Bryce Canyon National Park – Fairlyland Loop Trail

Hi friends, welcome back! I’m continuing my out west series with our first hike in Bryce Canyon National Park. If you missed any prior posts in the series, you can check out Valley Of Fire, Angels Landing, Watchman Trail, and our last day in Zion here. On our first morning in Bryce, we woke up to a frigid 30 degrees outside, quite the opposite weather from Zion!

We layered up and drove to Fairyland Canyon for our first hike of the day, Fairyland Loop. This moderate 7.8-mile hike starts at Fairyland Point and includes 1,545 feet of elevation gain per the AllTrails app. Most of the elevation gained was at the end of the hike, but it was also up and down throughout the trail. I believe this is also the highest elevation I’ve ever been at.

I’ve never hiked in a canyon before, so it was very strange starting the hike going down a steep trail. Usually I hike to a viewpoint and the way back is all downhill, but this trail had so many ups and downs. We started this hike clockwise so we didn’t have to end with such a massive incline.

These hoodoos (a pinnacle, spire or odd-shaped rock left standing by the forces of erosion) really seem like they belong in outer space and not America! We didn’t see many people on this trail so it truly felt like we were the only people in the world. It was so bizarre, but so cool at the same time. I definitely prefer greenery, waterfalls, and mountains, but this park was so beautiful and unique.

One of the highlights of this hike is the great view of Tower Bridge defying gravity. Nature sure is amazing!

China Wall is another cool landmark that I actually didn’t know this while I was hiking, but I’m glad I thought it looked cool and took pictures 🙂

It’s still hard for me to believe such a unique place exists!

Knowing that we eventually had to climb back to the top when we were pretty exhausted was a bit rough, but we all persevered. You can see the trail that we walked up in the middle of the below pictures. It was neat to see how far we had come.

The very end of the trail was along the rim trail from Sunset Point to Fairyland Point and relatively flat to slightly downhill. I’d prefer to end the hike with this easy walk around the rim than having to hike the very steep part we started the day walking down.

We hiked this around 7:30 on a Monday morning and there was hardly any traffic on the trail. We easily found parking, but when we got back to the car, the parking lot was packed. There is also a little shop at the top with great prices on drinks (including alcoholic), snacks, and some souvenirs. I’d highly recommend this hike in Bryce Canyon National Park! It was definitely longer and a bit challenging at parts, but everywhere you looked was incredibly picturesque! I also appreciated that there were no dangerous cliffs like Angels Landing. This hike is completely exposed to sun and wind so just be mindful of the conditions and plan accordingly. Would you attempt this hike?

24 thoughts on “Bryce Canyon National Park – Fairlyland Loop Trail

  1. Looks like a great hike Lyssy. We did one starting from Sunrise Point and really enjoyed being down inside the canyon. I am with you on the climbing up though. This is never fun, especially if you are not used to being at 7,000 feet ASL. Until we visited the area in 2018, I would never have guessed the elevation was so great. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    1. It was neat being inside the canyon! I had no idea about the elevation either until I was talking to my friend about how different the weather was and she asked about elevation. Then it all my sense. I am very used to living at sea level 🙂

    1. Such a neat park! The ups and downs made the hike more bearable. Just when we would get out of breath we’d have a flat or downhill as a reward.

  2. I have always wanted to hike Bryce canyon and this definitely a hike I’d attempt (as long as it wasn’t super hot out). While I am much more used to hiking near waterfalls, streams, and trees I’ve always wanted to see the hoodoos up close.

    1. I hope you can do this hike one day! I agree that it would be so miserable in the heat. Once we got moving it didn’t feel cold. Seeing the hoodoos up close is pretty surreal!

  3. Bryce is my favorite of the Utah parks! I did the Tower Bridge half of this trail last fall, but not the Fairyland side, so it was fun to see the mixture of scenes I recognized and ones I didn’t. I agree, it’s weird (and annoying) to end a hike by climbing uphill.

    1. It is annoying to climb uphill at the end, especially at that distance. I’m glad you got to see some new sights! It was hard for me to attempt to put pictures in order, after a while it sort of looks the same. Bryce is just so interesting! I thought it was kind of funny how Ruby’s Inn owns like the whole town.

      1. I remember reading your blog about Ruby’s to make sure it was ok haha. Unfortunately my mom and I had a lower level room and the people upstairs were very busy getting their steps in!

  4. Nice pictures of this amazing landscape. You can feel the heat and the strain, difficult hiking conditions. If the main objective is the photos, the whole walk is perhaps not necessary.

    1. Thank you! It does all look the same after a while wandering through. Also a great park for people who can’t hike because they can still get all the amazing views from viewpoints.

  5. Thanks for remembering me some good souvenirs here! I believe I have the same pictures lol but being there was just magical 😍

  6. Gorgeous photos, Lyssy. The landscape is fantastic and as you say otherworldly. It’s great that you encountered virtually no people on the trail, the solitude makes the experience all the more enjoyable.

  7. It looks incredible, the landscape is beautiful, especially with the red rocks against the bright blue sky. Stunning – really enjoying your series of hikes out west 🙂

    1. Thank you! It was such a pretty park and it really felt like I was on Mars. Hard to take a bad picture in there and we got lucky with wonderful weather!

    1. Thank you! It was such a cool and unique hike! I wish I had paid more attention in my earth science class to know more about the layers and different landscape haha

  8. One of these days you and Jon will visit Colorado and venture much higher than 7,758′. The altitude is not for everyone (and you must adjust for a day or two before you ascend), but the views from the Rockies are spectacular 🙂

    1. Colorado is on my list! I’d love to see the Rockies one day, it all looks so beautiful!

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