The aptly named Fairyland Loop Trail, situated in the spectacular Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, features majestic hoodoos that resemble a magical fairyland. While it is a magnificent trail, it is best suited to seasoned hikers, who are well prepared and knowledgeable about the terrain.
The Fairland Loop Trails is eight miles long; it takes 4-5 hours to complete (if well hydrated). The trailhead is situated at Fairyland Point and includes sections of the Rim Trail. Main attractions include Boat Mesa, Tower Bridge, the China Wall, including the Bryce Canyon Lodge.
- Distance: 8-mile loop trail
- Estimated hiking time: 4-5 hours
- Elevation: 2309 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous
- Best time of the year: April to October
Table of Contents
The Fairyland Loop Trail: A Brief Overview
The spectacular Fairyland Loop Trail descends from the Fairyland Point perimeter towards breathtaking labyrinths, amphitheaters, spires, and hoodoos, deep-seated white, tan, and pink canyons dotted along the way.
This moderately strenuous trail descends roughly 900 feet below the valley’s base and follows a circular route around the foundation of Boat Mesa. However, it is mostly along with the foundations of Fairyland, including the spectacular Campbell Canyon.
The moderate elevation gain is evenly dispersed throughout the loop trail, and it switches from inclines to declines several times along the way.
But the best part is that the trail does not have any strenuous summits or steep ascents, and it mostly resembles a peaceful meandering journey through an otherworldly fairyland!
Moreover, the Fairyland trail is one of the park’s best-kept secrets, which means that you can mostly enjoy nature’s bounty in peace without having to deal with maddening crowds.
Hiking Safety Precautions
The Bryce Canyon National Park’s elevation of 7000-9000 feet can lead to the dreaded altitude sickness, which, as we all know, is horrible. So, if your home resides at a far lower elevation, spend the first day in the park doing leisurely activities so that your body can acclimatize to its new environment.
While this region is mountainous, it is an arid, desert landscape with dusty trails during the summer season, so bring at least a gallon of water for the duration of the hike, especially in mid-summer.
The Fairland trail can also be incredibly hot and windy, so use sun protective gear like a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses, and good-quality sunscreen.
Most importantly, keep your eye on weather forecasts as the Bryce Canyon region has one of the most lighting strikes in Utah. So, avoid hiking the trail in inclement weather conditions.
If you are hiking during the latter part of fall or early spring, the trail may still have snow in parts or have icy regions to transverse, so invest in some Microspikes to avoid potential falls.
Most importantly, wear quality hiking boots that will give you good traction on slippery gravelly, or dusty trails.
The Fairyland Loop Trailheads
There are two ways to access the Fairyland Loop trailhead, either via the Fairland Point access road or via Sunrise Point.
Fairyland Point Trailhead
The Fairyland Point access road is approximately three miles from the Ruby’s Inn on Highway 63 in a southerly direction.
Once you have turned left on the Fairyland Point Road, travel for roughly a mile to the trailhead, which is situated in a northern direction from the park’s visitor center, although the tiny parking lot might create limited parking.
Sunrise Point Trailhead
Another great Fairyland trailhead is Sunrise Point which is a mere 10-minute drive from Fairyland Point on Route 63 in a southerly direction.
Sunrise Point has a lot of available parking. However, you might have to drive around a few times to find a convenient parking spot.
Fairyland Loop Trail Highlights
This incredible trail descends from the perimeter of the Fairyland Point canyon and extends all the way to the southern region of Boat Mesa, through the majestic Tower Bridge and China Wall all the way to the cozy Bryce Canyon Lodge.
So, let’s have a look at the Fairyland Loop Trail’s main attractions.
The gigantic Boat Mesa is situated south of the hiking trail as the path descends Fairyland Canyon. However, instead of meandering along the canyon to the bottom, where it converges with the Campbell Canyon, the path veers in a southerly direction away from Fairyland.
It then winds upwards across the southern foundation of Boat Mesa, sandwiched between Fairyland and Campbell Canyon.
The Stately Tower Bridge
The awe-inspiring Tower Bridge, which resembles the iconic Tower of London, is a massive hoodoo bordered by a pair of graceful arches that is situated in the heart of a corroding rock fin close to the main path at the Campbell Canyon Entrance.
There is a lovely, shaded spot underneath the Tower Bridge with logs; it is a perfect place to eat your lunch or to rest your legs (and lungs) for a while.
The Incredible China Wall
The aptly named China Wall, located south of the Campbell Canyon on the Fairyland Loop Trails, resembles a spectacular wall of hoodoos.
The gigantic hoodoos are lined up in a tall row based on a little ridge; these perfectly aligned limestone structures resemble an artificial wall similar to the Great Wall of China.
The Bryce Canyon Lodge Trail
The trail then meanders past the China Wall in a westerly direction with a steep 900 feet climb around the edge of the canyon when it reaches a junction between the Fairyland Loop Trail in a northerly direction to the Fairyland Point.
Alternatively, hikers can follow the westerly route at the junction towards the Bryce Canyon Lodge, including their General Store for supplies, before heading back to Fairyland Point.
Review the park’s informative website for more information concerning the epic Fairyland Loop Trail.
Few hikers have experienced the otherworldly 8-mile-long Fairyland Loop Trail, where it is possible to believe that fairies could well exist amidst the magical labyrinths and majestic spires. So, pack your backpack to see it for yourself!