The Bryce Canyon Series… Kodachrome Basin State Park— and a Movie Star

I start our Bryce Canyon National Park series today. Like we did with Zion National Park, Peggy and I explored other parts of the Park and the surrounding area as well as the four miles of Bryce Canyon that most tourists visit. I am starting today with Kodachrome Basin State Park. From here, I will move on to Red Canyon, Mossy Cave, Highway 12, and Escalante National Monument. I’ll finish with two posts on Bryce Canyon. The message is the same as it was with Zion: There are several other areas outside of the main tourist area that are equally beautiful and worthy of a visit while being far less crowded.

Kodachrome Basin State Park has lots of red rocks. And some interesting characters. What famous movie star does this remind you of? He is a bit hairy, has a thing for blondes, and likes to climb tall buildings.

Peggy and I stayed at a campground in the small town of Cannonville, Utah on Highway 12 for our exploration of the Bryce Canyon area— miles away from the crowds of the National Park. Kodachrome Basin State Park was just down the road from us. It received its name in 1948 when a National Geographic team explored the area and decided the basin reminded them of Kodachrome film. If you are old enough to remember when photography meant film instead of digital images, you may remember that Kodachrome was a special film designed by Kodak to bring out the red in photos. There are a lot of red rocks in the area— thus the name.

I decided that black and white might be a better way to render the look-alike movie star above. In my mind, it is definitely King Kong. Peggy agrees.
We decided this might be the skull of King Kong’s cousin.

Actually, we saw much more than red rocks and giant apes in the Park.

Photo of white rocks along road into Kodachrome Basin by Curt Mekemson.
This white rock formation was on the road into Kodachrome Basin State Park…
Photo of white rock sculpture taken by Curt Mekemson on the road into Utah's Kodachrome Basin State Park.
Plus this gorgeous white rock sculpture.
Photo of Kodachrome Basin State Park taken by Curt Mekemson.
Our first view of Kodachrome Basin State Park promised that we were in for a treat. We were not disappointed.
Photo of Rocks at the beginning of Kodachrome Basin State Park taken by Curt Mekemson.
These two large rocks were located at the entrance to the Park, like guardians.
Photo of rock guardian at the entrance to Kodachrome Basin State Park by Peggy Mekemson.
Given its face, I thought of this rock specifically as the Guardian of the Park. It was the back of the rock on the right that held the surprise, however. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Photo of sedimentary pipe in Kodachrome Basin State Park taken by Peggy Mekemson.
An unusual white pillar shot straight up from the red rock. Turns out that they are found throughout the Park. The rocks are known as sedimentary pipes but the jury is still out as to what creates them. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Photo of white sedimentary pipe at beginning of Kodachrome Park taken by Curt Mekemson.
I took a closer photo of the finger-like projection.
Photo of sandstone spire in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Peggy Mekemson.
There were also sandstone spires created by the more normal process of erosion. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Photo of Kodachrome State Park spires and stone monuments in a row. Photo by Curt Mekemson.
A number of the red sandstone spires and other rocks were in a row. I show some of them here. They were probably part of the same formation before erosion wore them down.
Photo of spire with caprice in Kodachrome Casin State Park in Utah by Peggy Mekemson.
This spire still sported its caprock. I loved the color on the rock to the right. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Photo of hoodoo in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Peggy Mekemson.
There were also hoodoos found throughout the park like the one on the left. Expect many more in my other posts on Bryce Canyon and other parks in the area. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Photo of Kodachrome State Park Trail by Peggy Mekemson.
A number of trails lead into the park. This is the one we chose to hike.
Photograph of rock sculpture on Angels Palace Trail in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Curt Mekemson.
The trail wandered among the red rocks shown above and then shot up a steep but short wall. We came around a rock and discovered another hoodoo.
Photo of stone sculpture in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Curt Mekemson.
It was a handsome rock…
Large sedimentary chimney in Kodachrome Basin State Park. Photo by Curt Mekemson.
A big fellow…
Photo of colorful rock in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Curt Mekemson.
And colorful. I took a photo from the other side shooting straight up, and caught some of the rock’s color.
Photo of multi-colored rock in Kodachrome Basin State Park taken by Peggy Mekemson.
Peggy’s photo on our return trip caught the color even more. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Photo of slender, white sedimentary chimney in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Peggy Mekemson.
There were many other things to see along the trail. Peggy caught this photo of a tall, slender, sedimentary chimney. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Photo of stubby sedimentary chimney in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Peggy Mekemson.
And a short, stubby one. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Photo of red sandstone rocks in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Curt Mekemson.
I took photos of red sandstone rocks…
Photo of red boulders in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Curt Mekemson.
And more sandstone rocks…
Photo of juniper in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Curt Mekemson.
I found a small juniper that I felt looked like a Japanese bonsai.
Photo of wood sculpture along Angel's Trail in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Curt Mekemson.
And, a twisted wood sculpture…
Photo of towering rock and massive cliff along Angels Place Trail in Kodachrome Basin State park by Curt Mekemson.
Finally we came to a steep drop off, towering rocks and a massive cliff that signified the end of the trail.
We weren’t any more willing to climb up the cliff than we were willing to drop into the canyon. Grin.
Photo of cliffs at the end Of Angel's Palace Trail in Kodachrome Basin State Park by Peggy Mekemson.
Peggy took a close up. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I took a similar photo that I rendered into black and white.
Other trails in the park promised many more opportunities for exploration. Unfortunately, we had run out of time for the day.
Photograph of Kodachrome Basin State Park in Utah by Curt Mekemson.
I took a final photo of the park before heading on to our next adventure.

Next Friday I will feature Red Canyon, which in some ways matches Bruce Canon for sheer beauty and fantastic hoodoos. You won’t want to miss it.

Meanwhile, we wrapped up our Rhine River cruise. Here’s another teaser. We were wandering through Germany’s Black Forest when we came across this donkey at a historic farm museum.

Donkey. I found him very photogenic.