Utah’s Kodachrome Basin State Park

After our stay at Bryce Canyon in 1994 we decided to visit nearby Kodachrome Basin State Park before driving to Zion National Park. Kodachrome Basin is about 20 miles southeast of Bryce Canyon and about seven miles south of Highway 12 at Cannonville.

An example of the rocks and flora of Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Click on any photo to see a larger version of that photo.

In 1948 a bunch of National Geographic employees led by writer / photographer Jack Breed descended on a generally unexplored area just south of Bryce Canyon National Park to create a story and photos that would appear in the September 1949 issue of the magazine. They called the area Kodachrome Flat because that was the film they were using. The area became a state park in 1962 and was initially called Chimney Rock State Park but the name was changed to Kodachrome Basin State Park a few years later after the Kodak corporation gave permission to use their brand name.

The red rock of Kodachrome Basin State Park.

The colors of the rocks are rather dull in the middle of the day but turn brilliant reds and yellows at sunrise and sunset.

The rocks are in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

There are 67 chimneys / spires / pinnacles / pipes — I even heard someone call them “stone-cicles! — in the park.

Shakespeare Arch.

There are 27 camping sites and a host of trails that you can explore either on foot or on horseback. We walked up a short trail to Shakespeare Arch and drove down a dirt road to inspect the original Chimney Rock, for which the park was once named.

Chimney Rock in 1994 looked about the same as the photo in the September 1949 National Geographic.

This scene is just a short distance from Chimney Rock.

Most of the trees in the park are juniper or pinion pine but I preferred to photograph the occasional ancient bristlecone pine.

Great Basin Bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva).

The Great Basin Bristlecone Pine can be found in both Bryce Canyon and Kodachrome Basin.

The Great Basin Bristlecone Pine is among the oldest living things in the world.

There are two other ways of getting to Kodachrome Basin State Park: one is a dirt road north from Page, Arizona and the other is also a dirt road west from the Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument.

The cliffs way in the distance are in Bryce Canyon National Park.

After our visit to Kodachrome Basin State Park we drove back to Highway 12 at Cannonville and continued on our trip north and west on Highway 12 and then south on US 89 to Zion National Park which will be the subject of my next posting.





About crowcanyonjournal

I am a family man with interests in family history, photography, history and travel.
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10 Responses to Utah’s Kodachrome Basin State Park

  1. kzmcbride says:

    Wow the colors are amazing. Do you use an SLR camera or your phone?

  2. panhirsch says:

    Amazing structures and great photos.

  3. Peter Klopp says:

    Exceptional images taken in kodachrome! Ilke the chimney photo best

    • I have a tendency to over-contrast when I post-process in Lightroom. But this slide was damaged from 20 years of sitting in a Kodak carousal tray and many scratches showed up in the sky area when I added contrast. So I removed the contrast (pushed the contrast slider all the way to the left) for the entire photo and then added the contrast back in for just the rock with an adjustment brush.

  4. Amy says:

    Amazing shots of the majesty of these rocks! Thank you for the tour. 🙂

  5. Pingback: MM 3-49 Bristlecone Pine | Crow Canyon Journal

  6. Grace says:

    I missed this park on our visit to this side of the country. Thank you for sharing this. Now I have one more place to add on our next trip back there.

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