Monday, March 16, 2015

Kodachrome Basin State Park, Utah - Hiking

The winter has been non-existent is Salt Lake City for the past couple of months and I have been enjoying the spring-like weather by hiking and biking locally instead of making trips to southern Utah for warmth.  This past weekend, however, Roger and I decided to check out Kodachrome Basin State Park in southwest  Utah to enjoy some new scenery and take advantage of the perfect weather conditions.  We left Salt Lake on Friday afternoon and made it to the campground in Kodachrome Basin just before sunset.  I reserved site 15, a good choice with privacy and views, but we found the campground nearly empty when we arrived.  This won't be the case in another week or two - it is a popular place!

Camping at Kodachrome Basin State Park

Sunset from camp

After a frosty night, the sunshine warmed us up as we made breakfast on Saturday morning.  We decided to hike the Panorama Trail, a 6 mile loop within the park, that included sites like Secret Passage and Cool Cave.  We saw only one other person on the trail and enjoyed the solitude and interesting rock formations for a few hours before heading back to camp to relax in the sun.

Panorama Trail

Panorama Trail

Roger enjoying the views

Cool Cave

View from Panorama Point

Around sunset, we decided to hike the Angel's Palace trail that began near the campground and climbed up and around the surrounding hills.  This was the highlight of our time in the park and the evening light on the rock formations was spectacular.

Enjoying the sunset on Angel's Palace Trail

Angel's Palace Trail

Sunset on Angel's Palace Trail

Angel's Palace Trail

Kodachrome Basin State Park at sunset

After breaking down camp on Sunday morning, we made our way to adjacent Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument via the Cottonwood Canyon Road.  Our first stop was the spectacular Grosvenor Arch.  Easily accessed from Cottonwoods Canyon Road, this double arch of white stone really stands out against a clear blue sky.

Grosvenor Arch

Grosvenor Arch

We continued south along the Cottonwood Canyon Road and stopped at the north trail head for the Cottonwood Canyon narrows.  The trail quickly drops into the wash and the walls of the canyon narrow up, providing a nice hike through an area that gets little use.  A couple of miles down the canyon, the trail emerges at the south trail head for Cottonwood Canyon narrows.  This trail head had a register and permits for overnight use.  We walked up the road to reach the car at the north trail head, enjoying some interesting and colorful rock formations along with way.

Cottonwood Canyon Narrows

South trail head for Cottonwood Canyon Narrows

Along Cottonwood Canyon Road

The unpaved Cottonwood Canyon road eventually joins up with highway 89, where we headed west towards the town on Kanab.  Along the way, we made a side trip to the old Pahreah town site where little remains except a parking lot and some picnic tables.  The colorful banded cliffs surrounding the site are worth the visit.  After enjoy some quiet desert time at this site, we headed through Kanab and then back north to Salt Lake to finish up a fantastic and relaxing weekend in the sun.

Old Pahreah town site

Old Pahreah town site