Want to check out the start of our trip? Part 1 is over here!
When Andy and I saw that Bryce Canyon had a trail named the Fairyland Loop, it was obvious that we had to go. It’s an 8-mile hike, so in addition to being exceptionally reviewed (which you can check out here and here) we felt like it would be a good build-up to our upcoming Under the Rim hike (23 miles for that).
Much as I found on our Grand Canyon backpacking trip, getting into a canyon is a whole lot easier than getting out. At the start, it was all downhill (obviously) as we wound our way down. The weather was pretty perfect — just slightly chilly, but plenty warm when you’re moving.
And of course, being the forestry nerd that he is, Andy would periodically stop to identify various trees.
Something that strikes me every time I look back on these photos is that they just don’t seem to hold the explosive color that so completely struck me when we visited. Especially on this day — the bright blue sky against that ombre limestone made so many shades of orange radiate out of the ground. I think these photos capture capture this best for this trail:
It seemed like a lot of people would hike down the trail just far enough to get to the Tower Bridge, sit for a while, then head back up. Though the trail wasn’t crowded at all — the only places we saw large groups of people were at or just slightly below the rim. Sort of like the Grand Canyon, if you’ve had a chance to visit, most aren’t looking for real hiking and just want a quick taste of the trail. And many have pretty bad choices of footwear even for that 😉
It definitely helped, too, that we were there in May. Most schools wouldn’t have gotten out yet, and at 8000+ feet of elevation it was still pretty brisk for anyone itching for summer.
I’ll leave you with a few more photos, as dramatic clouds started to fill in the blue skies.
Have you been to Bryce Canyon National Park, or any of the other parks of Utah? Can you believe I’ve now made it through two posts about Bryce without mentioning hoodoos or explaining what they are? My science nerd brain is freaking out a little now that I just realized that, so calm down guys. It’s coming in the next post 😉