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Overview

Colorful cliffs and strange-looking rock pillars surround the valley floor at Kodachrome Basin. The rock pillars (also known as "sand pipes") range in height from six to nearly 170 feet, and their geologic origin is a bit of a mystery. No matter how they were formed, they make a fascinating and colorful backdrop to visits here; the colors of the sandstone pipes and cliff walls change with the time of day and the weather. Indeed, the rich and constantly changing hues are responsible for the park's name: in 1949 a National Geographic photographer using the then-experimental Kodak film featured the park and gained Kodak's permission to use the ...

Colorful cliffs and strange-looking rock pillars surround the valley floor at Kodachrome Basin. The rock pillars (also known as "sand pipes") range in height from six to nearly 170 feet, and their geologic origin is a bit of a mystery. No matter how they were formed, they make a fascinating and colorful backdrop to visits here; the colors of the sandstone pipes and cliff walls change with the time of day and the weather. Indeed, the rich and constantly changing hues are responsible for the park's name: in 1949 a National Geographic photographer using the then-experimental Kodak film featured the park and gained Kodak's permission to use the film's name. In good weather, drive the dirt road 10 miles to Grosvenor Arch, a soaring double arch spanning nearly 100 feet across. Kodachrome Basin is not far from Bryce Canyon National Park, and with its lower elevation and relative lack of crowds, can be a good camping alternative when Bryce is still snowy in the springtime or too crowded in the summer.

Judy Jewell
About the Expert

Judy Jewell and W.C. McRae are frequent collaborators: together they have written Moon Handbooks to Montana, Utah, and Zion-Bryce and updated the Moon Handbooks to Oregon and Coastal Oregon. Judy wrote the Compass American Guide to Oregon.

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Judy Jewell for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring