Angel’s Palace Trail is a short, beautiful hike located in Kodachrome Basin State Park. This hike has a roundtrip distance of around 1.5 miles. It has only one brief steep section, but you should avoid the hike, or at least sections of it if you have an extreme fear of heights.
Angel’s Palace shares a parking area with the Nature Trail in Kodachrome Basin State Park (fee required). To start the hike, cross the road to the trailhead sign. The hike goes down through a small wash and then winds up into a narrow gulch. Finally, it climbs steeply (though only for about 50 yards) to the top of the butte.
The idea behind Angel’s Palace is that you walk around the top of the butte like an angel might walk around the top of a cloud, looking down at the things below. The drops are sometimes precipitous, but it is not required to get close to the edge. A double loop trail winds around the top of the butte. From the loop, short out-and-back spurs lead to several lookouts. It is at these lookouts that you are on a point of rock looking directly out and down at the beautiful valley that is Kodachrome Basin.
There are a few things to remember with this short, easy hike. First, keep a close eye on kids, and talk to them about staying close to you before the hike begins. If you have the kind of toddlers that like to run ahead on the trail, this may not be for you. Second, there are not really any places where you are required to walk to the edge. If the edge seems too risky to you, you can stay toward the center of the butte and be perfectly safe.
We loved this hike, though as parents, we were a little on edge when our boys started pushing and racing to see who was going to lead our crew. We had to have a severe talk about safety on this trail. If you decide this trail is right for you, it is our favorite in Kodachrome Basin State Park. Angel’s Palace Trail is not a hike that you will easily forget!