Southeast of the central area of Kodachrome Basin
where most of the formations are found, several unpaved tracks cross the mostly flat surrounding land; one goes to the large sand pipe known as Chimney Rock, while another forks south to the trailhead for Shakespeare Arch
, a concealed feature at the edge of an isolated mesa of Entrada sandstone.
The arch - the only one in the state park - is just visible from the main road but was not discovered until 1976, by a ranger searching for a coyote den in a seemingly unremarkable corner of the region, since which time it has become one of Kodachrome Basin's most popular sites, and is reached by an easy, quarter mile hike on a trail which continues past a large sand pipe (The Sentinel
), rounds the far side of the mesa then returns to the start.
The main trail stays near the base of the mesa, which has the arch and sand pipe along its steeper west side, and various minor ridges and valleys on the less sloping east side, while a partial alternative route climbs to the top of the mesa; a briefly steep path that has better views of the surrounding landscape though not necessarily of the arch, as this is out of sight, however it may be reached by a short diversion.
From the parking lot, the trail moves up and down a few times, over little ravines and sandy mounds, past scattered shrubs and cacti, and soon reaches a viewpoint of the arch, which is only recognisable as such when directly opposite. The span has formed at the top of a line of cliffs, across a near vertical gully, and is well enough viewed from the path, though a short spur leads to a sandy slope directly beneath, and a more close-up perspective. After the arch, the path continues past a protruding cliff, round the head of a ledgy ravine and on to the Sentinel, which is colored red at its wide base and white at the narrower tip.
Edge of the Mesa
The trail proceeds south, through a gap near the end of a line of pinnacles, and across the southern edge of the mesa, now quite high above the undulating earthen hills below, giving good views towards the distant Paria River, before turning north, back towards the sandstone formations of the mesa. Another vertical ravine, similar in form to the one below the arch, is topped by a thin slab of rock, so this is likely also to become an arch, perhaps in a few centuries.
The Upper Trail
A junction marks the start of the more interesting upper route; up a few roughly-cut steps in a sandstone slope and over a rocky brow to the flat plateau above the Sentinel, and on to the vicinity of the arch. A very short walk west leads to the edge of the mesa and the top of a little gully, which can be followed a short distance, down two drops each of several feet, to a viewpoint directly opposite the arch - the view used in park literature. Beyond here, the trail swiftly zig-zags down the slope on the north side of the mesa to another junction, with the lower route, and ends 300 feet further at the parking lot.