Third Utah State Park in a day… don’t worry about it!
Boomer and I arrived at the entrance of Kodachrome Basin State Park and briefly chatted with the park attendant. I asked for information on flash flooding and what roads were closed. He informed us that the road to The Governor’s Arch was not open… another side effect of the rain and unfortunately a spot I had wanted to visit.
We drove into the park, taking the long and straight road that ended in a loop by the campground. As we pulled around the loop, taking in the sandstone scenery, it reminded me of the Badlands National Park in South Dakota. All the different colored layers of orange, tan and browns highlighting the age of the formations dating from 180 million to 95 million years ago.
I found a parking lot near a few trailheads and examined the list of trails carefully as I am a novice hiker.
I selected for our first hike Angel’s Palace Trail. It was an easy to moderate 1.5 mile (2.4 km) hike with a 150 feet (46 m) elevation gain. This trail was also identified as an excellent place for photographers – perfect as I love taking photos!
Boomer and I set off into the canyon and I suddenly had images of flash flooding in my mind. Although there was not a cloud in the sky I could not help but be on alert as we had been dodging potential flooding situations all week and now we were hiking in a canyon!
Once we reached the top I could clearly see why it was described as a great place for photographers. With a wide unobstructed view, this spot gave you a perfect view of the park as well as Grand Staircase Escalante.
It was a pretty good hike. A few difficult spots as the rain had probably washed away part of the trail, but I had Boomer to hold on to while navigating the tougher spots. He’s good for catching me when I slip!
After we successfully completed the Angel’s Palace Hike I decided to see the south end of the park before we left. The weather was still holding out and I wanted to maximize our time outside as much as possible. We headed down to Shakespeare Arch – Sentinel Trail. This is a 1.7 mile (2.7 km) trail that starts out easy and works it’s way to more challenging as the trail progresses, although still considered a moderate to easy hike.
I planned on only walking out to the arch, which was a quick ½ mile (0.8 km) as we were approaching our departure time as we were beginning our way home that day.
The short tail was easy and mostly flat. This trail was less scenic as you are hiking along the valley floor as opposed to climbing up a mountain, but still an enjoyable walk. We reached the arch and I snapped a few photos along with the other people that where there. This trail seemed to be more popular.