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Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Kodachrome Basin

June 23


The Kodachrome Basin is a small, popular Utah State Park situated a few miles south of UT 12 due east of Bryce Canyon, and reached by a paved road. The park contains eroded, multicolored rock formations in various shades of red, yellow, pink, white and brown; together with the (usually) deep blue sky and occasional green vegetation this combination led the National Geographical Society to name the area, with the consent of the Kodak Film Corp. The one unique feature of the park is the presence of many spires or 'chimneys' of rock, known as sand pipes, which are thought to be solidified sediment that filled ancient springs or geysers, left standing after the softer surrounding Entrada sandstone rock weathered away.
Exploring: All trails and features can be explored in less than one day. The best place to see the sand pipes and other formations is the Grand Parade along the park road, and two easy footpaths wind through the nearby rocks. The road ends at a 27 site campground, where the short but rather steep and narrow Eagles View Trail begins. This climbs 460 feet to a pass at the top of the cliffs encircling the basin and offers the best overall views. Another longer route is the Panorama Trail, a 3 mile loop past more pipes to another good viewpoint from where a continuation path heads further west to the site of an old geyser. An unpaved road forks east from near the ranger residence, with two branches, one leading to Chimney Rock - the largest sand pipe in the park, and the other towards Shakespeare Arch.










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