Hike the Fairyland Loop Trail at Bryce Canyon NP
Utah › Fairyland Point
Added by Gemina Garland-Lewis
Faryland Loop is a more remote loop trail in the northern section of the park. Enjoy great views of Boat Mesa, Fairyland Canyon, and Sinking Ship Mesa without the crowds.
Let's face it: Bryce Canyon National Park is stunning. Its remarkable and unique hoodoos bring people from all over the world, and lots of them. If you're looking to enjoy this incredible park with a little more solitude than the main lookouts or the more popular Under the Rim trail, make sure to spend a day hiking the Fairyland Loop trail. Many visitors drive past this area in the northern part of the park to seek out the views at the amphitheater, so it sees less foot traffic than the southern part of the park. This eight mile loop trail is rated strenuous by the NPS because of length and elevation changes, so be sure you're in good shape and have plenty of water along.
The trail starts at Fairyland Point - choose either direction to start, though the description below follows the counterclockwise route of the loop. If you're having trouble choosing a direction, know that your hike out of the canyon will be short but steep in a clockwise direction and longer but more gradual of a climb if you head counterclockwise. From Fairyland Point follow the Rim Trail for a little over two miles, passing the North Campground along the way.
Shortly before Sunrise Point, the trail veers off the Rim Trail to the left and winds steeply down Campbell Canyon over the next 1.5 miles. Along the way, you'll pass a colorful stand of hoodoos known as China Wall. When you hit four miles, you'll find a spur trail towards Tower Bridge - take this trail its short 200 yards to see this awesome rock formation (also a great spot for a halfway point snack!) and then continue back to the loop trail.
The trail meanders through Campbell Canyon and gradually climbs out of the canyon over a series of switchbacks, with views of Fairyland Canyon and Sinking Ship Mesa along the way (and more hoodoos than you can shake a stick at). Once out of the canyon you only have a short stint on the trail before reaching Fairyland Point and the end of your loop!
Getting there: The Fairyland Point Trailhead access road is located just north of the Park Visitor Center and Entrance Station outside the park boundary (so if you've hit the visitor center you've gone too far). Coming from the north, turn left on the Fairyland Point access road and find the parking lot at Fairyland Point one mile down the road.
- Water, water, water
- Sunscreen and hat
- Hiking poles
- Layers and foot traction devices if hiking during winter
- 10 essentials
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This loop is now in my top 10 favorite hikes. The landscape is stunning and it is not very crowded so at times you have a stretch of 2 miles to yourself (in November at least). There are plenty of places to photograph the hoodoos and get up close to them. Take note of a few places and go back to them for sunset/star gazing.
Not as crowded as Wall Street area
(Although it was overcast and predicted to rain the day I did Fairyland Loop, compared to the blue skies when I was at Wall Street.) Saw very few people out on the trail, not really many until we got close to the rim again. Great views, awesome place to get immersed in! Bring water and lunch.
Most of Bryce's Hikes are Easy; Big Crowds
Try going early or late, we went middle of the day as we were driving through. It is an amazing hike, just try to dodge the crowds. The hoodoos are super rad, very unique geography.
Great hike, too many people
This was an awesome 8 mile hike that allowed for spectacular views of Bryce Canyon. The only downside was that there were still more people on the trail than I prefer, but that is usually what you get in a National Park. The hike was moderate, and anyone in good fitness would not have a problem. We finished in under 4 hours, and the elevation change was gradual. Great hike for Bryce Canyon!
I started early and actually went on the reverse route. It took under four hours and I only saw people in the last half of the hike. It was very windy last weekend when I went, so prepare accordingly if high winds are in the forecast.
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