Cool Cave Loop via Panorama Trail
This is a moderate loop trail to Cool Cave in Kodachrome Basin State Park. The trail is generally well marked with green arrows to direct your path through the many twists and turns. The park provides a little pamphlet with a map that can be helpful to know you are on the correct path.
The trail has a very moderate amount of rise and fall with a total of only 472 feet. Do know that it can be quite hot in the middle of the day, so carrying shade, sunblock, hats and water are crucial. Cool cave is a nice refuge at the halfway point. We took the trail counterclockwise enjoying the points of interest that dot the trail every 1/2 mile. The trail passes the Fred Flintstone tower first then turns right and travels another 1/4 mile to the Indian Cave. The trail continues winding along the base of the cliff past the huge ballarina spire and then before reaching a series of hoodoos called the Hat Shop because of the way each spire it topped with more resiliant rock. There's a longer 1/2 mile long walk until the trail takes a little loop to the Secret Passage, a mini slot canyon. The trail rejoins the main path and turns right dropping into another basis that ends at Cool Cave. The side tral to the Cool Cave twists into a little slot canyon that opens into a large cave with a triangular opening overhead. We were doing this on July 31, and the direct sun was making it uncomfortably warm at about 100F. We periodically stopped in the shade of one of the many Junipers to wet ourselves down to keep the temperatures tolerable as we walked. The cave is sheilded from the sun and was a refuge for us to have lunch before continuing.
Leaving the cave, we continued along the loop (we actuallly did the subloop that leads to Cool Cave clockwise, which is the way the arrows will point you. As we had set in the cave. some clouds obscured the sun and made it much more tolerable. We kept on the trail heading out of the Cool Cave loop continuing our loop out to Panorama Ponit. The Point lived up to it's name providing 360 degree views of Kodachrome and the nearby Escalante. We returned back down path next to Mammoth Spire and thence back to the trailhead.
The park is about 1/2 hr away from Bryce through the town of Cannonville. The trailhead is located on the left side of hte road across from a big parking lot once you get through the gate of Kodachrome State Park.
We saw a family with preteen kids coming off the trail as we started. It's a great trail because there are so many things to see, so you can do as much or as little as you like and the weather allows. Do know that it can be quite hot in the middle of the day, so carrying shade, sunblock, hats and water are crucial. This would be 7 out of 10 for the kids.
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