Today was going to be Bryce Canyon Day. On our List was the Fairyland Trail, the only missing “standard” hike in Bryce. Back in 2017 I already hiked most of the inner hikes like Queens Garden, Navajo Loop or Peekaboo Loop.
It can be quite cold during the night in Bryce Canyon at about 9000 ft, I experienced that myself a year earlier. This time I was better prepared: Thick sleeping bag and using the onion principle (several layers of clothes) were supposed to keep me warm. Actually, too warm. It’s been mid of September and in 2017 I had been here mid of October, a full month later.
We decided to start a bit lazy into the day, sleeping out, no rushed breakfast. According to NPS information, the hike takes about 4-5 hours. In the end, we started at about 12 at Fairyland Point. As you can see on the map, Fairyland Point is still outside of the Fee Area and there’s also no Shuttle stop. Parking is full at 12, but people are constantly arriving and leaving, you just need to wait a bit until you find a parking slot.
First waypoint was the Tower Bridge, a couple of stones which do look a bit like the Tower Bridge in London. Americans somehow just love European buildings and their history. It’s a hike of about 4 miles to the Tower Bridge, but let’s first enjoy the view from the Rim.
From here you can already see these strange stone formations, so called Hoodoos. Bryce is known for these Hoodoos, they make Bryce so special. They all have different forms and have been created through millenia of rain, snow and ice.
Fairyland Trail leads you directly into the Amphitheatre and you get awesome views of this great landscape with its Hoodoos.
The Trails in Bryce Canyon are of the best you can wish for, only seldom you see such clear trails. At no point in time you’ll need to look for Cairns to show you where to go next. To be fair: this is not possible everywhere. Bryce is a real exception.
After about 2 hours we finally reached the Tower Bridge, 2 hours of an awesome hike where you don’t know, what you’ll see after the next corner.
With a bit of phantasy you can see the Tower Bridge and the left part might actually be the Houses of Parliament. The short detour is worth every minute.
The next part of the Trail is actually called “Tower Bridge Trail” and leads you back to the Rim. On these 1.5 miles in the North Amphitheatre wil give you a completly different view of Bryce compared to what you saw before.
The trail leads you along and through these Hoodoos, until you get back to the Rim. From here you’ll get another great view into the Amphitheatre.
Once you’re back on the Rim, it’s still about 2.5 miles to Fairyland Point. This last part of the Trail ist part of the Rim Trail which leads along the upper Rim. It’s the easiest part of the hike and you get once again some awesome views of the Fairyland Bryce Canyon.
After a total of 4 hours and 22 minutes (incl. some breaks), 8.1 miles and climbing 1,558 feet we arrived back at Fairyland Point.
All in all, Fairyland Loop is a really nice hike into a fascinating Fairyland. If you do have the time and already did the other Standard Hikes in Bryce, I can only recommend this hike to you. For me it’s actually one of the best hikes in Bryce. You get to see everything, that makes Bryce so special. And additionally, it’s not so crowded as the standard hikes in the main Amphitheatre.