You’ll find a lot of things to do at Kodachrome Basin State Park in Utah.
This location made our bucket list of Utah State Parks due to it’s unique landscape. You can hike among hoodoos, explore trails by horseback, and practice your photography skills in a place with no shortage of incredible scenes!
Looking to experience some of the most mesmerizing rock formations you’ll find in the West – without the crowds that accompany the more well-known spots…
Then check out Kodachrome Basin State Park located 20 miles southeast from Bryce Canyon National Park.
Keep reading to find all the things to see, do, and photograph regardless of the time of year you choose to visit.
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Why Visit Kodachrome Basin State Park?
You’ll see 67 monolithic stone spires at Kodachrome Basin State Park. Sometimes called sedimentary pipes, these awe-inspiring structures rise straight from the desert floor. If you love unique landscapes and geological features, Kodachrome Basin State Park will not disappoint.
Another reason to visit? It’s convenient! If you’re visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, plan a few hours to see this cool place. It’s definitely a fun side trip!
You’ll find plenty of amenities including a visitor center, modern campground, restrooms, showers, and more. It’s easy to access – and even easier to enjoy.
Best Time to Visit Kodachrome Basin State Park
While there’s truly no bad time to visit Kodachrome Basin State Park, you’re going to have the best experience planning your trip in the late spring or fall when the temperatures are more moderate.
The weather in southern Utah is very unpredictable and can change rapidly, with very little warning. Plan ahead, check the forecast for the dates you’ll arrive, and be prepared for any type of weather
Spring: April, May and early June you’ll find the daytime temperatures warm. Nighttime temperatures can drop into the 20s. In April there’s still a chance of snow. Winds are possible throughout the spring season. It’s all about layers in the spring: wicking, quick-drying clothing: underclothes, UV shirts, pants or shorts and a fleece jacket.
Summer: Late June, July, August are the hottest months at the park. Daytime highs are 90 to 100 degrees F, and lows drop into the 50s. Summer monsoon thunderstorms happen at any time and will produce heavy downpours, extreme winds, dangerous lightning and flash flooding. In the summer you’ll want sun protection: lip balm with UV protection, sunscreen, UV sunglasses, and a brimmed sun hat,
Fall: Late September and early October you’ll enjoy warm days and cool nights. Highs will be in the 70s and lows in the 30s. In November it begins to really cool down and snow becomes a possibility. This is another time of year that layers and a fleece jacket are good to pack.
Winter: December through March is cold and snowy at the park. Highs are in the 30s and lows near or below zero. Heavy snow can happen at any time, making it hard to participate in outdoor activities. Roads may be impassable or closed due to bad weather. Current conditions are posted on the website, but it’s recommended to call ahead to get more information.
Best Things to Do at Kodachrome Basin State Park
Kodachrome Basin State Park is an outdoor-lover’s paradise. With stunning views, plenty of trails to explore, excellent camping opportunities, and more, it’s easy to see why so many people choose to make a stop at Kodachrome.
Camping at Kodachrome Basin State Park
Camping is an excellent way to experience Kodachrome Basin State Park. Whether you choose to camp for a single night or spend a few days in the area, you’ll find plenty of solid spots to pitch your tent – plus all the amenities you need to make your stay comfortable.
There are three different campgrounds at Kodachrome Basin State Park, with reservable and first-come-first-serve spots. There are spaces for tent camping, as well as RV’s, and even a few group campsites for those looking to travel with friends or family.
Do a bit of research on the three campgrounds before you make your choice; each offers different amenities and conveniences. You’ll find flush toilets and showers at Basin Campground, but vault toilets and no showers at Bryce View Campground.
Hiking at Kodachrome Basin State Park
There are a number of different hiking trails at Kodachrome:
- Angel’s Palace Trail – This easy 1.4 mile loop offers a number of different vantage points for capturing amazing photos of the landscape and is suitable for explorers of all ages and fitness levels.
- Panorama Trail – The longest trail within the park, this 6 mile hike offers a number of different options. There are several different spurs and loops to explore, each offering something worth seeing. You’ll find a few of the park’s most recognizable landmarks along this trail, including the Hat Shop and the Ballerina Spire.
- Grand Parade Trail – Depending on the time of year you visit, this 2 mile trail is perfect for bird-watchers, wildflower-lovers, and photographers. It’s mostly flat, making it a good choice for all fitness levels.
- Sentinel Trail – This 1.6 mile loop was once well-loved for Shakespeare Arch, a well-known landmark along the way. However, this arch collapsed in April 2019, leaving the hike a little less exciting than before .
Regardless of which hike you choose, it’s important to be prepared! Dress for the season and the weather, bring plenty of sunscreen, and stay hydrated.
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Best Cameras for Hiking
Horseback Riding at Kodachrome Basin State Park
Looking for a fun and memorable way to experience the park? Consider seeing it on horseback! Red Canyon Trail Rides is a local company that offers one- or two-hour guided horseback rides along Panorama Trail. Led by an experienced guide, one of these horseback rides can be a one-of-a-kind experience you’ll remember forever. No horseback experience required – these trails are perfect for beginners.
Mountain Biking at Kodachrome Basin State Park
Want to experience Kodachrome Basin State Park from a different kind of saddle? Many of the park’s trails are open for mountain biking. Most trails don’t offer too much elevation gain, making this a great choice for beginners and experienced mountain bikers alike.
You can bring your own bike, or take advantage of one of several mountain bike rental services in the area.
Photography at Kodachrome Basin State Park
There are endless views to photograph in this stunning state park – just look at the name. The vibrant colors found in this natural landscape inspired its name in the 1940’s and was inspired by the brilliance of the colors captured on – you guessed it – Kodachrome film.
You’ll find stunning scenes to photograph regardless of which trail you choose to hike, so don’t forget to bring your camera along while exploring the park.
- Basic Photography Techniques
- Camera Gear Checklist for Travel Photography
- Best Cameras for Landscape Photography
- Best Lightweight Travel Tripods
Stargazing at Kodachrome Basin State Park
If you like to stargaze, you’re in luck. Kodachrome Basin State Park is an official International Dark Sky Park, which makes it one of the best places in the world for viewing the night sky. Thanks to its location, there’s limited light pollution here, so you’ll have a spectacular view of the stars, the planets, and maybe even the Milky Way!
Whether you prefer to stargaze with your own two eyes, look above through a telescope, or set up your camera for some stunning long-exposure shots, one thing’s certain – the night sky here certainly will not disappoint.
Where to Stay Near Kodachrome State Park
- Campgrounds at Kodachrome
- Hotels Near Kodachrome State Park
- Cabins Near Kodachrome State Park
- Vacation Rentals Near Kodachrome
- Free Camping Sites Near Kodachrome