At 5,800 feet, Kodachrome Basin State Park is a natural geological wonder, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city in gorgeous southern Utah. This colorful park with jutting spires of sandstone, majestic arches, and red stone desert terrain was named for the color landscape shortly after becoming a state park in 1962. It was initially named Chimney Rock State Park for a brief time, due to the unique chimney look of its monolithic stones rising high above the rocky landscape.
Geologists speculate that Kodachrome Basin was once home to geysers and hot springs, much like Yellowstone National Park. The almost 2,500 acres in this canyon are considered desert country, but despite this distinction, the park is filled with a variety of wildlife. Visitors come from miles around to photograph the wildlife as well as the stunning scenery. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding are all popular draws to the park, but so are the dark skies, where amateur astronomers come to view a star-show like no other. There's something for everyone at this spectacular geological phenomenon.
The park is open year-round but as hot as it gets in the summer, expect snowy winter days in the off-season. The gorgeous 160-foot sand pipes and red rock formations pose a sharp contrast to the snowy landscape in winter and are perfect for photographing. Whether you come in winter, spring, summer, or fall, you won't be disappointed, so pack up the camper and make this park your next RV destination.
Located in southern Utah, Kodachrome Basin State Park is an easy drive from the bordering states. Just four hours northeast of Las Vegas, three hours south of Provo, and three hours north of the Arizona border near Page, it's easy to get to this park from several major interstates. It's only 30 minutes southeast of Bryce, Utah, where many campers go for supplies, rentals, or just to take a break to enjoy some restaurant cuisine.
Some small side roads are gravel, but the main roads are paved. Roads within the park are perfect for scenic driving and do not have sharp turns, so bring your large RV and see this spectacular landscape firsthand.
Once in the park, there is ample parking and room to maneuver large RVs through the area. Many of the campgrounds offer pull-through as well as back-in spots with extra parking.
Located near the basin with gorgeous views of sandpipes, this campground offers 13 RV spots with full hookups, 18 standard sites, and one double-site that can be reserved online. RVs up to 50 feet in length are welcome at this campground. Toilets and showers are nearby. Generators may be used between 12 and 4 PM, leashed domestic pets are welcome. This campground is closed between December and February, opening the first of March for the season.
Open year-round, this campground offers 11 RV sites that can accommodate rigs up to 20 feet long. With excellent views of the canyon and amenities such as fire rings, potable water, and picnic tables at each site, you'll enjoy a comfortable stay on your RV vacation. Vault toilets and showers are within walking distance. Only four residents per site are allowed in this campground and leashed domestic pets are allowed.
Located near the visitor center, this park features six RV sites with water and electric service that can take RVs and trailers up to 25 feet in length. These sites can accommodate up to eight people per site. Fire rings, picnic tables, and vault toilets are available and pets are welcome. Campers can shower at the Basin Campground. Enjoy the stone arches and quiet serenity at this campground.
Kodachrome State Park offers a 100-foot long campsite with stunning desert views. This tent-only group site holds up to 35 people and ten vehicles on a paved pad. Fire rings, picnic tables, and BBQ grills are provided for your convenience. Restrooms are within walking distance, and showers are available at the Basin Campground. Guests should observe quiet hours within the park.
The Kodachrome Basin State Park campgrounds hold a few sites open for first-come, first-served campers. Spaces are limited, and if you have a large RV, you may not want to take a chance. No matter which campground you park your campervan in, you'll be able to enjoy the amenities of the nearby campgrounds.
Hiking in Kodachrome Basin State Park is so popular because of the amazing backdrop of the red rock canyon and monolithic spires surrounding every one of its six short trails. For a quick and easy nature walk, check out the quarter-mile Kodachrome Nature Trail and learn about the local ecology. Angel's Palace Trail is perfect for a moderate level trek among the wildflowers at 1.4 miles. Take the Panorama Loop Long Trail at 5.8 miles for more of a challenge, and make sure to bring your camera, no matter which trail you choose.
The park offers horse rentals and guided trail rides from Red Canyon Trail Rides inside the park. Schedule a guided ride along the Panorama Trail and enjoy a picnic lunch among the majestic sandstone spires before heading back to the camp for a night of stargazing. The guides will take you through the history of the park and show you sights you won't soon forget. You'll stop frequently to photograph the gorgeous scenery along the way. Choose from one or two hour guided rides, and stop by the park office for information.
Mountain biking is a great way to see the area. Many cyclists enjoy the Kodachrome Basin Full Loop Trail because of its hilly terrain and shady cave stops along the way, where cyclists can cool off before heading up the next incline. These aren't actual caves, but the sandstone arches form a cave-like structure offering a shady respite for tired riders. The Big Geyser Trail boasts a 71-foot ascent along this two-mile trail. Trails in the basin are a mix of sandy trails and hard-packed dirt, so inexperienced mountain bikers should be aware that sliding and skidding is possible in some areas.
Kodachrome Basin State Park is known for its dark skies and lack of light pollution because of its distance from any major city. In fact, southern Utah is considered one of the darkest sky areas in the entire continental United States. The conditions are just right to make the stars pop. Visitors to the park often organize stargazing parties and come in large groups to watch the stars come out together. Occasionally, the park will sponsor an event to view the star show. Late summer and early fall are particularly good times to see constellations due to the tilt of the earth at that time.
With the unique landscape of this park, it's no wonder that photographers, both amateur and professional, frequent the park all year-round to shoot the unbelievable natural beauty of the location. You don't have to be a professional to take world-class photos at this park. All you have to do is point and shoot because there is stunning beauty in virtually every direction you look. However, you'll want to bring your nicest lens for this trip as these photo opportunities don't present themselves at just any state park. So, pack up your camera equipment in the motorhome and head to the park for an authentic Kodachrome experience.
The geocaching phenomenon is sweeping the nation because it's such a fun way to get out in nature at any time of year. You can start your geocaching expedition by going online for coordinates where you can find a hidden cache in the park during your RV stay. After you download the coordinates, test your navigation skills and start hunting. When you find your hidden cache, make sure to replace it in its exact location for the next hunter. Post your find online and discuss your experiences with other adventurers.