Southern Utah is just chock a block full of gorgeous red rock and one of my favorite places to get up close and personal with it has to be Kodachrome Basin. It’s a short, scenic and easy drive from Bryce Canyon, only about 20 miles.
Kodachrome Basin contains many multi-colored rock formations of red, yellow, pink, white and brown, as well as massive sandstone chimney spires geologists believe to be solidified sediment that filled ancient springs or geysers left standing after the softer surrounding sandstone eroded away. In a setting of clear blue skies and Great Basin Desert vegetation, the National Geographic Society, with the consent of the Kodak Film Corp., named the area Kodachrome Basin, in honor to the now legendary slide film.
I arrived in early afternoon, and after taking the customary cruise around the camp ground and speaking with the ranger, decided to set up camp and spend a few days. The camping fee was a very reasonable $15 for a tent site, and included hot showers in the roomy and immaculate bathroom. There is quite a bit of road in the park along the valley floor as well as miles of hiking and horse trails. After setting up camp, I grabbed my camera gear and headed for the Angels Palace Trail (photos below).
After the campfire finally died out, I was treated to the spectacular sight of billions of stars overhead. Light pollution is extremely low here and a real treat for any stargazer. I also got up predawn to see the near-full moon light up the valley floor and surrounding cliffs.Chilly,(mid March), but so worth it. Absolutely unforgettable.
The following morning I headed out to complete the loop of the Panorama Trail. It’s about 3 miles and highlights include the Ballerina Slipper, and Chimney Rock. From Panorama Point, you have spectacular 360 degree views of the Escalante/Grand Staircase National Monument and can actually see the rim of Bryce Canyon quite clearly, even though it’s twenty miles away!
I also took some shots with a camera that has been altered to”see” infrared…It’s fun to play with the possibilities when converting IR files, there’s lots of leeway in the process. The gallery below shows some of the variations…