has gorgeous views of the surrounding sandstone mountains. It offers well-kept bathrooms with flush toilets, warm water and showers.
The Oasis group site is nearby and offers the same facilities. Bryce View and Arch campground have outhouse style bathrooms with no showers.
We stayed in the site #3 of the Basin Campground and absolutely loved it. There was shade the entire day around the picnic table, fun sandstone for the kids to climb on and a small creek running through it at times. The kids loved playing in the sand and the water. We had plenty of room and privacy and even set up the hammocks in the trees.
Other sites that we liked as we drove by were 1, 5, and 10 because they also had a good amount of privacy and shade. Sites 17 and 22 were on the outer edge and were right up against the sandstone mountain creating a beautiful camping backdrop; however a deeper ditch ran through these sites and might not be best with toddlers.
Each of the six hikes in Kodachrome State Park offer differing terrain and a range of scenery. I loved each hike for different reasons. Full reviews of each hike to come.
Nature Trail: A very easy, 0.6 mile flat trail that offers education via signs of plant and geological features within the park. This trail is ADA accessible.
Eagles View Trail: An easy 1 mile trail offering views of the Kodachrome Basin.
Grand Parade Trail: An easy 1.5 mile flat hike along the bottom of the basin floor that can be extended to 2 miles by exploring the two secluded box canyons adjacent to the trail.
Angel’s Palace Trail: A steeper hike, gaining 150 feet in .75 miles providing beautiful views of Kodachrome Basin and beyond. This hike has steep drop offs in some areas.
Panaroma Trail: A 3 to 6 mile hike with multiple points of interest along the way including the Hat Shop, Indian Cave, Ballerina Leg, Secret Passage, Cool Cave and Panorama Point.
Shakespeare Arch – Sentinel Trail: A 2 mile hike that once offered views of Shakespeare Arch. This arch fell in 2019 but the hike still offers beautiful views and scenery. This hike has some difficult terrain but well worth the views.
I was so glad we brought my mountain bike. I wanted to check out each trail while we were there but we just ran out of time. I was able to bike the Grand Parade Trail which was a lot of fun. My husband biked a portion of the Panaroma Trail which is also an awesome trail to bike. Keep in mind that mountain bikes are not allowed on every trail.
My seven year old told me that the sky did not look real at night because there were so many stars to see. We were lucky our first night with a completely clear sky and no moon. We slept with the rain fly off. The kids had been asking to sleep under the stairs for a couple years and it finally worked out.
Playing in the Sand
Wish we would have brought beach toys and buckets for the kids to play with. There was so much sand for the kids to play in at our site. They were literally playing in it like we were at the beach.
There is a grassy area next to the bathrooms in the Basin Campground with picnic tables. At the visitors center you can rent Bocce Ball, Frisbee Golf, Giant Jenga, Cornhole or Ladder Toss for the day for $5.
Horseback rides are available on the Panaroma Trail through Red Canyon Trail Rides. There weren’t any rides going at the time that we visited, due to Covid-19 concerns. They offer one hour rides for $40/person or two hour rides for $60/person. Horseback rides must be booked ahead of time.
The Visitor’s Center is very small but it did have a couple of wall exhibits that were engaging and informative. It also has a small gift shop and a freezer full of ice cream for purchase on a hot day.
PROS & CONS
Lots of things to do
Good for families of all ages
Variety of amenities
Close to Grand Staircase Escalante and Bryce Canyon National Park
Hot in the summer
Kodachrome Basin State Park is located in Central Southern Utah near Bryce Canyon National Park and Escalante National Monument. To get there put Kodachrome Basin State Park Visitors Center in your GPS device or click on my map link below.
Kodachrome State Park official site
OTHER NEARBY ADVENTURES
Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (30 minutes to 2 hours), depending on where you go – the monument is over one million acres of land.
Peek-a-boo and Spooky Slot Canyons in Grand Staircase (1 hour 50 mins)
Willis Creek Slot Canyon (30 minutes from Kodachrome State Park and is well worth the drive to get there (full review to come).
Bryce Canyon National Park (30 minutes)
Red Canyon (40 minutes)
Hi, I'm Corrine! I'm an outdoor enthusiast, mother of four, wife, nurse and runner. I believe God gave us this beautiful earth to explore, enjoy and protect.
My goal is to inspire you to get outside and create your own amazing memories as a family. Life is precious and there are too many adventures to be had to spend life on the couch or in front of a screen.
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