April 11, 2018

Kodachrome Basin State Park

by Steve W

After spending the day at Capitol Reef National Park, we stayed the night in the tiny town of Torrey, Utah. Our hotel was the only one open, and luckily they had a restaurant that served dinner and breakfast. We had read that snow was expected the next afternoon, so we got up early to try to beat it on our way to Bryce Canyon. Despite our efforts, we ran into a snow storm about 20 miles outside Torrey and had to turn back. Since this was the off season, there was plenty of room at the hotel and we stayed another night.

The next day, although it had snowed all day the day before, the roads had been plowed and were mostly clear, so we proceeded on the road to Bryce. Shortly before we got there, we saw signs for Kodachrome Basin State Park and decided to take a look. The park got its name from the National Geographic Society, and due to the color and beauty of the stone formations it was named after the Kodak film that was the standard in those days. You remember film cameras, don't you?

Upon entering the park on a cold and overcast day, we drove along the main road until we saw a sign for some short hiking trails. Although we saw another car in an adjoining parking lot, we never saw another person in the park that day. The benefits of the off season strike again!

The different colors of the canyon walls represent different time periods in the development of the canyons. Looking like a layer cake, some of these different sandstone layers date back over 180 million years.

One of the unique features of this park is the stone spires called sedimentary pipes. Seemingly jutting out of nowhere, they offer many opportunities for off color jokes, none of which will be mentioned here.

While taking a hiking trail, we crossed over some gullies and washes where, if it had been raining, water from the neighboring hillsides would have made it impossible to cross. These flash floods are what continue to carve into the landscape and create these amazing scenes.

And although we didn't see animals, there was evidence they had been there.

Sometimes, we would come across a huge stone sculpture, standing apart from anything else.

And sometimes, we would see evidence of nature still working on eroding the earth and creating things of beauty.

Although not as large as the other parks we had seen, this, too, had features unlike anything we had seen before (or would see in the future). A side trip well worth taking.

On to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Note: We were here in February.

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