As much as I was enamored with the towering sand stone spires and colorful landscapes of Kodachrome Basin State Park, Shakespeare Arch was what drove to me insist we squeeze a side trip out to Kodachrome Basin and nearby Grosvenor Arch on our road trip through Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, and Zion national parks.
Shakespeare Arch, measuring 20 feet wide and 90 feet tall, was the only large natural arch at Kodachrome Basin. Unfortunately, it collapsed in the spring of 2019. It was discovered by accident in 1976 by a park ranger looking for a coyote den.
Shakespeare Arch Trail is a 0.25 mile (one way) out and back trail through red dirt, sage brush, and cactus desert terrain to a natural arch. There is a small parking lot at the trailhead and near the start of the trail, you must squeeze through a fence and gate meant to keep cattle off the property.
Located in the southeastern part of Kodachrome Basin, Shakespeare Arch Trail had us walking up and down small hills as we hiked around a mesa, past a sandpipe, to the hidden arch. To our left were the boldy-colored mesa cliffs and the the right were jaw-dropping, panoramic views of Dry Valley.
The entire hike and all the time spent stopping for photos only totaled a little more than an hour and the whole time we were on the trail, we only saw one other couple and one other family. It was pretty awesome to basically have the entire place to ourselves.!
Shakespeare Arch + Sentinel Trail
Looking for a more strenuous hike? Combine the Shakespeare Arch Trail and the Sentinel Trail for a 1.7 mile loop hike that passes Shakespeare Arch and Sentinel Spire, offers incredible views of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and traverses the Slickrock Cutoff.
Know Before You Go
NOTE: Shakespeare Arch collapsed in spring of 2019. The Shakespeare Arch Trail is still open but there is no longer an arch to visit.
- Kodachrome Basin State Park is located about 20 miles southeast of Bryce Canyon National Park in Cannonville, Utah 84718 in Kane County. To reach the park, travel west on Scenic Byway 12 to Cannonville, then head south for 9.0 miles on Cottonwood Canyon Road.
- The park is open year-round from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily with no holiday closures. Check for road conditions prior to heading out.
- Admission fees are $8.00 per vehicle and $4.00 per vehicle for Utah seniors, as well as $75.00 per annual pass and $35.00 per senior annual pass.
- Hike only on designated trails. Hiking off trail can damage fragile desert plant life and soils, and increase erosion and runoff. One footprint can destroy decades of growth.
- The park has warm, sunny summers and mild winters that make visiting a fantastic experience during any season. There is very little shade (basically none) on this trail, so be sure to wear a hat and sunscreen and bring water.
- Pets must be kept on leash at all times. Please clean up after your pet.
- If you’re going to drive out to Kodachrome Basin, you should also plan to visit nearby Grosvenor Arch, a giant, natural stone, double arch.