Surrounded by some of Utah’s most popular national parks, Kodachrome Basin State Park is a land of redrock cliffs and spires, under wide-open skies, where you can enjoy spectacular canyon country scenery—without the national park crowds. The park derives its peculiar name from the landscape’s striking contrasts in color, which—at the time of its naming in 1949—was synonymous with Kodak’s high-contrast photography film (before digital took over). The park is approximately 160 miles east of St. George, and is sandwiched between Bryce Canyon to the west, and Grand Staircase–Escalante to the east. As with most of Utah’s canyon country destinations, sun and heat are ample, water and shade are scarce, and summer thunderstorms are common.
With 54 drive-in campsites in three small campgrounds, Kodachrome Basin is ideal for RV, trailer and tent campers. Basin Campground is the largest of the three, with 37 standard and full-hookup sites—as well as great views. This location offers water faucets, flush toilets and showers. Bryce View Campground has 11 standard sites with tables, fire rings, and also has impressive views. This campground offers water and vault toilets. The Arch Campground is located on a gravel road and has 6 sites with tables and fire rings. This smaller site has water and vault toilets. RVs and trailers must be under 25 feet to access this location. There is one tent-only group campsite. Seasonal campsite rates range from $20–$30/night; reservations accepted for some sites; generator hours are limited to 12noon – 4pm.
To tour Kodachrome Basin is to travel back in time, as the roots of the park’s sculpted cliffs, pipes and spires are more than 180 million years old. Observing the rock formations’ colorful layers tells a dramatic story of how the land changed over time—including when the area was covered by a vast, inland sea. The best way to see the basin is by taking a hike on one of the park’s five trails. These range from a barrier-free, 0.5-mile interpretive trail to the more moderate—and spectacularly scenic—6-mile Panorama Trail. If you don’t feel like hoofing it yourself, you can let a horse hoof it for you. Red Canyon Trail Rides offers family-friendly guided horseback rides on the Panorama Trail, where you can enjoy the canyon scenery from the comfort of a saddle. Mountain biking and horseback riding is permitted on some trails.
This is one of our favorite spots to camp in Utah. It's fabulously close to Bryce Canyon NP and a reasonable distance from Zion NP and Grand Staircase Escalante. Kodachrome is also a good destination in itself. Campsites are surrounded on three sides by beautiful cliffs and mountains and there are plenty of trails to hike and explore. We'll be back here again!
This is s very clean and updated campground. If you like a remote campground this is it.
It is the number one camp site ever!!! I love seeing the amazing orange landscapes and the sandy nation around me! It gives you a chance to horseback ride and hike, a chance to learn of the anciet life before us and to discover what nature does!
Very clean, quiet campground hidden outside of Bryce Canyon National Park. 5 stars all around
This campground has nice spacious sites with some trees and a little distance between sites so you don’t feel like you are camping on top of the next campsite. The bathrooms are nicer than motel rooms! The staff are great and friendly. The only negative is if they charge for a second vehicle. Most state parks charge half of the campsite fee, yet this place charges $16 for one extra vehicle per day, and campsites are $20 a site for tent campers. That’s a little extreme but the campground is worth it.
Kodachrome Basin site #12 was supposed to be one of the highlights of our camping road trip. Site #12 is tucked way in the back with your own private little circle and a gorgeous rock formation behind it. You could not get a more private and beautiful campsite. The picnic table and fire pit are tucked behind the trees in the middle of the circle and the tent site is HUGE! We could’ve easily fit another smaller tent next to our 11 foot dome tent. Everything about it looked awesome!
Looks can be deceiving though. The first morning we woke up to the sound of sand “raining” on the rainfly of the tent. Thankfully I had decided to use the rainfly! Not that it mattered much. By the time we left, it had rained enough sand into the tent that I could’ve filled at least a sandwhich baggie.
We camped two nights and upon returning to our tent on the second day, we found our tarp pulled out from under the tent, a broken tent pole section, and a rainfly clip on the ground. Several of the tent stakes had been pulled out. We asked the ranger about it the next day and he told us that every night between about 8-9pm the wind comes up and forms a 35mph cyclone around the curve of the basin wall. Site 12 is at the outside of the cyclone where the wind is highest. Not exactly ideal for a tent camper!
This campsite might be better for someone with a low tent. Our tent is 7ft tall in the middle and tends to catch the wind at lower speeds, much less 35 mph winds. It migh also work for an rv as long as you don’t open any awnings. The rest of the campground appeared to be unscathed so other sites might be a better option also. It really was a great location if it hadn’t been for the wind and sand.
One more item to note: this campground is close enough to Bryce Canyon for a commute there, but at the end of a day in Bryce, it feels like a long drive back. It is a fantastic campground if you are planning a drive on Scenic Highway 12, which is right down the road a bit.
Kodachrome? They should have called it, “Don’t even bother traveling to Zion, cause you’re already there- park.” Bryce was nice, but Kodachrome is twice-as-nice. Seriously though, tough and rapidly changing bike trails, amazing scenery, fresh new, clean, well designed, beautiful campsites, laundry and bath facilities; this place is a miniature version of all of the Mighty Five in one. After two weeks of exploring Southern Utah this and Capitol Reef are the gems. The staff was amazing and had great interpersonal skills with our kids. Stay home, don’t come here, cause we want it all to ourselves.
Kodachrome Basin SP has two separate campgrounds: Bryce View and Basin, a couple miles apart. This review only addresses Bryce View (sites 46-56). The park also has Oasis and Arch Group Sites and bunkhouses.
Why should you camp here? Panorama Point alone is worth the trip with its 360 degrees view, and Shakespeare Arch/Sentinel Spire are something different. You may see a black-tailed jackrabbit in the campground or on the hike to Shakespeare Arch.
Be aware of the following if you book a site at Bryce View:
There are vault toilets which I did not expect at this state campground. I guess you get flush toilets at Basin, and Oasis definitely has them.
Showers are a couple miles away at Oasis.
Bryce View looks a like a free BLM camping area tucked away in the red dirt until you see the numbered sites with picnic tables and fire rings, vault toilets, potable water and a trash dumpster.
Your cell phone will not work in this area. If you're desperate for service, Verizon's network is available at Panorama Point, a stop on the Panorama Trail.
It's still a good place to camp:
VERY quiet! Generators may only be run between noon and 4 pm. That's a great rule because most people are exploring the park at that time.
Sites are large and the views are beautiful.
All sites except 53 have long pull through parking areas which easily accommodate a vehicle and RV. When we were there, 9 sites were occupied the first night and all were occupied by tents except ours.
Behind sites 51, 52, 55 and 56 are views of Chimney Rock and the Shakespeare Arch/Sentinel Spire area.
Showers are in good shape; each one has a door and a dressing area with a bench.
A laundromat appropriately named Red Dirt is near the bunkhouses on the way to the Oasis Group Site and Basin Campground.
All I know about the other campground is that 14 sites have power and there are two non-reservation sites called A and B.
This campsite was pretty unique! You had to drive in the middle of nowhere to get to the campsite, but totally worth it. The drive in took about 20 minutes, watch out for jackrabbits crossing the road. Bring bug spray, but this was a very cool place to camp! The rocks provided shade from the sun since there's no trees.
Great place to camp that last night in the desert before returning to civilization. Plenty of reservable sites for whatever style camping you prefer. Full hook ups for RVs, toilets, showers, fire rings, place to do dishes, and firewood for sale at a reasonable price, which can be hard to come by in dry places. Sites are reservable.
Its a bummer that many of the campsites are backed up on each other, and it does fill up, so you will probably have neighbors. Tent sites might be a little quieter.
There was an interstingly shaped hoodoo visible from our site. The stars were indescribable, so many and so clear!