Quick trip to a recent arch
Sometimes also called Shakespeare Arch, this little arch located within Kodachrome Basin State Park was only discovered in the 1970's by a park ranger searching the area for coyote dens. The arch was named after the ranger, Shakespear, and has since become a popular destination hike within the State Park.
The trail takes off from a small dirt parking area to the east of the main park road. To the west a ridge blocks the view from the parking area towards Bryce Canyon. Shakespear Arch lays at the southern end of this ridge, on the west side. The trail heads towards the ridge and rises up towards a pass. The rock here is Entrada Sandstone, but is much softer here than at other outcrops, such as around Moab. This area around Kodachrome Basin was likely a geothermal field similar to Yellowstone during the early Jurassic, and the remains of some of these geysers can be seen with the main park loop area.
Once you reach the pass, the view becomes expansive with the backdrop of Bryce Canyon on the horizon and the bowl of Kodachrome visible to the north and northwest. The trail is fairly well defined and boot worn, and the occasional cairn is present to help guide the way over some stretches that may have otherwise been difficult. There are patches of cryptobiotic soil present throughout the area, please use caution and stay off of it. You may also see Chukars on the trail, as the park serves as a refuge for the Chukars, allowing them to build up their population between hunting seasons.
The trail parallels the western face of the ridge and eventually comes to the base of Shakespear Arch. It is not large, and rests close up against the cliff face, both of which delayed its discovery. If you look carefully from the main park road, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the arch, but you really have to know where it is in order to see it. After reaching the base of the arch, you return to your vehicle by the same route you came in on.
While this hike is in Kodachrome Basin State Park, it is not off the main road where the entrance fees are paid. Please stop along the main road at the entrance kiosk and pay the entrance fee. While there is no water along the Shakespear Arch trail, there are faucets, restrooms, and even a store within the park so you can pick up supplies and refill water bottles there.
WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.