Bryce Canyon: Fairyland Loop Trail

By far my favorite trail in Bryce Canyon, Fairyland Loop Trail allows you to get into that Utah landscape you’ve been instagramming all morning. I say morning because it’s not far from the best spot in Bryce to get the classic sunrise shot.

There are two ways to trek the Fairyland Loop Trail – counterclockwise or clockwise. We chose counterclockwise because we’re just that kind of people. We got an early start, so no one else was on this magnificent trail. The trail is just over 8 miles, so prepare for a half-day excursion. We ate before we hit the trail and ate after, so no need to take food as you go, but bring plenty of water!! Especially if you’re here in the summertime.

This trail is gorgeous. Here are some of what you can expect to see in the first leg if you’re going counterclockwise like us:

Not too far into the loop, you hit a fork. You can continue on the trail or take a quick detour to the right to see the Tower Bridge rock formation. This beautiful rock seriously does look like the famous bridge in London. I think it added less than half a mile to the hike, but is an incredible and unique sight.

We felt on top of the world in some places along this route. You look down into the canyon and see all these hoodoos jutting out of the canyon floor. It’s a beautiful and surreal sight.

Some of my favorite rocks throughout Utah are these multi-colored jagged formations. We saw them in Canyonlands as well. I find them so beautiful. The orange in this place contrasted with the white in such a way that I couldn’t help but keep my eyes trained on the zebra stripe as I walked the trail.

During the last 3 miles of the hike, you get up close and personal with the hoodoos. It’s impossible to capture on my cellphone, but some of the hoodoos are a subtle painted purple, green, all these different colors. I can see why they call it Fairyland.

You can just about make out the pinks and the yellowy-green in this shot:

As you exit the trail, you go up steep switchbacks out of the canyon. It gives you a chance to look back at some of what you just hiked through.

This trail is such a great way to experience Bryce Canyon. As I always say, go early. We started to see a lot of people after 11am (as we hit the last leg of the trail). It’s a long trail, enjoy every bit of it!

Utah is a magical place! Check out our other post on Utah including a 10-day itinerary, our guides to Arches National Park and Goblin Valley State Park, and a snapshot of the Scariest Drive in Utah!

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