Sandpipes in the Mist
Angel's Palace is located in Kodachrome Basin State Park in Utah. Kodachrome got its name from a 1949 National Geographic Exploration. When they rolled into what they named Kodachrome Flats, it reminded them of the new color film they were using called Kodak. The park is rife with unique geological features called sandpipes, and Angel's Palace is the perfect place to view several of them.
First of all, the park says that this trail is only one half mile. One half mile doesn't even get you to the top of Angel's Palace, and if you follow all of the arrows as directed, you will cover the entire 1.6 miles. It is possible to shortcut the arrows, as you cross your loop several twice, making three loops once you are on top of Angel's Palace. If you do this, you will miss out on some of the nice viewing areas, and some photo opportunities that would scare anyone's mother.
To get to the trailhead, follow the main park road to the Oasis Group Area. Park here. The trailhead is directly across the road from this parking area, which is also near the dump site. Once you are on the trail, there is a small bridge for you to cross a seasonal stream. There will be water here seasonally and after rain storms. Continue to follow the trail arrows, which you will find on brown posts.
About a third of a mile in, you will see the trail go up a steep hill. This is the easy part of your ascent. Continue to follow the arrows. At times they are not well marked and tell you to go up places that there is not trail. Use common sense and follow the footpath. After rain, the footpaths can be very muddy, so use caution when climbing. Once you reach the beginning of the top, you will see a sign with arrows pointing left and right. Note the TH above the second arrow is telling the return hikers how to get back to the trailhead, you should disregard this until you start your descent.
Following the arrows is not necessary to get back. You can always retrace your steps if you do not want to see the view off of every spine the formation has to offer. You will also be able to see your car from the top, which will be of interest to some.
Use caution and common sense as the trail takes you out onto narrow spines with very steep drop-offs that could result in death or very serious injury if you were to fall. That said, if you are scared of heights, I do not recommend this trail.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
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.