Kodachrome Basin State Park was our next stop on Scenic Byway 12 going north from Bryce Canyon. It was a beautiful State Park located about 9 miles off Hwy 12 at the north end of Cottonwood Canyon Road in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. The park is almost completely surrounded by high red, white and pink sandstone walls and contains almost 70 monolithic spires inside or just near the park.
We traveled the Cottonwood Canyon Road south and stopped at a rare double arch known as Grosvenor Arch. As we continued on the landscape became more wild as we passed by canyons, along the Paria River and through and along an area known as the “The Cockscomb”. Just when you think you’ve seen every type of sandstone there could possibly be over the past 6 weeks, we had encountered something completely different. One side of the road would be soft grey, easily eroded shale and clay, and the other side of the road would be hard red jagged sandstone cliffs. It was gorgeous.
We made our return trip on the same road, seeing things from a different angle or different light,
stopping at a canyon trailhead for a short hike. It was way too hot, sandy and late in the day to be doing that sort of hike, but we did see a very unusual plant that we haven’t seen so far in our travels. The canyon was very narrow and without much direct sunlight and perhaps our botanist friend can identify it for us. Clay????