Kodachrome Basin is a 2,240-acre state park in Utah. The main attraction of the park is its 67 free-standing rock spires. Many of the spires have shapes that stir the imagination like clouds in the sky. This photo shows one of the park’s most famous spires, “Fred Flintstone.” Do you see the resemblance? I yabba-dabba-do!
There are three theories as to how the spires were formed, but they all involve material being solidified into hard rock, and the surrounding softer material eroding away, leaving these tall pillars of rock. This photo shows the elegant “Ballerina,” which stands over 100 feet tall.
The sandstone walls are so soft that park visitors have made their own hand-print pictographs over time simply by rubbing their fingers on the rock wall.
The white layer of gypsum was deposited by an inland sea 180 million years ago. The red layer of sandstone was deposited 140 million years ago in the Jurassic period and is what you see across much of Utah. These colors combine to produce a beautiful mosaic that led a National Geographic Team to nickname this region “Kodachrome” on a 1948 photographic expedition. The Kodak Corporation gave the park permission to use the name of its popular brand of film.
As usual, we sought a high spot for lunch, climbing up on a ridge in an area known as the Hat Shop.
Darby and Shadow check out more spires in the Hat Shop.
There is a bowl nestled in the mountain known as the Secret Passage.
Can you see a brave Indian chief in this cliff?
The Cool Cave is aptly named not only because it’s a cool respite from the hot desert sun, but it’s also an awesome destination. It’s not really a cave, but rather a giant bowl with a cracked “lid”.
Mammoth Geyser is the largest spire in the park and stands 170 feet tall. Can you see little ol’ me standing just to the right?
Big Bear Geyser juts out the top of a ridge. It’s like a Yellowstone water geyser frozen in time.
I will leave this one to your imagination.
We found a terrific dispersed camping spot in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument earlier in the day. When we arrived back at our RV after hiking in Kodachrome, we discovered that we had a front-row view of the state park!
And that’s one of the reasons we love to hike the parks. It’s one thing to see these geologic wonders from a distance. But it’s a much more fulfilling experience to actually walk through a park and see & touch its features up close. This way we gain a better appreciation for their size and beauty. For example, just an hour earlier I was standing next to Mammoth Geyser (see photo above). And so now as I gaze upon it from miles away, I have a greater understanding of its grand scale and fortitude as it stands alone in the canyon.