Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hiking Kodachrome Basin State Park…

About 40 minutes east of us here in Panguitch Utah is the Kodachrome Basin State Park Reserve. I had read great things about this park from the many blogs I read and decided we should visit the park to take a few hikes. The park entry fee was a bit steep at $8.00 but we paid our fee and entered. This park is off the beaten path and as many have said before when camping here don’t expect any cell coverage or internet service from your Verizon provider.


We brought lunch with us and ate in the picnic area at the trailhead of the Panorama Trail of which we planned to hike. After looking at our map we decided to bike the 3 miles of the main loop of the Panorama Trail and then leave our bikes on the trail to hike the side loops that spur off the main loop. This sounded like a great idea until we had ridden midway on the trail. Although the loop is only three miles it was a tough mountain bike trail with some elements well above our skill level. Furthermore lots of ups and downs caused us to be get winded and have to walk our bikes at times.


Nonetheless we were glad we did the bike ride stopping at each spur trail  where we simply left our bikes and took a nice hike to see such things as the Ballerina Spire which was the first neat thing on this trail. This park has nearly 70 of these spires or “sand pipes” which are remnants of once active geysers that filled with sediments and solidified over time. I suppose this park might be what Yellowstone may look like one day…

We also passed a sign denoting a formation called the Hat Shop but after looking around a bit we couldn’t really understand why. Next up was a small Indian Cave that had some interesting hand marks etched into the nearby sandstone. I assume these are more modern and had little to do with Indians but were interesting anyhow. Then when came up to a small loop to the Secret Passage which took us into a small slot canyon then ended. Just before it ended we came across what we decided must be the secret passage as it appeared as if there was an "open sesame" type secret door in the sandstone cliff. Not being able to get in we moved on…


We saw lots of cool rock formations in this park and along this loop. There were even some neat looking “teepee” shaped formations that I can’t even imagine how they were formed. Next up on the trail was a loop over to Cool Cave. We had no real desire to see the cave but we dropped our bikes and hiked a mile or so down the trail since it was right at the base of a beautiful red rock sheer cliff. We walked to the end of the cliff formation and  then turned back to retrieve our bikes.


Another spur to Panorama Point was next on the trail but since we were getting fatigued due to the biking we opted to forego this spur. Before long we had biked and walked back to the start of the trail feeling pretty whipped. It is a nice trail but I would recommend hiking rather than biking as it would be a much easier hike.


After we packed up the bikes we took  a couple of very short hikes to do the nature trail and to see the Shakespeare Arch. One neat thing we saw on the nature trail was a bee hive complete with honeycomb in a crack in one of the larger sand pipes on the trail. What a neat little home those bees made for themselves… The arch was reachable by walking a relative easy 1/3 mile where we stopped to snap a few photos and moved on… Another great day we had in this Red Rock country…


  1. Thanks for showing me what I didn't get to see at Kodachrome Basin. It saddens me that my hiking days may be over.

  2. This is a neat place that is often forgotten. We visited for the day when we were at Bryce but rain prior and during our visit made our hiking short. We are looking forward to returning and seeing the entire area, especially the Grosvenor Arch. The wet clay road kept us from getting all the way even with the Jeep. Looks like you had a great day...congratulations on doing the biking/hiking combo:)

  3. Cool place next time in Utah we will stay longer and visit a couple more state parks.

  4. More excellent pictures, you had a good workout today as well.