Utah State Parks Blog

Park of the Week: Kodachrome Basin State Park

With red tinged rock formations and incredible blue skies, Kodachrome Basin State Park is an area just begging to be photographed. The breathtaking monolithic sedimentary pipes – also known as chimneys – rise high into the ski; natures natural skyscraper.

Kodachrome - Grand Parade enhanced

Kodachrome Basin State Park

The state park first got its name following a 1948 National Geographic Society exploration, where the park’s stunning landscape of contrasting colors inspired society photographers to nickname the area “Kodachrome Flat,” after the name of the newly released photo film from Kodak.

There are 67 “chimneys” in total, ranging anywhere from six-feet-tall, all the way up to 170 feet. These natural towers stand like stone sentries overlooking the park and create a backdrop that is sure to delight the senses and spark the imagination. There are two prevailing theories about how the pipes came to be.

The first, is that the area was seismically active for many years, and earthquakes assisted in creating pathways through overlying rock layers. These paths filled with sediment, and became harder than the surrounding rock, allowing them to withstand the years of erosion.

Kodachrome Basin State Park

Kodachrome Basin State Park

In the second theory, the pipes are remnant of ancient springs which became chocked up with sediments; cementing the sediments together into a more erosion-resist rock. When the softer outside rock layers eroded away, these hard cemented pipes remained.

While it is true photography lovers have an absolute ball at Kodachrome Basin, those who enjoy other outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, or wildlife watching can rest-assured they have plenty of recreation opportunities available as well.

Hiking trails at Kodachrome Basin span in difficulty from easy to strenuous. Not only are do these trails allow spectacular views to hikers, but they also allow you to explore some geological areas such as the Cool Cave, Secret Passage and The Hat Shop.

Kodachrome Basin sports 31 campsites on site. Some sites close during winter months, while other full-hook up sites are open all year-round.

So, what are you waiting for? Come stop by Kodachrome Basin State Park!

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