Sunday, January 16, 2011

Kodachrome Basin State Park - Utah

Another beautiful state park off of the beaten path in Utah is Kodachrome Basin State Park. This park is located on the Colorado Plateau, which covers much of the Four Corners Area. It can be reached from Scenic Byway 12 and Canyonville, and is a nine mile trip down a paved road. We did this trip in a rental car which had no problems whatsoever.

Why should you visit? There are rock formations seen here that you will see nowhere else in the world. There are almost 70 spires, called pipes, that jut up from the red rock formations. Geologists aren't sure as to how these pipes formed, but there many theories. One of the main ones is that there were ancient springs which were full of sediment. The sediment cemented together and became more erosion resistant than the surrounding rock. Therefore, the part around the pipe crumbled away leaving these monolithic spires standing.

You can easily see these pipes from the roads in the park, or you can choose one of the many hikes available, ranging from easy to difficult. We hiked the Shakespeare Arch trail which was a shorter easier hike to see the only large natural arch in the park and made our way to the Sentinel, one of the larger pipes. At this point the trail became markedly more difficult and for time sake, we opted to turn around. Upon this trek we found several beautiful mineral specimens on the ground as well, including a piece of gypsum the size of my fist.

The price in summer of 2010 was $6 per car, a small payment to see some of nature's oddest and most beautiful rock formations.

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