Bryce Canyon National Park – Fairyland Loop

Bryce Canyon National Park Fairyland Loop

Be blown away while hiking through the multi-hued rock formations and stunning hoodoos on the Bryce Canyon National Park Fairyland Loop Trail.

Chris & Mac of Grey Otter Outventures

Chris & Mac
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Length:  8 Miles
Trailhead(s):  Fairyland Point
Elevation Gain:  2,310’
Trail Type:  Loop
Dogs:  Not Allowed
Difficulty:  Moderate to Strenuous
Permit Required?  No*
Considerations:  National Park Entry Fee $35*/ Summer Heat / Winter Snow
Season:  Year Round

*Fee station is past the Fairyland Point Trailhead.  Fee does not apply for vehicles not traveling past the fee station.


Prepare to be blown away when hiking the Fairyland Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park.  The grandiose and colorful rock formations and hoodoos in this section of the Bryce Amphitheater are stunning.


A canyon is not a canyon when it is a series of natural amphitheaters carved into the side of a high plateau.  Thus is the true nature of Bryce Canyon National Park.  It becomes apparent when standing on the rim looking out over the amphitheater into the valley below.

Bryce Amphitheater is the largest of the park’s amphitheaters, with trails that allow hikers an up close and personal encounter with its uniquely spectacular, grand geology.  It also has an 11 mile dog friendly Rim Trail which runs from Fairyland Point to Bryce Point.  With multiple access points, the Rim Trail provides incredible birds eye views of the hoodoos below for those not wanting or able to descend into the amphitheater.

However, for those desiring an in your face encounter with the rock formations, a trip down into the canyon also means climbing back up to the rim.  The Fairyland Loop Trail is the longest of the loops in the Bryce Amphitheater, and it is both strenuous and breathtakingly beautiful.


Beautiful Loop Trail

Because it is a long trail and the ascent to the rim is steep, hiking the Bryce Canyon National Park Fairyland Loop is a challenging endeavor.  Most hikers will take 5 plus hours to complete the loop, not just because of the distance or elevation, but because there are so many gorgeous rocks, endless vistas, and interesting formations to admire and photograph!  This trail perfectly showcases Bryce Canyon’s incredibly gorgeous rock formations, pinnacles, and hoodoos.

Heading Down

Follow the loop clockwise, and depart from Fairyland Point to descend into the amphitheater.  Stunning views are immediate.  The initial portion of the trail is fairly steep, and areas of loose rock on the trail had our feet skidding downward at times.  Similar to the other trails in the amphitheater, this trail winds though and around the hoodoos and pinnacles, while soaring rock walls decorated with all manner and color of worn rock adorn everything.  We took great pleasure in relishing the spectacular views of distant majestic formations as well as the in your face encounters with the impressive hoodoos and pinnacles.  From the rim overhead to the towering pillars in the distance, the landscape is superb and spectacular.

Back Up on Top

After climbing out of the amphitheater, the Rim Trail leads back to the trailhead at Fairyland Point, allowing us to look down on what we just hiked through.  The long distance views of this superbly decorated amphitheater are breathtakingly beautiful, and we stopped a few times to just soak it in.  All in all, from start to finish, and in spite of any physical discomforts imposed by steeper elevation changes, the rock formations showcased on this trail left us grinning from ear to ear. We hope it has this effect on you too.

Strenuous Hike

This is a strenuous hike.  Although the Fairyland Loop Trail descends moderately to its lowest point of 7,150 feet and has minor elevation changes as it works its way eastward through a picturesque lower section of the canyon, it does not stay that way.  When the trail profile changes approximately half way through, the trail ascends in earnest.  Here the trail is steep, and the ascent to the Rim Trail below Sunset Point is a strenuous climb.  Slow and steady gets it done.  Stop to take a well deserved and needed rest break while enjoying the amphitheater views below Sunset Point. 

Hikers not accustomed to hiking at elevation may experience fatigue and shortness of breath, particularly on the ascent.  As such, be kind to yourself when hiking this trail.  It’s not a race, and 8 miles is a hefty hike for many.  Make it enjoyable by staying fueled and hydrated, and taking breaks often.  Enjoy the unmatched beauty of the hoodoos and pinnacles on the Fairyland Loop in Bryce Canyon National Park.

Scroll down to learn about the GEAR WE USE and OTHER OUTVENTURES in this area.

Additional Information

Fairyland Loop Slideshow

(Click image to expand.)

Gear We Use for Day Hiking

To see descriptions of the gear Chris & Mac use for day hiking, as well as links to manufacturers and retailers offering the gear for sale, please CLICK HERE.

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Articles About Other Regional Outventures

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