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?