The most popular hike in Kodachrome Basin State Park
is along the Angel's Palace Trail
; several short, linked loops across a wide sandstone bench 100 feet above the park road, totaling 1.4 miles. Higher cliffs rise up just to the east, but there is nothing to block the views in other directions - south to the isolated line of spires near the park entrance, west across much more extensive outcrops of red sandstone, including several sand pipes, and north to a tall ridge of white sandstone, along the park boundary.
Like the nearby Nature Trail and Grand Parade Trail, the path is close enough to the campground for people staying there to reach without driving. The scenery is good at all times of day but especially in early morning, when the rising run illuminates the jagged formations to the west.
360 Degree PanoramaPanorama along the trail
. Full screen version (19 mb)
Parking for the hike is on the west side of the road next to the campground, and is also used for the short Nature Trail. The Angel's Palace Trail starts from the east side, first crossing a bushy area and a drainage that may contain flowing water, then entering a short, quite narrow ravine, framed by low, light orange cliffs of Entrada sandstone. A brief steeper section takes the path 100 feet up to the flat, sparsely vegetated plateau above the ravine, to a junction with the one mile loop section, which is all across level ground. The two sides of the loop are connected in several places, allowing for shorter hikes. Although all sections are close together, the scenery changes regularly as the path overlooks different areas. In the anticlockwise direction, the trail first heads west, out to the end of a promontory that has views of the road, the campground, the white cliffs to the north, and at least six sand pipes; it then cuts back, around a ravine and along the plateau edge to the south, above the Grand Parade area, before returning to the start close to the base of the higher cliffs on the east side.