Grosvenor Arch, More Explorations of Grand Staircase, and a ‘Lil Bit of Kodachrome Basin State Park
After our early departure from Hole-in-the-Rock Road we made a few more short stops staying overnight at Kodachrome Basin State Park, which was within 10 miles of the immense Grosvenor Arch, a double arch carved into a dominating outcropping of sandstone rising from the high desert plateau. Over 90 feet high at its highest point, the arch soars overhead, belittling the observer. I felt tiny walking around it’s base, more so than other arches I’ve been up close to – so much so that I asked Tom to take a photo of me for scale while I was busy trying to capture it’s magnitude. One thing that we both found amusing is that the arch, which is located ten miles down the dirt Cottonwood Canyon Road in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, is accessed by a paved trail from the parking area. Obviously this is because it’s been made handicap accessible, but the incongruity between the rough dirt road heading into the wilderness and the paved walkway and toilets in the middle of nowhere earned a snicker.
From the arch we did a bit of random exploring within the national monument in the nearby area. We had a destination in mind originally – which I can’t recall now – but we ended up going elsewhere, finding some pretty great views of the plateau and colored sandstone hills as well as a lovely canyon rim to walk along. Further down the road we spotted access to the wash and noted it as a future place for exploration. Returning to the state park in late afternoon we had another impromptu stop to hike the Sentinel Trail, which passed both a mudstone arch and a few spires, which the park is famous for. The spires are unique and I’d definitely come back to see more, but we were both eager to move on and so that’s all we saw there.