Angels Palace Trail requires a short climb, then makes a loop atop a plateau, providing great views of the park from the middle of the basin.
After spending a night in one of Kodachrome Basin’s cabins, I decided to kick off my day with a quick hike around the Angels Palace trail.
The trail starts off at the bottom of a valley, and winds around…
… until you reach this spot, where the trail climbs quickly on a narrow shelf, carved out of the edge of the cliff.
Once you’re on the top, you can look back down into the valley…
… and look ahead. Now, you’re on top of the plateau, on a loop that will take you counter-clockwise, past dozens of boulders and rock formations.
The valley was pretty shadowy, but now that you’re on top of the plateau, it’s quite beautiful! It was still chilly though. After all, I was visiting in late March, and the previous night had been bitterly cold and windy (although the sky was clear and the stars were spectacular).
The trail passes by this fractured spire, which isn’t quite as tall and impressive as some of the park’s other 67 solidified ancient geysers.
Atop the plateau, there are several “fingers” of land, sticking out into the middle of the basin. Anyone with a fear of heights can easily avoid these side trails, but if you don’t mind the narrow knife-edge…
… you can enjoy views like this. Below, you can see the park’s main road, and on the left, the six cabins which offer hotel-like accommodations. I stayed in cabin #6, the one on the far-left end.
At the far end of the Angels Palace Trail, there’s another small loop, which takes you around another area of oddly-shaped rocks.
There’s another spire down below. This one is almost directly behind the cabins.
Looking a bit further, you can see the entrance to Kodachrome Basin State Park. those mountains in the distance, on the right-hand side of the photo, are at the edge of Bryce Canyon National Park. It’s just a few miles from here, but it feels like much further.
The trail eventually loops back to this sand pipe — I showed you the other side of it, a moment ago. Beyond this point, the loop is complete, and the trail leads back down the hill, and out the valley, to the road.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a short hike in Kodachrome Basin, Angels Palace is well worth an hour of your time. I wouldn’t say it was my favorite hike here — I’d probably put it third, behind Panorama and Shakespeare Arch. But, those trails are longer, and require more time, so if you’re looking for something short but rewarding, Angels Palace is a good choice.
Kodachrome Basin State Park is located south of Cannonville, Utah, on Cottonwood Canyon Road. Follow the paved road into the middle of the park. Beyond the cabins, you’ll see a large parking area on the left. The trail begins across the road, on the right.
Check out this time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive up Cottonwood Canyon Road, then into Kodachrome Basin State Park: